ENG20460 From Victorian to Modern Literature, 1830-1914

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module introduces students to literature from the 1830s to the first decades of the twentieth century. This period of dramatic change, as Britain moved from a predominantly rural economy to become an urbanised, industrialised nation will be discussed with reference to key issues such as transforming attitudes about gender and sexuality; changing class and community relations; debates about democracy and the role of Empire; and the growth of new sciences and technologies. We will consider how such writers as Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Robert Browning, Thomas Carlyle, and Virginia Woolf addressed and reflected such issues in their work, across various genres including the novel, drama, the short story, the poem and the essay. We will also consider how the literature of this period relates to the Romanticism that preceded it and we will consider the forces of Modernism that transformed Victorian and Edwardian aesthetics.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Familiarity with a range of nineteenth-century literary forms
Demonstrate knowledge of major writers of the period and and understanding of how their work both reflects and interrogates key social, political and cultural issues of the time.
Increased understanding of the ways that Victorian literature relates to Romantic and Modern Literature
Ability to write critically about a range of nineteenth and early-twentieth century texts.

Indicative Module Content:

Literary forms and historical context; attitudes to gender and sexuality; changing class and community relations; debates about democracy and the role of Empire; and the growth of new sciences and technologies, periodization.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures, small group teaching, independent study. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

You should have completed ENG10060 Literature in Context 2 to best benefit from this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
ENG30240 - Nineteenth-Century Literature, ENG31290 - Victorian to Modern (EVENING)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Mid-term written assignment Unspecified n/a Graded No


Examination: End-of-term Exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam Yes Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on essays will be offered in the following weeks.

The longer texts for this course will be:

Charlotte Brontë, Villette
H.G. Wells, The Time Machine
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway

Other texts will include Dion Boucicault's play The Octoroon, and a range of short fiction, poetry, and non-fiction prose.

Name Role
Dr Sarah Comyn Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Fionnuala Dillane Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Niamh Pattwell Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr Niels Caul Tutor
Mr Stefano Rosignoli Tutor