Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

ENGL335 Romantic Literature

A study of British verse and prose of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, ranging from Wordsworth and Blake to Jane Austen and John Clare.

The study of British literature of the Romantic era (1780-1837) has undergone profound change in the last few decades. This paper will examine the work of familiar Romantic-era writers like William Wordsworth and John Keats, but it will also include important works by lesser-known figures like Anna Barbauld and John Clare.

For most of the semester, we will focus on individual authors and familiarise ourselves with specific forms and ideas common to the Romantic era. Along the way we will consider major issues of the day: revolution, colonialism, the slave trade and industrialisation. In the final weeks our readings will shift from author-based to theme-based, as we examine how a variety of writers responded to historical, aesthetic and environmental changes in their world.

Paper title Romantic Literature
Paper code ENGL335
Subject English
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

18 200-level ENGL points
ENGL 211
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Students who have not passed the normal prerequisite may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department.
Teaching staff

Lecturer: Associate Professor Thomas McLean

Paper Structure

All material presented here is subject to change.

Weekly Overview

  • Week 1: Introduction; poetry of Charlotte Smith and Robert Burns
  • Week 2: Poetry of William Blake
  • Week 3: Matthew Lewis, The Monk
  • Week 4: Poetry of William Wordsworth and ST Coleridge
  • Week 5: Poetry of Robert Southey and ST Coleridge
  • Week 6: Library research sessions
  • Week 7: Poems of Anna Barbauld and Percy Shelley
  • Week 8: Poetry of John Keats
  • Week 9: Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
  • Week 10: Representing Ancient Worlds
  • Week 11: War and Exile
  • Week 12: Sublime and Beautiful
  • Week 13: Poetry of John Clare; review


  • Internal Assessment: 60%
  • Final Annotated Bibliography (25%)
  • Research Essay (25%)
    A major research project in which students conduct focused research on a topic in British Romantic era literature, create an annotated bibliography based on that research and then write an essay further exploring the topic
  • Recitation (10%)
    Each student must memorise three Romantic era sonnets. All works must come from assigned course readings. Students must choose sonnets from three different poets
  • Final Examination: 40%

All students must take the two-hour exam during the exam period.


English Romantic Poetry (Dover).
Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility (Penguin).
Matthew Lewis, The Monk (Penguin).
Additional readings available through eReserve.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Critical thinking, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will gain

  • A familiarity with significant writers, literary themes and literary genres of the British Romantic era
  • An understanding of the historical and social contexts that helped shape Romantic literature
  • Mastery of research skills required for advanced inquiry into British Romantic era literature

^ Top of page


Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system