「英國浪漫主義」一詞，有時專指此時期( 1790-1830)的詩歌，但此期間的英國散文和小說的創新也具同等的重要性。浪漫主義小說家在各類型題材上開創革新，包括社會/哲學議題的小說、傷感和理性的小說以及歷史性小說。這些作家經歷了法國大革命、拿破崙戰爭和早期的工業革命，即使作品的背景和這些劇變中的歷史事件似乎遙不可及，但也傳達其混亂和變動的精神。在今年『重要的英文小說』課程中，我們將會讀到有關瘟疫、戰爭、狂暴的情緒和怪物等，作家則包括威廉•戈德溫(William Godwin) 、瑪麗亞•埃奇沃斯 (Maria Edgeworth)、珍•奧斯汀 (Jane Austen)、瑪麗•雪萊 (Mary Shelley)和華特•司各特 (Walter Scott) 。在學期的最後幾週，我們會閱讀維多利亞時期的巨著之一︰狄更斯(Charles Dickens) 的《遠大前程》(Great Expectations)，與先前作品對照。另外，每人必須撰寫兩篇論文，一篇約五到七頁，另一篇則是八到十頁，最後則是口述報告。
Though the era of British Romanticism (ca. 1790-1830) is sometimes exclusively associated with the poetry of these years, this period was just as importantly a time of great innovation in British prose fiction. Romantic novelists pioneered or revolutionized several genres, including social/philosophical problem novels, tales of sentiment and sensibility, and the historical novel. Writing in the years of the French Revolution, the Napoleonic wars, and the early industrial revolution, these writers conveyed a spirit of chaos and upheaval even in stories whose settings are seemingly farthest removed from those cataclysmic historical events. In this year's offering of "Major English Novels," we will read of plagues, wars, hysterics, monsters and more in novels by authors including William Godwin, Maria Edgeworth, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, and Walter Scott. In the final weeks of the semester, we will read one major novel of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, in light of these earlier texts. There will be two essay assignments, one 5-7 pages and one 8-10 pages in length, and required presentations.
Students are required to attend all class sessions and to participate. I do not evaluate class participation in terms of how many brilliant things you say in the course of the semester, but I require you to have read the texts thoroughly and to come to class prepared to talk about them. In addition, every student will be required to deliver at least one presentation on an assigned work during the semester. These presentations, between 15-20 minutes in length, should be conceived as exercises in literary interpretation through close analysis, and should ideally help to stimulate a discussion through arguments and questions.
For each essay assignment, I will distribute a handout detailing requirements and due dates. Feel free to come and discuss with me written assignments before they are due if you have any questions or problems.
Statement on Plagiarism
Plagiarism - use of another's intellectual work without acknowledgement - is a serious offense. It is the policy of the Literature Faculty that students who plagiarize will receive an F in the subject, and that the instructor will forward the case to the Committee on Discipline. Full acknowledgement for all information obtained from sources outside the classroom must be clearly stated in all written work submitted. All ideas, arguments, and direct phrasings taken from someone else's work must be identified and properly footnoted. Quotations from other sources must be clearly marked as distinct from the student's own work. For further guidance on the proper forms of attribution consult the style guides and the MIT Website on Plagiarism located at: http://web.mit.edu/writing/Special/plagiarism.html.
MIT's academic honesty policy can be found at the following link: http://web.mit.edu/policies/10.0.html