ENGL 2310W: British Literature to 1700


From the time writing was introduced along with Christianity in the seventh century, England has enjoyed a lively literary culture. That literature both shaped and was shaped by its cultural milieu, and in turn has helped form contemporary literary tastes and values. Much of that literature was composed within cultural conditions little studied in today's high schools and in forms of English no longer spoken, so class time will be spent on learning formative historical events and changes in the English language as well as the study of poetry, prose, and drama. Evaluation will include quizzes, informal written responses, formal essays, and three examinations. Note that, as a writing intensive class (that’s what the “W” after the course number means), we will spend extra time writing about the literature, with a particular focus on developing arguments through close reading.

Required Texts

  • The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise Edition, vol. A, 2nd ed. (Broadview, 2011)
  • The pass code (for accessing extra online content) that should come with your Broadview anthology if you purchased it new. If you purchased a used edition, you must buy a passcode ($6.95) at www.broadviewpress.com/babl (click “Buy a Website Passcode” from the right-hand menu).
  • William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Signet Classics) (other student editions may be acceptable, if you already own them; please bring them to me so that I can check them out)
  • Other texts will be made available online and in PDF format.