A Literary Genre: The Novel

Module code: EN1020
Module co-ordinator: TBC

Fiction represents reality, but what constitutes 'the real' is highly problematic. In this module you will study the origin, development, and characteristics of generically related texts, considering literary conventions and literary history and how both may be related to social and cultural contexts. You will be encouraged to think and write about the influence authors have had on one another, and to relate the personal experience of reading to the discipline of English as an academic study. 

In tracing the development of the novel across time, we will explore relevant literary movements including 19th century realism, modernism and postmodernism. We will also debate issues of narrative representation and point of view.

Topics covered

You will study seven novels altogether. The following five are mandatory:   

  • Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
  • Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
  • Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

You will also read two of the following three novels (the selection is determined by your tutor):

  • Samuel Richardson, Pamela
  • George Eliot, Adam Bede
  • DH Lawrence, The Rainbow


  • 11 hours of lectures
  • 11 hours of seminars
  • 178 hours of guided independent study


  • Secondary sources assignment (30%)
  • Essay, 2,500 words (70%)