The English Country House in Literature

Module code: EN7215

Module co-ordinator: Dr Julian North

This module will help you develop an awareness of the country house as a source of authorial inspiration. We'll look at the development of country house literature and assess a wide range of novels, plays, and poems as evidence about the places in which they are set.

Texts and topics studied will include:

  • Marvell's 'Upon Appleton House', which will be contrasted with other country house poems of the Cavalier/Jonsonian tradition
  • The classical and Gothic
  • Byron and the sexual turpitude of the Regency
  • Jane Austen                                   
  • Victorian laboratory space
  • Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh)
  • Heartbreak House (George Bernard Shaw)
  • The Family Reunion (T.S. Eliot)
  • Arcadia (Tom Stoppard)


  • Two 2,500-word essays or one 5,000-word essay