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ENG 281

British Writers I

This course surveys works of representative British authors from Anglo-Saxon times through the Augustan period. It is designed for students wishing to acquaint themselves with this broad area of British letters.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

Fall Semester information

Nicole Lobdell

281A: British Writers I

ENG 281 surveys British literature from approximately 680 to 1780 CE. Survey courses such as this are reading intensive with the goal that students will cover, or "survey," a large sample of texts and authors. To this end, we'll begin with Old English literature such as "The Wanderer" and Beowulf, which reflect Britain's tribal and Anglo-Saxon past, and then move to Chaucer's Middle English with Canterbury Tales, followed by the Early-Modern English of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Then we will explore the politics and literature surrounding the period directly after England's Civil War (1642-1651), and finally conclude with eighteenth-century literature including a reading of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Accessible to students from every discipline, the course covers mostly canonical authors across a variety of genres and addresses the shifts in the literary landscape.