Spring 2019 - ENGL 330 D100

Studies in Victorian Literature (4)

Class Number: 1667

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    BLU 10655, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Two 100 division English courses and two 200 division English courses.



Addresses specific issues in Victorian literature in English. May be organized by author, genre, or critical approach and may include literature from outside of Britain. Students with credit for ENGL 329 or 333 may not take this course for further credit.


Publication in the Victorian Period

According to popular legend, in 1841 readers lined the docks of New York waiting for the latest instalment of Charles Dickens’ Old Curiosity Shop, eager to find out if Little Nell died. While most Victorian novelists did not achieve Dickens’ level of popularity, his use of serial publication in a weekly magazine to create suspense points to the importance of considering publication format when reading Victorian fiction. From Emily Brontë’s atmospheric gothic Wuthering Heights to Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford—which is, essentially, a book about British Amazons who dress their cows in knitwear—to George Eliot’s masterpiece Middlemarch to the acerbic wit of Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray, this course will explore works by some of the most significant Victorian novelists in the context of their early publication. The way these works were published—including timing, appearance, and venue—will allow us to ask questions such as: How does publication format affect form? What kinds of concerns guided authors trying to publish during this period? And, how does the way a work is published affect the way readers understand its literary value?


  • Participation and Attendance 10%
  • Presentation (10 minutes) 15%
  • Short Essay (4–6 pages) 20%
  • Final Project Proposal 15%
  • Participation in Mini-Conference 10%
  • Final Project 30%


A quick note about the course texts:

All of the readings for this course are in the public domain and, with the exception of Ella Hepworth Dixon's Story of a Modern Woman, exist in countless modern editions. The ones in the bookstore are editions that balance frugality with a helpful critical apparatus, but feel free to use any print copy that you can find.

The only exception to this rule is Oscar Wilde's A Picture of Dorian Gray, which has a complicated publication history and exists in more than one version. The Norton Critical Edition includes the text of both the 1890 and 1891 editions of the novel and, although I won't ask you to read both, we will be looking at them in class.



Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford

George Eliot, Middlemarch

Ella Hepworth Dixon, The Story of a Modern Woman (Broadview, 2004)

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Norton, 2006)

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html