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Literature 3B: British Literature from Bunyan to Blake


Admission Requirements



Literature 3B introduces students to British literature from the final decades of the seventeenth century until the end of the eighteenth century. The works in question will be read within various historical contexts and will be discussed in light of key eighteenth-century concepts such as enlightenment, reasonableness, decorum, the self, faith, the public sphere, sensibility, the imagination and revolution. Because the novel has become such a dominant literary genre in our time, extra attention will be paid to the development of this genre in the eighteenth century. Other topics are stylistic and thematic developments from neoclassicism through sensibility towards romanticism.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course students will have gained a general knowledge of the major genres, themes and stylistic features of literature from the period 1678-1825, within their historical contexts.


The timetable will be available from July 1 onwards on the Department website.

Mode of Instruction

One two-hour seminar per week.


A 1500-word essay presented according to the MLA stylesheet (25%) and a written exam (75%).


This course is supported by Blackboard. Students should sign up before the beginning of the semester.

Reading list


  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Penguin Classics).

  • Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews (Penguin Classics). .

  • Stephen Greenblatt et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th edition, Vol. I and II; or, Volume C en D (New York/London: Norton, 2005).

  • Samuel Richardson, Pamela (Oxford World’s Classics).

  • Ann Radcliffe, A Sicilian Romance (Oxford World Classics).

  • William Godwin, Caleb Williams (Penguin).

  • Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th edition (MLA). Obligatory for second year students.

  • Martin Gray, A Dictionary of Literary Terms (Longman).


Students can register through uSis.

Register for ‘Contractonderwijs’ via:

Register for ‘À la Carte’ via:

Contact information

English Department, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103c. Phone: 071 527 2144, or mail:


The reading for Week 1 is: part 1 of Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress.