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The University of Southampton

ENGL2106 Rakes to Romantics

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • a range of eighteenth-century fictional, poetic, and other texts
  • a range of recent and historical critical approaches to eighteenth-century literature, and their cultural contexts
  • the interrelationship of literary production, its reception and wider historical context
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • make connections between fictional and discursive writings of different genres
  • the relationships between long eighteenth-century literary modes and genres such as epistolary and, Gothic fiction; neoclassical and Romantic poetic forms; drama; and non-fiction.
  • question whether there are common historical or formal descriptors for the ‘long eighteenth century’.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • investigate, research and structure arguments around the particular themes and concerns of a vexed historical epoch
  • analyse and comment in detail on poetry, drama, essays, novels and philosophical texts
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • present your research findings confidently to the group
  • work in teams or pairs on specific set tasks
  • use internet resources effectively as part of historical research


The module moves chronologically from Restoration libertinism to Gothic fiction of the 1790s and to another famous libertine, Lord Byron. You will study texts in drama, poetry and fiction (Please note that texts may change from year to year): 1. George Etherege, The Man of Mode, William Wycherley, The Country Wife 2. Thomas Shadwell: The Libertine, Aphra Behn: The Rover 3. John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester: Poems 4. Seduction Narratives: Eliza Haywood, The British Recluse, and Elizabeth Rowe, Letters Moral and Entertaining 5. Matthew Lewis, The Monk 6. William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell 7. William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads 8. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein 9. John Keats, Poems, 1820 10. Lord Byron, Don Juan

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include - Lectures - Seminars - Office hours for individual feedback on essays Learning activities include - Office hours for individual feedback on essays - Experience of organizing and running a seminar - Individual study and research - Accessing and evaluating online resources This module includes a Learning Support Hour. This is a flexible weekly contact hour, designed to support and respond to the particular cohort taking the module from year to year. This hour will include (but not be limited to) activities such as language, theory and research skills classes; group work supervisions; assignment preparation and essay writing guidance; assignment consultations; feedback and feed-forward sessions.

Preparation for scheduled sessions75
Completion of assessment task125
Follow-up work50
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

British Association for Romantic Studies Website.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (from the Historical Texts database).

The 18th Century Commons.

Poetry and reviews.

British Periodicals Index.

British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies website.



MethodPercentage contribution
Critical essay  (3000 words) 50%
Timed Assignment  (3000 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Critical essay  (4000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Critical essay  ( words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

The cost of essential readings for this module will not typically exceed

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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