19th-Century British Literature

What follows is a list of the primary texts upon which you will be tested. The purpose of the list is to reduce the amount of material on which you will be asked direct questions to a representative and practical size. It is not to limit the depth and breadth of your reading. Obviously, reading other primary texts, historical studies, and secondary criticism is one of the best ways of preparing to deal effectively with the texts listed here. You are, of course, responsible for a general understanding and appreciation of the genres, themes, and techniques characteristic of the period.

Be familiar with the following themes: sublime, sentimentalism, wit, nature, neoclassicism, Augustanism.

  • Blake,
    Songs of Innocence and Experience
    The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
  • Wordsworth,
    Poems from Lyrical Ballads:
    "Simon Lee"
    "We are Seven"
    "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey"
    Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1802)
    "Strange fits of passion have I known"
    "She dwelt among the untrodden ways"
    "Three years she grew"
    "A slumber did my spirit seal"
    "I travelled among unknown men"
    "The Ruined Cottage"
    "Resolution and Independence"
    "Ode: Intimations of Immortality"
    "Elegiac Stanzas"
    The Prelude, or Growth of a Poet's Mind
  • D. Wordsworth,
    Selections from the Journals
  • Coleridge,
    "The Eolian Harp"
    "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison"
    "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
    "Kubla Khan"
    "Frost at Midnight"
    "Dejection: an Ode"
    Chapters 3,13,14,17 from Biographia Literaria
  • Lamb,
    "Christ's Hospital Five-and Thirty Years Ago"
    "The Two Races of Men"
    "Old China"
  • Hazlitt,
    "My first Acquaintance with Poets"
  • De Quincey,
    From Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
  • Byron,
    From Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
    From Don Juan
  • Shelley,
    "Mont Blanc"
    "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty"
    "Ode to the West Wind"
    From Prometheus Unbound
    From A Defence of Poetry
  • Keats,
    "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" and other sonnets
    "The Eve of St. Agnes"
    "Ode to Psyche"
    "Ode to a Nightingale"
    "Ode on a Grecian Urn"
    "Ode on Melancholy"
    "To Autumn"
    "The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream"
    Selected Letters
  • Carlyle,
    From Sartor Resartus
  • Mill,
    From "On Liberty"
    From "On the Subjection of Women"
    From ch. 5 of Autobiography
  • E. Browning,
    From Aurora Leigh
  • Tennyson,
    "The Lady of Shalott"
    "The Lotos-Eaters"
    "Locksley Hall"
    Songs from The Princess
    From In Memoriam A. H. H.
    From Maud
    "The Passing of Arthur"
  • R. Browning,
    "Porphyria's Lover"
    "My Last Duchess"
    "The Laboratory"
    "The Bishop Orders His Tomb"
    "Fra Lippo Lippi"
    "Andrea del Sarto"
    "Caliban upon Setebos"
    "Abt Vogler"
    "Rabbi Ben Ezra"
  • Arnold,
    "The Forsaken Merman"
    "To Marguerite—Continued"
    "The Buried Life"
    "Memorial Verses"
    "The Scholar Gypsy"
    "Dover Beach"
    "Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse"
  • Austen,
    Pride and Prejudice
    Northanger Abbey
  • Eliot,
    The Mill on the Floss
  • Dickens,
    Great Expectations
    Hard Times
  • C. Brontë,
    Jane Eyre
  • E. Brontë,
    Wuthering Heights
  • Thackeray,
    Vanity Fair
  • M. Shelley,
  • D. G. Rossetti
    From The House of Life
  • C. Rossetti,
    Goblin Market
  • Morris,
    The Defense of Guenevere
  • Wilde,
    The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Shaw,
    Man and Superman
    Major Barbara
    Mrs. Warren's Profession
  • Hardy,
    Tess of the d'Urbervilles
    Jude the Obscure
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