This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others.
Are Victorian-era “sensation” novels only all about secrets, deception, and the survival of the hero — or does the genre have something to teach us? Enjoy three lively novels (The Woman in White, Lady Audley’s Secret, and Great Expectations) — and develop your critical reasoning, imagination, and knowledge of the stories’ historical and literary context — with outrageously fun reading.
Delve into the mystery and atmospherics of this highly popular Victorian genre! Drawing from the Gothic tradition and the burgeoning popularity of mystery fiction, these novels are all about secrets, deception, and the moral and physical survival of the hero! Is this genre merely outrageous and fun, or does it have something to teach us? In addition to cultivating artistic appreciation and a love of reading, this course facilitates the development of critical reasoning, the disciplined use of the imagination, and a strong knowledge of historical and literary context.
Week 1: Introduction & The Woman in White, Preface & First Epoch, Story begun by Walter Hartright.
Week 2: The Woman in White, First Epoch, Story continued by Vincent Gilmore, to the end of the First Epoch, & Second Epoch, Chapters I to VI.
Week 3: The Woman in White, Second Epoch, Chapter VII to the end of the Second Epoch.
Week 4: The Woman in White, Third Epoch (in full).
Week 5: Lady Audley’s Secret, Volume 1, Chapters I to XI (“The mark upon my lady’s wrist”).
Week 6: Lady Audley’s Secret, Volume I, Chapter XII (“Still Missing”) to Volume II, Chapter IV (“Coming to a standstill”)
Week 7: Lady Audley’s Secret, Volume II, Chapter V (“Clara”) through Chapter XIII (“Phoebe’s Petition”)
Week 8: Lady Audley’s Secret, Volume III (“The Red Light in the Sky” to the end of the novel).
Week 9: Great Expectations, Chapters 1–15.
Week 10: Great Expectations, Chapters 16–29.
Week 11: Great Expectations, Chapters 30–44.
Week 12: Great Expectations, Chapters 45 to the end of the novel.
Course materials: Great Expectations (Charles Dickens), Woman in White (Wilkie Collins), Lady Audley’s Secret (Mary Elizabeth Braddon). For GE, the Ignatius Critical Edition is strongly recommended! (Any editions are accepted. These are all also in the public domain and available online via Project Gutenberg.)
Homework: Expect to spend approximately 3 hours per week on homework. This will mostly be reading, weekly identification quizzes, a handful of other small assignments, a concluding quiz/assignment, and recommended participation in Moodle-based forums. Students can also sign up for an optional literary essay with 6 weeks to complete.