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English 332
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Course Description

In the nineteenth century, as more and more women became able to make a living by writing, men and women writers alike began to write about the rewards and dangers of women's literary performance. This course will begin with a brief overview of the early nineteenth-century myths of "the performing heroine," in Ellen Moers's words. Then it will treat a number of Victorian adaptations and revisions of those myths in detail, placing those readings in the context of Victorian historical and critical theory. Readings will include Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh, George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss, E.M. Forster's A Room with a View, and a variety of other texts from writers such as Germaine de Staël, Walter Scott, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Maria Jewsbury, Charles Dickens, Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, and Oscar Wilde.