Bathing, Bonnets, and Boys! - Eighteenth-Century Literature and Adaptation

Gossip, crime, scandal, and monsters. Not words typically used to describe eighteenth-century England, a period that is remembered for its so-called Enlightened thinkers. Yet, if we look closely at some of the most popular texts from this period a very different picture is revealed. Over four exciting sessions we will examine popular reading materials from the eighteenth century, from salacious periodicals to sensational novels. We will develop a deeper understanding of what types of stories captivated the eighteenth-century reading public and appreciate the way these tastes still influence popular culture today.

DELIVERY MODE

  • Online

SUGGESTED READING

  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla
  • Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’ Diary
  • P.D James, Death Comes to Pemberley
  • Shonda Rhimes, Bridgerton (Netflix, 2020)
  • Simon Langton, Pride & Prejudice (BBC, 1995)


COURSE OUTLINE

  • The Real Lady Whistledown: We will examine the way gossip animated eighteenth-century Lon-don society, as suggested by the popularity of periodicals: The Tatler, The Spectator, and The Female Spectator.
  • That White Shirt: We will consider the evolution of heritage cinema and period drama by looking at the way Jane Austen’s novels have been adapted for stage and screen since their initial publication.
  • Monster Mash: The Gothic novel emerged in the eighteenth century, giving us some of the most iconic monsters from vampires to Frankenstein’s creature, this week we will explore reasons for their enduring appeal.
  • The Sensational Eighteenth Century: Finally, we will examine the rise of the sensational novel and the avid interest in crime stories amongst the eighteenth-century reading public. We will consider how this genre has been reimagined by authors such as P.D. James and M.C. Beaton.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Develop an understanding of eighteenth-century reading culture, including the development of the periodical, novel, and newspaper.
  2. Gain an appreciation for the significance of eighteenth-century novels and their ongoing influence on popular culture.
  3. Engage with and discuss a range of texts and their contemporary adaptations.
$145 Limited / $131

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19 Jul

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