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Philology 5: Late Modern English


Admission requirements

Successful completion of Philology 1, 2 and 3 or equivalent courses.


Letters, journals, memoirs, presentments, wills, recipes and newspapers: these are all different text types the study of which aims to illustrate the use of English other than that commonly found in printed documents. In this course, we will read a large variety of texts to study the English as it was used during the Late Modern English period (1700–1900). We will focus on differences between these texts and printed documents, as well as from present-day Standard English. In addition, we will look at texts by men and women, as well as by people from different sociolinguistic backgrounds, including people who were practically illiterate. We will concentrate on spelling, pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and style of writing, and in doing so we will make use, wherever possible, of databases that are available online. We will also analyse relevant texts with the help of the concordancing program WordSmith Tools, available in the Lipsius computer labs.

Course objectives

This course builds on experience acquired during the first two years of the BA curriculum in English philology, particularly as it regards the history of the English language, but also on the linguistics courses. At the end of the course students will have a good insight into the nature and language of different text types from the Late Modern English period (1700–1900), and of their relationship with the more standard printed texts of the time. They will be able to analyse and identify the typical textual and linguistic characteristics of these text types, and apply their skills when writing a BA thesis in the field of Late (or Early) Modern English.


See timetable English

Mode of instruction


Course Load

The course load of this course is 280 hours.

  • hours spent on attending classes: 26 hours

  • time for studying the compulsory literature/preparing weekly assignments: 144 hours

  • time to prepare for oral presentation and the writing of a paper (including reading/research): 30 + 80 hours

Assessment method

  • presentation 15%

  • final paper 75%

  • weekly contribution in class 10%

Students will have successfully passed the course if the average course mark is a 6 or higher.
If the final grade is 5 or less students may only resit the insufficient course component(s). Students may not resit the weekly contribution in class (10%).
Attendance is compulsory. Unauthorized absence will mean that you cannot take part in the relevant exam(s).


There will be a Blackboard module for the course where the weekly programme and other relevant information can be found. Students will be expected to post weekly comments and/or questions on the basis of their reading. These comments are part of the mark for their weekly participation in the course.

Reading list

Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade (2009), An Introduction to Late Modern English. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Mats Rydén, Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade and Merja Kytö (eds.) (1998). A Reader in Early Modern English. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. (This book is out of print, but a copy is available in the University Library.)

Additional reading material (texts and background reading), available through Blackboard or in one of the reading rooms of the University Library.

Important: Students are expected to have a copy of An Introduction to Late Modern English from week 1 onwards, since it will be used for the weekly reading.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory. Please note that students other than BA English language and culture studies will have to have permission from the coordinator of studies before enrolling.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Student administration Van Eyckhof


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