course we will undertake a study of one of the central
fissures of early-nineteenth century literature: the
city and the country. We
will spend a traditional half-semester in formal classes
at Salisbury University before traveling to the U.K. for
spring break in order to examine and explore many of the
environs depicted in the texts under consideration.
While in the U.K. we will spend time
in both central London and the beautiful Lake District
outside of the metropolis that inspired so many great
XIX century artists. We will spend the remainder
of the semester in traditional classes, reading and
ENGL 399/Honr 311:
Century London and the Lakes: Literary City-Country
The Romantic Period saw the
emergence of the “Lake Poets” as a cohesive group and
also of the “Cockney” School of poetry, and that
opposition of style, subject, and
geographical base will be central
to the course. We will begin our reading in the city of
London with William Blake (as well as exploring his
desire for a pastoral landscape) before moving to the
country with two of the century’s greatest poets,
William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. We’ll
explore Mother Nature’s role in their successful
collaboration in Lyrical Ballads; Dorothy
Wordsworth’s role in and contributions to crafting the
landscapes we will then walk will also be a topic in
this section of the course. We will consider the ways
in which Thomas De Quincey’s retreat to the country did
not enable him to overcome his drug addiction, although
it did allow him to write his reflections of troubled
times within the city (interestingly enough, he lived in
Wordsworth’s house right after the great poet moved up
the hill!). We will travel with Jane Austen from
country to city life before examining how John Keats
endeavors to find nature at London’s edge. We will end
with Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, exploring how
the city ‘corrupts’ a country boy and how the Victorian
age sees literary progressions into social territories.
spring break, students in "London and the Lakes" head to
Britain to live the literature they have been reading
during the semester. The group arrives in London
and takes the train out of the city into the
country to the beautiful Lake District. Students
will hike around Windermere Lake, visit Rydal Mount
and Dove Cottage, and ride the Windermere ferry.
They will then travel back to central London to visit
such famous cultural landmarks as Buckingham Palace, the
London Eye, the London Museum, and both Keats' and
Dickens' houses. By the end of spring break, students will have explored
in person the opposition between urban London and the
breathtaking English countryside that helped to define
the Romantic period.
Students will stay in
youth hostels in both London and the
Lake District including complimentary breakfast at most
of the accommodations.
The price for the "London and the
Lakes" program is estimated to be $2000.
Final cost will be determined in Fall
all accommodations in England,
most group travel by train and metro
in the U.K., most breakfasts
and entrance fees, and extensive travel assistance by
the program director, Dr. Lucy Morrison, a native
to a completed application, students should submit the
following to the Program Director:
completed faculty recommendation form from a faculty
member who knows the student well.
form available here.
unofficial transcript demonstrating an overall Grade
Point Average GPA of 2.5.
deadline is December 1, 2010.