ENG32220 Popular Fiction in Britain

Academic Year 2022/2023

What makes a novel popular, and why do some popular novels fade into obscurity after a brief moment of fame? This course will look at bestselling fiction in Britain from the beginning of the twentieth century to the early years of the Cold War. Students who complete this module successfully will have a knowledge of some of the genres of popular fiction in this period; of the debates about popular literature; of the politics of the popular novel; and of the changes in the publishing industry that underpinned the rise of the modern bestseller.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this module successfully will have a knowledge of some of the genres of popular fiction in this period; of the debates about popular literature; of the politics of the popular novel; and of the changes in the publishing industry that underpinned the rise of the modern bestseller.

Indicative Module Content:

Reading List:
John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915). The thriller/spy story. [bookshop, Library short loan, project Gutenberg, Kindle]
E.M. Hull, The Sheik (1919). [excerpts. Library. Full text on archive.org] Exotic romance on page and screen.
M.R. James and others. Short supernatural fiction. [available online]
Agatha Christie, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1916). Detective fiction. [Bookshop, UCD Library, Kindle, Gutenberg.]
Stella Gibbons, Cold Comfort Farm (1932). [Excerpts ] Comic fiction
P.G. Wodehouse, short stories. Comic fiction.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937) Fantasy [available free online]
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids (1951) Science Fiction [Bookshop, Library, Kindle]
Ian Fleming, Casino Royale (1952). Thriller. [Bookshop, Library, Kindle]

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities

76

Autonomous Student Learning

100

Seminar (or Webinar)

24

Total

200

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:

Seminar based on in-class discussion, group work, short assignments. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: Final essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded Yes

70

Continuous Assessment: midterm assignment Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No

30


Carry forward of passed components
Yes
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915)
E.M. Hull, The Sheik (1919).
M.R. James, Elizabeth Bowen, Marghanita Laski: Short supernatural fiction
Agatha Christie, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1916).
Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (1938)
P.G. Wodehouse, selected short stories.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937)
John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids (1951)
Ian Fleming, Casino Royale (1952).