Studies in British Literature: Restoration Era through World War I

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Course Code
ENGL 2117
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered


Course Description
This course is a survey of major representative works of the late 17th through the early 20th centuries, studied in the context of the dramatic shifts in British culture following the Renaissance. A significant portion of the readings will be poetry, from the Restoration, Neo-Classical, Romantic and Victorian Periods, and from the beginnings of the 20th Century Modernist era.
Course Content

All second-year English literature courses share the following features:

  1. Students are presumed to be proficient in the writing of critical essays on literary subjects.
  2. Students are required to read in the course subject area beyond the texts assigned by the instructor or discussed in class.
  3. Students are required to incorporate into their oral and written coursework secondary source materials. These may include autobiographical or biographical material; literary criticism or theory; unassigned texts by the author under study; relevant cultural or intellectual history; or other arts, such as music, film, or fine arts.
  4. Readings and topics will vary with each instructor’s presentation of a course; however, all course materials are consistent with the objectives/outcomes for this course.

 In English 2117, students will examine:

  1. changing theories about the nature and purpose of poetry (poetics), and about the social role and personal qualities of the poet.
  2. the reflection in literature of social issues such as industrialization and urbanization; the rise of the middle class; scientific discoveries and their impact on religious belief and depictions of nature; and changing views of liberty and individual rights, the roles and depictions of women, and social class.

 The syllabus for 2117 will typically draw from works like the following:

  • Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (selections)
  • Pope, Essay on Criticism (selections)
  • Periodical essays by writers such as Johnson, Addison, and Steele
  • Equiano, Interesting Narrative (selections)
  • A selection of Romantic lyric poetry (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats)
  • A selection of Victorian lyric poetry (Tennyson, Barrett Browning, Browning, Christina Rossetti)
  • Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Conrad, Heart of Darkness
  • A selection of late 19th/early 20th century poetry (Hopkins, Hardy, Yeats)
  • A selection of World War I poetry
Methods Of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  • Lecture/discussion;
  • Group work;
  • Peer editing;
  • Group or individual presentations;
  • Independent research;
  • Instructor feedback on students’ work; and
  • Individual consultation.
Means of Assessment
  1. A minimum of two formal academic essays, with a combined value of at least 40% of the course grade.
  2. A minimum of 80% of the course grade will be based on writing assignments (essays, essay-based exams, journals, paragraphs).  A maximum of 20% of the course grade may be based on informal writing (quizzes, short answer tests); oral reports/presentations; participation/preparation grades; and/or other non writing-intensive assignments.
  3. A minimum of 15% of the course grade will be based on in-class writing (essay or exam).

According to the College Evaluation Policy, the final grade awarded to each student shall consist of at least three separate assessments. No single assessment will be weighted at more than 40% of the final course grade.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of any second-year English literature course, the student should be able to

  1. use with increased proficiency the skills of literary analysis taught in first-year English courses;
  2. recognize the significance of the literary and non-literary or cultural context of a work being studied, such as the biographical, historical, mythological or philosophical context;
  3. read critically and use in essays secondary sources, such as criticism and other texts by the same author, as an aid to comprehending the primary text(s) being studied;
  4. read critically and independently works or aspects of works not discussed in class; and
  5. formulate a thesis on a given subject in one or more specific works, and to develop this thesis using suitable textual evidence.

Upon completion of English 2117, the student should also have a deeper understanding of

  1. the literary principles underlying British poetry;
  2. the characteristic aesthetic qualities and world views associated with the literature from each of the eras studied;
  3. the cultural shifts within which British literature developed from the late 17th century through the early 20th century, including intellectual, social, political, economic, and technological changes;
  4.  the evolution of secular humanism as represented in literature, for example the struggles for women’s rights and for the abolition of slavery; and
  5. the evolution of Western conceptualizations of the individual, as represented through literature.
Textbook Materials

An anthology of British Literature, such as Abrams et al, Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vols. C, D, E, and F (current edition) 



Any two university-transfer first-year English literature courses, or one university-transfer first-year English literature course and one university-transfer first-year Creative Writing or English writing course.                                                                           


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Camosun College (CAMO) CAMO ENGL 282 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU ENGL 2XX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Emily Carr University of Art & Design (EC) EC ENGL 200 lev (3) 2015/09/01 to -
Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) FDU ENGL 2204 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ENGL 2317 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Langara College (LANG) LANG ENGL 2224 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ENGL 2XX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ENGL 2210 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU ENGL 2XX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO ENGL 221 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ENGL 221 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENGL 212 (3) 2014/09/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV ENGL 2XX (3) 2014/09/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ENGL 200B (1.5) 2014/09/01 to -
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU ENGL 2nd (3) 2014/09/01 to -

Course Offerings

Fall 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.