Jul 13, 2024  
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2023-2024 
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENGL 209 - English Literature Before 1798

3 Credits: (3 lecture)

Course Description
This course is a survey of the writings of English authors from Anglo-Saxon times to 1798, with the principal emphasis upon recognized masterpieces of literature. This course meets the General Education competency of Critical Thinking (CT).

Note Fall semester only.

Prerequisite ENGL 101 or permission of instructor.


Greenblatt, Steven, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 10th ed. Vols. A,  B, & C. Norton, 2018. 



Lumiansky, R. M., tr. The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer. Washington Square Press, 1971.  

The student will be able to: 

A. Evaluate a diverse collection of evidence related to a specific British Literature question/thesis. (CT) 

B. Synthesize the evidence and draw conclusions and cite examples of literary forms (genres) prominent in each era. (CT) 

C. Identify and explain some of the influences of the social, political, scientific, historical, religious, or artistic worlds that manifest themselves in the literature produced in each era. (CT) 

D. Identify and explain the ways in which the literature of each era has been influenced by the literature of previous eras. 

E. Compile written, verbal, or visual responses to the evidence that acknowledges alternative explanations through critical papers. 

F. Participate in oral discussions in which he demonstrates his ability to think critically about literature through analyzing and synthesizing the ideas presented in the works read.  

G. Write papers and participate in oral discussions in which he will demonstrate one’s own understanding of what the authors he has read believe is the nature of mankind. 

A. Anglo-Saxon times:  Beowulf. 

B. The Middle Ages (to 1485):  Geoffrey Chaucer. 

C. The Sixteenth Century (1485-1603):  1) Edmund Spenser and 2) William Shakespeare. 

D. The Seventeenth Century (1603-1660):  1) John Donne; 2) Ben Johnson; and 3) John Milton. 

E. The Restoration and Eighteenth Century (1660-1798):  1) John Dryden; 2) Jonathan Swift; 3) Alexander Pope; and 4) Samuel Johnson 

Student Evaluation
A. Critical Essay 

B. Quiz/Exam. 

C. Critical Essay.  

D. Quiz/Exam. 

E. Critical Essay and/or Presentation. 

F. Presentation. 

G. Critical Essay. 

Adams, Robert M. and The Land Literature of England:  A Historical Account. W. W. Norton, 1983. 

Baker, Ernest A.  The History of the English Novel. 10 Vols.  Barnes and Noble, 1924. 

Bateson, F. W., ed.  The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, Vol. I:  600-1660; Vol. II:  1660-1800.  Cambridge University Press, 1966. 

Bloom, Harold, ed.  Beowulf.  Modern Critical Interpretations. Chelsea House, 1987. 

Bolton, W. F. The Middle Ages. The New History of Literature. Peter Bedrick Books, 1987. 

Bush, Douglas.  English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century. 2nd ed. Rev. Clarendon Press, 1962. 

Chapman, Gerald Webster, ed. Literary Criticism in England, 1660-1800. Knopf, 1966. 

Chickering, Howell D.  Beowulf:  A Dual Language Edition.  Anchor/Doubleday,1977.  

Daiches, David. A Critical History of English Literature. 2 vols. The Ronald Press, 1969. 

Drabble, Margaret, ed.  The Oxford Companion to English Literature.  5th ed.  Oxford University Press, 1985.