English Literature II
Cod: 51172
Department: DH
Scientific area: Literature
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

The 19th century and the transition to the 20th were of great importance to Great Britain, in terms of its projection as a colonizing and industrial force and of its relevance in the fields of literary and cultural production. In this context, the work of William Blake stands out, as it uniquely registers the social tensions surrounding the emergence of British industrialism and plants the seeds of the literary movement that would later become known as romanticism, and would feature such important figures as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats and Shelley. Studying the poetry of Tennyson and Browning allows us to accompany the transition from the romantic period to the Victorian age, perhaps best known for the emergence of the realist novel, as exemplified in the work of Charles Dickens and George Eliot. A master of the narrative form in the last years of the 19th century, Joseph Conrad's work places him at the juncture between the Victorian period and the new and dynamic phase of cultural change known as modernism. This movement will be studied through the narrative, poetic and critical works of such figures as James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot, among others. During the course unit, work from other fields of artistic production (painting and film) will be used to exemplify the strategies of representation characteristic of the periods in question, as well as to help situate the dynamic of literary innovation in a broader cultural context.

Victorian Literature
Prose / Poetry

The students enrolled in this curricular unit will become familiar with the general contours of 19th and early 20th century English literature and its attendant economic, social, political and cultural backgrounds. This period will be taken up in terms of texts, authors, movements and genres which most contributed to its definition. The competences students will be expected to develop in this unit are the following:
• The capacity to analyze the textual features of a literary work (of fiction, poetry or criticism) and to relate these to its historical context;
• The capacity to utilize diverse cultural and intellectual references in the construction of an individual critical discourse;
• The capacity to identify the major lines of cultural evolution that characterize the particular historical context under consideration, with reference to the works, authors and events that most contributed to its formation.

The general thematic lines of this unit will take shape through the detailed study of the following authors, movements and topics:

• The beginning of English romanticism as figured in the work of William Blake;
• Victorian poetry: Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning;
• The English realist novel: Charles Dickens and George Eliot;
• The literature of the 19th century and the visual arts (Blake, Turner, Whistler, Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites);
• Modernist poetry: W. B. Yeats e T. S. Eliot;
• Modernist narratives: Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence;
• Literary modernism and the visual arts (painting and cinema).

Cunha, G., coord. Literatura Inglesa III. Lisboa, Universidade Aberta, 2001.
Dickens, C. Hard Times. Eds. George Ford and Sylvère Monod, A Norton Critical Edition. Norton, 1990 (2d ed.).
Greenblatt, S., et. al., eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th ed. Vol. 2. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2006.


Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a final digital test, Global e-folio (e-folio G) at the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final exam (100%).

Students are required to have good knowledge/command of English and a basic knowledge of the historical/cultural heritage of Europe and England during the Middle Ages and the period in question. Students are recommended to attend to Literature course units respecting their sequence.