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English Literature : 18th and 19th Century


Contemporary socio-cultural and political forces of life are always strong and they are always reflected in the literature of that time. So, it becomes necessary to take a review of the same. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Byron Keats did not come into being overnight. There were strong efforts of their predecessors who were also great literary figures and wanted to change the track of pseudo-classical urban literature. These writers and their efforts cannot be ignored. Of course, Romanticism was a reaction to the earlier poetry and it is notable but it emerged at the end of the 18th century. The Romantic poets and their predecessors fulfilled the needs of the reading public. At the same time, there emerged the need of a new genre like novel for the sake of light reading and entertainment. It was fulfilled by the various contemporary novelists. These poets and novelists paved the path for the forthcoming Victorians.
Surely, Victorians had their own issues and priorities. They did not want to follow the footsteps of Pope, Dr. Johnson or the key Romantic writers. But the germs of Romanticism did not vanish completely in this period also. Every writer is a product of his time. He develops his individual style. And gives his own perspective of life. Tennyson, Browning, Arnold are the all-time masters of letters who have shaped their time and marked prints on time. Their contribution, representative poems and analysis are covered in the present work.

English Literature of 18th Century

1. Background study of Poetry in the 18th Century
1.1 The Age of the 18th Century: Exposition, 1.2 Literary Trends of the Age : 1.2.1 Literary Trends in the First Half of the 18th Century, 1.2.2 Literary Trends in Later Half of the 18th century, 1.2.3 The Pre-Romantics, 1.2.4 The Chief Characteristics of Pre-romantic Poetry, 1.3 The Pre-romantic Poets

2. Poetry of the Romantic Age Romanticism: Exposition
2.1 The Concept of Romanticism, 2.2 The “Lyrical Ballads”, 2.3 The Second Generation of the Romantics, 2.4 The Romantics and Romantic Poetry : 2.4.1 William Wordsworth, • Biographical and Literary Background, • Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey (The Poem), • Summary and Critical Analysis : 2.4.2 S. T. Coleridge, • The Poet – Rhyme to an Ancient Mariner (The Poem), • Summary, • Form, • Commentary, 2.4.3 John Keats • Ode on a Grecian Urn (The Poem), • Summary • Form • Commentary, 2.4.4 P B Shelley: One Word is too often Profaned, • Summary • Form • Commentary, 2.4.5 Lord Byron • She Walks in Beauty • Summary • Form • Commentary

3. Development of Novel as a Form in the 18th Century
3.1 The Earlier Efforts, 3.2 First novel Pamela or Virtue Rewarded, 3.3 The Romantic period

4. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
4.1 Sense and Sensibility: The Story, 4.2 Critical Evaluation of the Novel, 4.3 Characterization in Sense and Sensibility, • Elinor Dashwood • Marianne Dashwood • Edward Ferrars • John Willoughby • Colonel Brandon

English Literature of 19th Century

5. The Victorian Age
5.1 Chief Characteristics of Victorian Period, 5.2 Victorian Poetry : 5.2.1 Alfred Lord Tennyson – Introduction : • The Lotus-Eaters (Poem) • Summary of the Poem • Form • Commentary : 5.2.2 Robert Browning – Introduction • Rabbi Ben Ezra (The Poem) • Summery • Analysis : 5.2.3 Mathew Arnold – Introduction • Dover Beach (Poem) • Summery • Analysis : 5.2.4 Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Introduction • The Blessed Damozel • Summary : 5.2.5 Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89). Introduction • Pied Beauty (Poems) • Summary • Form • Commentary

6. Development of Victorian Novels
6.1 Charles Dickens and Other Victorian Novelists, 6.2 Women Novelists of the Victorian Era, 6.3 Late Victorian Novelists

7. Tess of the D’Urbervillers by Thomas Hardy
7.1 Thomas Hardy as a Novelist, 7.2 Tess of the D’Urbervilles : The Story, 7.3 The D’Urbervilles Character Analysis, 7.4 Background, 7.5 Critical Commentary
• Appendix – I
• Appendix – II
• References


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