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April 20, 2010

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Dr. Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 360 D
Phone: 813-974-9496

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ENL 6236: Restoration Literature

Spring 2010
Time: Monday
3:00 - 5:50 pm
Room: CPR 343

  • Assignments
  • Related Sites
  • Paper Guidelines

    1. Course Description

      This course surveys British literature from 1660-1700 with a focus on poetic forms (heroic poems, satire, lyric, panegyric, elegy, odes), drama (tragedy, tragi-comedy, comedy) and prose genres (essay, diary, fiction). The literature is tightly interwoven with the turbulent political and social history of the period, and so the class will also be learning about English society in the aftermath of the civil war and interregnum, the restoration and reign of the Stuart kings and the glorious or “bloodless” revolution. Through our analysis of the literature and scholarly criticism, we will explore the representation, history and theory of place, sexuality, gender, religion, and politics. The literature draws heavily from three major figures: John Dryden; John Wilmot, the earl of Rochester, and Aphra Behn. Many other writers are included. This is an appropriate course for students preparing for the master’s or PhD examinations in Restoration and Eighteenth-century literature as well as graduate students pursuing an interest in early modern culture, poetry, drama, place, gender or British literature. N.B. We will not be reading Milton in this course, but students should be familiar with Paradise Lost prior to class.


      This course is designed to meet the following objectives:

      to introduce students to the variety of styles, genres and themes of British literature and history 1660-1700, primarily through the works of three dominant figures: Dryden, Rochester and Behn;

      to identify and analyze themes of place, gender, class, race, nationality and party politics in this literature;

      to identify and analyze the ways in which authors from the Restoration constructed literary values ;

      to familiarize students with the secondary resources on this literature and the strategies for doing research in Restoration literature;

      for students to prepare and present critical summary of recent scholarly essay and respond to other students' summaries;

      for students to demonstrate critical thinking and writing and research skills in a 10-12 page paper;

      for students to demonstrate a mastery of objectives 1-4 in a comprehensive examination.

    Required Texts

    Restoration Plays, ed. Brice Harris, McGraw-Hill, 1966 ISBN 0 07 553658 7
    Note: this is out of print, but many are available through second hand online merchants. See

    Female Playwrights of the Restoration: Five Comedies, ed. Paddy Lyons, et al, Tuttle, 1994 ISBN 0460874276
    Note: this is out of print, but many are available through second hand online merchants. See

    Aphra Behn. Oroonoko, The Rover and Other Works, ed. Janet Todd, Penguin, 1993 ISBN 0140433384

    John Dryden, AurengZebe, ed. Frederick Link, U Nebraska Press, 1971.

    Hammond, Paul. Restoration Literature: An Anthology, Oxford UP, 2002 ISBN 0 19 283331 6

    DeKrey, Gary S.Restoration and Revolution in Britain: A Political History of the Era of Charles II and the Glorious Revolution, Palgrave, 2007.

    Recommended Texts:

    Early Modern Women’s Writing: An Anthology, 1560-1700, ed. Paul Salzman, Oxford, Oxford UP, 2000 ISBN 0585369844 (avail. as e-book through the library

    John Dryden, The Major Works, ed. Keith Walker, Oxford 2003, ISBN 0192840770
    Note: this is out of print, but many are available through second hand online merchants. See

    Electronic Media

    This class will be interacting with the Blackboard website for ENL6236.001S10, to be located on your MY USF website.

    You will find the discussion board for your weekly informal postings on this Blackboard site, the WIKI site for the research annotations, and I will also post assignments, messages and further information about the class on this site. CHECK IT FREQUENTLY!


    Notes, discussion questions and more detailed reading assignments will be posted to the website for each class; to access these, click on the date on the syllabus. There will be additional critical reading assigned for each class.

    In addition to the scheduled readings, students should familiarize themselves with a broader sense of critical history of the period by selecting works from the class bibliography and reserve reading list. For general history, the Pelican series on Stuart England is good. Also browse through the biographies of Dryden, Rochester and Behn on reserve. Johnson’s Life of Dryden also available online at Samuel Johnson's Lives of the Poets is a particularly good source on the laureate’s life and works and how they were received in the eighteenth century; it ought to be read early on in the semester.

    (All assignments must be read in full before the date of discussion.)

    Jan 11: Introductions

    Jan 18: MLK Day - no class meeting.

      Please have Gary DeKrey history of the era read in its entirety.
      DUE: Post 1

    Jan 25: Oroonoko and Place
      Behn (75-141), Oroonoko; selected readings on place (see course docs, reserve)
      DUE: Post 2

    Feb 1: Political Ends of Poetry
      Hammond, Intro and pp. 3-38 (Excerpts from Clarendon, Pepys, Evelyn on the Restoration); also Dryden’s Astrea Redux; excerpts from Marvell’s Last Instructions and Rochester’s Satire on Charles II.
      Recommended: Dryden's Annus Mirabilis
      Due: Post 3

    Feb 8: Political Ends of Poetry
      Hammond, pp. 38-73 (including Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel)
      Behn: A Pindaric Poem to the Reverend Bishop Burnet (Todd 347-350)
      Post 4

    Feb 15:Literary values in poetry and prose
      Dryden: MacFlecknoe (Hammond 200)
      Rochester: Session of the Poets (Lyons 54) and Allusion to Horace (Hammond 178)
      Behn: Epilogue to Sir Patient Fancy (Todd 329) and To Mr. Creech (Todd 335)
      Dryden: Essay on Dramatic Poesy (entire work in Walker edition on reserve) or see course docs for pdf from Google Books, or Web Resources for link to U Toronto web text of the complete essay;
      Heads of an Answer to Rymer; Preface to Fables (see Walker); Also Hammond pp. 189-196.
      Post 5

    Feb 22: Drama: Introduction, Heroic Tragedy, Mock-Heroic
      Dryden: Aureng-Zebe
      Buckingham: The Rehearsal (Harris 3-57)
      Recommended: Dryden, Conquest of Granada, in Works on reserve; Rosenthal, on 18th Century Drama, in course docs. Post 6

    Mar 1: Drama: Tragedy and Tragicomedy
      Dryden: All for Love including preface (Harris, 245-334)
      Otway: Venice Preserv’d (Harris 335-413)
      Behn: The Widow Ranter (Todd, 249-325)
      Sandra Clark, on Shakespeare in the Restoration, in course docs. Post 7

    Mar 15: Drama: Sex Comedies
      Wycherley: The Country Wife (Harris 59-154)
      Etherege: The Man of Mode (Harris 155-244)
      Behn: The Rover Part 1 (Todd, 155-248)
      Congreve: The Way of the World (Harris 515-596)
      DUE: Post 8

    Mar 22: Drama: Late Restoration
      Behn: The Lucky Chance including preface (on Reserve, The Other Eighteenth Century, 62-137)
      Ariadne: She Ventures and He Wins (Lyons & Morgan 103-160)
      Southerne: Oroonoko (course docs)
      Post 9

    Mar 29: Drama: Female Wits
      Pix: The Beau Defeated (Lyons & Morgan 161-234)
      Centlivre: The Basset Table and The Busybody (Lyons & Morgan 235-363)
      DUE: Post 10 and plan for essay

    Apr 5: Poetry: Amorous Lyrics
      Rochester in Hammond (250-260)
      Behn: Love Armed (Todd 329), The Disappointment (Todd 331), Song (Todd 342), To the Fair Clarinda (Todd 343), On Desire (Todd 344)
      Other selections in Hammond 233-247
      Post 11

    Apr 12: Poetry: Death and dying
      Dryden: To My Honoured Kinsman (Hammond 161-166), To the Memory of Mr. Oldham (Hammond 177-8); An Ode on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell; Ode on Anne Killigrew (See Walker; also in course docs)
      Rochester: Upon Nothing (Hammond 378) and Satire Against Reason and Mankind (Hammond 371)
      Post 12

    Apr 19: Poetry: Verse Miscellany
      A collection of Poems Written Upon Several Occasions... 1673
      Poems Upon Several Occasions by Mrs. A. Behn ... 1684; both available through the database Early English Books.
      DUE Post 13 AND essay

    Apr 26: Poetry: Retirement
      Philips, Dryden, Cowley, Marvell, Congreve (Hammond 144-161)
      Revisit Oroonoko
      DUE Post 14

    May 5: FINAL EXAM from 3-5pm (This is a Wednesday.)

    Graded Assignments

    Weekly posts (14) 15%
    Critical Summary and weekly responses 10/5 %
    10-12 page research paper 30 %
    Final examination 30 %
    Research Annotation on Oroonoko 10 %

    This syllabus is subject to change.

    ** Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the instructor, in writing, by the second class meeting.

    Description of Graded Assignments

      Weekly Posts:

      For general description and specific requirements of this assignment, see my webpage on weekly posts. For each class, I will post a series of discussion questions and related information about the day’s reading. From this list, you can choose a question to focus your writing. Also, try to incorporate the ideas and observations made in other posts by your classmates. It is also your responsibility to read the posts (and print them out if necessary) before class, so that we can use these ideas as the starting point for our class discussion.

      Critical Summary and Weekly Response:

      (Approx. 3 pages or about 900 words posted to WIKI):
      Beginning Feb. 1, one student each week will choose and introduce a scholarly article on the reading for that week. The student should identify the article and provide the citation for the class on the assignment wiki on Blackboard AT LEAST ONE WEEK BEFORE IT IS DUE. All members of the class will be responsible for reading the essay and discussing it in class. The student presenter will write a 3-5 page critical summation and evaluation of the article to be turned in for a grade. This should also be posted to the class WIKI.

      The presentation/summation should include the following information: full citation, statement of the article's thesis or main argument, outline of main points, discussion of evidence and support, description of critical methods used, summary of the argument, use value of the article, assessment of the validity of the arguments, and at least four critical discussion questions or directions for further research. This is a challenging assignment that asks you to understand the workings of scholarship; you need to be able to do this so that you can evaluate scholarly opinions and develop your own. Some key questions for you to consider in approaching this assignment are: How is knowledge arrived at in this reading of literature? (Is literature the focus of the essay or something else?) What counts as evidence in this essay? How do we -- as students of literature -- evaluate these knowledge claims?

      Articles must be published between 1990 and 2010 unless the article has achieved classic status; please check with me ahead of time. Students may elect to use the recommended reading for the class, as long as it is not an essay from Literature Compass or one of the various Companion volumes. These essays are either primarily for reference or too idiosyncratic for the purposes of this assignment. Students are encouraged to research their choices beginning with the course bibliography and the reference tools I have listed in “Eighteenth-century Reference and Research” This includes both online sources, indexes and materials housed in the library.These reports are due to the WIKI by Friday before class by noon. Please submit a formatted copy to the instructor by email.

      Response to critical summary: Each week students are required to read the critical summation before class and add a substantive comment (minimum 100 words) in the comment section of the WIKI page. These informal posts should be critical reflections on the reports, designed for public posting and discussion. The subject should ALWAYS be the report itself, not the writer. The audience is our class. The tone should be professional: critical but reasonable and with minimal unselfconscious emotional reaction.

      Each response should be a minimum of 100 words and engage in the critical conversation around the report. In addition to the ideas mentioned above for writing the paper, some ideas you might want to consider in forming your responses follow:

    • Did the author clearly identify the article's main point?

    • Does the summation ignore any significant points that you would like to address?

    • Does he or she offer an assessment based on the information presented?

    • What are the implications of the information presented?

    • What intellectual values (or other) are at stake in the position taken?
    • How does this information relate to the texts we have read for class?

    • What did you learn from this article evaluation?

    • What questions does this summation inspire?

      Responses are due by noon on Monday. They will be evaluated on the basis of competence in writing and reasoning, on the lucidity of points and questions raised, on promptitude and effort to engage in critical conversation.

      For class discussion, the student author should review the main structure and key points of the essay and then respond to comments and questions from the wiki. We will diagnose the essay in more detail in class.

      Research Paper: DUE April 19

      Throughout the semester we will practice methods of generating ideas for authentic writing about the literature of the Restoration, and you should be thinking about a potential topic from the start. All students will be required to write a minimum of 10-12 page paper (although PhD students taking this for seminar credit will be expected to write a 20 page paper). This is an appropriate length for a conference presentation and/or the master's portfolio that will go into effect in 2010-2011. As we investigate the workings of scholarship on Restoration literature, see critical summary assignment above, we will also discuss ways for students to write about meaningful topics. There is a substantial body of reference material available for the study of production and performance in Restoration theatre, and if you write on a play you should begin your research by investigating the works listed on the course bibliography for drama. In particular you should consult The London Stage (on reserve and available as an e-book, see part I) and the Biographical Dictionary . . . of Stage Personnel in London 1660-1800 (16 vols. in reference PN2597.H5 and as an e-book). The course bibliography will also lead to you references on other topics for the course. You will be expected to turn in a plan for your essay three weeks before it is due; in this plan I expect to read your topic appropriately delineated for the length of writing you are doing, a series of questions that you are investigating and the evidence you hope to find to support your ideas, as well as the scholarly references that provide context and support for you project. Please follow rules for MLA documentation and style. (Students taking the seminar credit can negotiate a later due date.) Also, see my own guidelines for formal writing.

      Final Examination: Scheduled for May 5, 3:00-5:00 pm

      Throughout the course we will identify issues and questions that will serve as good essay questions in preparation for exams. The final examination for this class will be a comprehensive essay test in which the students should demonstrate an understanding of the literature, history and social issues; skills of critical analysis and an awareness of critical issues.

      Research Annotation on Oroonoko

      We will be using Aphra Behn's 1688 novella as an anchor for this class, and this assignment allows us to return to the text recursively, to investigate questions that shape the text and the era and to address new concerns that arise with the gaining of new information. We will read this text first; it deals with a time at the beginning of the Restoration, though it was not published until late. The objective for this assignment is for the student to identify one element of the text that requires explanation. This can be a literary element, such as the use of the narrator or Behn's curious narrative structure, but it doesn't have to be. A student might address historical, geographical, biographical, political, religious, social or other aspects of the text. Prompted by some aspect of the text that requires further explanation, the student will research Oroonoko scholarship (or historical resources on or from the era) to present information that helps to explain the text. This does not have to be an argument. This does require research. With the help of my research assistant and Mary Ann O'Donnell's excellent annotated bibliography of Behn, I have put together an extensive bibliography on Oroonoko scholarship, which will be available in course docs. Students should consult this as well as any additional research that is necessary using the many references I have identified for you.

      The process should be one of discovery with the intent of sharing this information with our class to improve our understanding of a very curious and generative, not to mention influential, text. In the process, we will practice the tools of research that are necessary for advanced study of literature and meaningful engagement with the text that can produce topics for further writing.

      Students should ultimately prepare a 1-2 page written statement of the information you have discovered, complete with citations and any visual aids that support it. This will be turned in for a grade (I encourage email submission.) Students should also be prepared to present this information to the class in a brief (10 minute) oral presentation, with handouts or visual aids. The classroom will have access to computer projection and so you are encouraged to capitalize on any programs or internet sources that are available. Because these presentations will take place each week (along with the critical summary piece), students need to be mindful of time restrictions and keep to limits. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Students will sign up for dates using a course WIKI after the first week of class.

    Related Sites


    • Jim May's Bibliographies -- C18-L This selective checklist, partially annotated, enumerates printed sources for studying the period 1660-1820 published since 1988. It combines the lists of bibliographic tools compiled by Jim May for the September 1998, January 1999, and May 1999 issues of the East-Central Intelligencer, the newsletter-journal I edit for the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

    • 18C Resources Maintained by Jack Lynch, one of the many excellent on-line resources on general studies in eighteenth-century scholarship.

    • A Preface to Eighteenth Century Poetry Classic scholarship by James Sutherland, on line. First published in 1948, this work is now published by "Smartboard."

    • The Art of English Poetry by Edward Bysshe. This work, now online through the University of Virginia, was a popular poetry handbook in the eighteenth century. Its contents reveal what eighteenth-century reading audiences perceived to be standard tastes in poetry.

    • The Age of Dryden. Another classic scholarly text online, this site -- run by -- offers volume viii in the Cambridge History of English and American literature, Edited by A. W. Ward & A. R. Waller.

    Websites dedicated to Restoration subjects

    • Between the Revolutions: Reappraising the Restoration A Teaching and Learning Guide, hosted through History Compass, by Gary S. De Krey. This is also the author of our history text book for the class. The site is well worth visiting, but you need permission through the Library as it is a commercial database.

    • Thumbprints of Ephelia, hosted by ReSoundings and written by Maureen Mulvihill, Ph.D., this site offers extensive background and argument for the identification of the pseudonymous female poet of the Restoration court, Ephelia. A fascinating case of literary detective work. Includes a sound file with a contemporary recording of one of Ephelia's songs.

    • Voice of the Shuttle -- phenomenal web resource serving as a central location and interface for web information on literature. This link will take you to resources on Restoration literature.

      Note: there are many websites on individual authors. Use your discretion in choosing sites for your research. Generally, websites should be used for bibliographical or pictorial information, and you should continue to use print sources for other sources of information. (This, of course, does not refer to peer-reviewed web journals or databases that store journal articles.)

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