Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


This course introduces students to an exciting range of Victorian novels. Our study of key texts and their contexts will explore connections between Gothic monstrosity and psychological realism in the long nineteenth century. Focusing primarily on novels from the period 1837 to 1901, with some attention to precursor texts and other genres (such as the short story) as well as more recent responses to or adaptations of the nineteenth-century novel, we will investigate the ways that cultural anxieties and scientific and technological developments have historically affected literature (and vice versa). What does it mean to be human? How has this question been raised within the Gothic and realist traditions at different cultural moments? What sorts of monsters terrify or haunt us and how do they evolve to keep pace with the gaps in our certainties? From doubling to degeneration, madness to the metropolis, villain to vampire, empire to the threat of extinction, this course examines the work of writers such as Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Bram Stoker and H.G. Wells.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of texts, authors and contexts of the long nineteenth century, as well as the ways in which literature of this important period has shaped our modern sensibilities.

2. Apply interpretive skills to complex issues concerning the Victorian novel and Gothic and realist literature.

3. Reflect through both critical and creative activities upon the cultural, social, historical and aesthetic concerns of literature of the long nineteenth century.

4. Construct convincing analyses of primary and secondary texts.

5. Conduct research independently and express clear and informed arguments.

6. Develop cogent oral and written responses both individually and in groups.


Content of this course will vary from offering to offering, but will focus on the study of the development of Victorian literature from 1837 to 1901.


This course replaces ENGL1002. If you have successfully completed ENGL1002 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

20 units of English at 1000 level

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Close reading exercise (30%)

Presentation: Group presentation (20%)

Journal: Course journal entry (10%)

Essay: Essay (40%)

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.