L-LIN/10 - 9 CFU - 1° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

This course intends to 1) present students with the historical-literary trends, as well as the most significant authors of XIX-XX century Britain; 2) critically work on the peculiar aspects of literary genres; 3) consolidate the students’ use of text analysis and appreciation tools.

Detailed Course Content

Both the course and the syllabus are divided into 2 modules.


Module A, Foundations: English Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (6 ECTS), is centred both on the evolutionary phases and the most representative figures of modern contemporary times. The texts that will be analysed in class will reinforce the students’ use of stylistic and critical appreciation tools.


Module B, British Women Writing Italy: Poetry, Fiction, and Travel (3 ECTS), is centred on significant XIX-XXI century English women writers. The textual analysis and critical appreciation of extracts from Mary Shelley’s Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844), Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Casa Guidi Windows (1851), Muriel Spark’s Territorial Rights (1979), and Jan Morris’s Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere (2001) are meant to draw the students’ attention to the way the Italian “Other” has been represented.


Both the course activities and the syllabus consider the different educational purposes of the undergraduate courses in Lingue e culture europee and Lettere. The materials that will be used in class, including the chosen extracts and bibliographical references, are officially part of the syllabus. They will be immediately made available, even in electronic form, for those students who will not attend classes.

Textbook Information

Modulo A – Foundations: English Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (6 ECTS)


  1. Recommended handbooks (students will choose one of the following):


    Blamires, Harry. A Short History of English Literature, London, Routledge, 2013, pp. 231-423.

    Sanders, A. The Short Oxford History of English Literature, London, Oxford University Press, 2004 (ch. 6-10 – approx. 280 pages) .


  2. Recommended anthologies:


    The Oxford Anthology of English Literature, Oxford, vol. II, Oxford University Press, 1973.


    The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. II, New York and London, W.W. Norton, 2013.


    Students will draw a list of 15 authors and extracts, that can be chosen among those that were discussed during the course. They will be analysed from the historico-cultural as well as stylistic-formal point of view at the exam. Close attention will also be paid to their authors and literary production.


  3. Module B – British Women Writing Italy: Poetry, Fiction, and Travel (3 CFU)


    In addition to the extracts that will be analysed in class, students will read two of the following works and will study the related criticism as indicated below:



Mary Shelley, Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Casa Guidi Windows (1851)

Muriel Spark, Territorial Rights (1979)

Jan Morris, Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere (2001)





  1. Mary Shelley e Rambles:

    Schoina Maria, Romantic Anglo-Italians: Configurations of Identity in Byron, the Shelleys, and the Pisan Circle, London, Routledge, 2016, pp. 1-12; 58-88.


    Schor Esther, The Cambridge Companion to Mary Shelley, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 242-258.


    Walchester Kathryn, Our Own Fair Italy: Nineteenth Century Women’s Travel Writing and Italy 1800-1844, Berne-Berlin-Oxford, Peter Lang, 2007, pp. 39-70; 203-236.


  2. Elizabeth Barrett-Browning e Casa Guidi Windows:


    Armstrong Isobel, “Casa Guidi Windows: spectacle and politics in 1851”, in Alison Chapman, Jane Stabler, Unfolding the South: Nineteenth Century British Women Writers and Artists in Italy, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2003, pp. 51-69.


    Avery Simon, Rebecca Stott, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, London, Routledge, 2014, pp. 86-112; 156-180.


    Moine Fabienne, “Elizabeth Barrett-Browning’s Italian Poetry: Constructing national identity and shaping the poetic self”, in Manfred Pfister, Ralf Hertel (eds), Performing National Identity. Anglo-Italian Cultural Transactions, Amsterdam, Rodopi, 2008, pp. 123-136.


  3. Muriel Spark and Territorial Rights:


    Gardiner Michael, Edinburgh Companion to Muriel Spark, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2010, pp. 5-15; 63-73.


    Stevenson Randall, “A Post-modern Scotland?”, in Gerard Curruthers et als (eds), Beyond Scotland: New Contexts for Twentieth-Century Scottish Literature, Amsterdam, Rodopi, 2004, pp. 209-228.


    Whittaker Ruth, Faith and Fiction of Muriel Spark, New York, Springer, 1984, pp. 64-90.


  4. Jan Morris and Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere:


    George Don, “An Evening with Jan Morris in Conversation”, Faber & Faber, 2 October, 2016 (https://www.faber.co.uk/blog/jan-morris-life-travel-writing/)


    Fenwick Gillian, Traveling Genius: The Writing Life of Jan Morris, Columbia, South Carolina Press, 2008, 1-31.


    Derek, Johns, “Jan Morris at 90: She has shown us the world”, The Guardian, 2 October, 2016 (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/02/jan-morris-life-in-motion)


    Rule Vera, “Review: Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere”, The Guardian, 20 October 2001 (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/oct/20/travel.travelbook)


    Mansfield Susan, “Interview: Jan Morris, travel writer”, The Scotsman, 29 September 2012 (http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/books/interview-jan-morris-travel-writer-1-2553980)


    McCrum Robert, “Jan Morris Interviewed by Robert McCrum”, YouTube, 29 May, 2016 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-4aIbApvq0)


    Morris, Jan, “My most favourite cities”, The Guardian, 14 November, 2009 (https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2009/nov/14/jan-morris-favourite-cities)




    Yarrington Alison, Stefano Villani, Julia Kelly (eds), Travels and Translations: Anglo-Italian Cultural Transactions, Amsterdam, Rodopi, 2013, pp. 15-26; 205-218.


    Youngs Tim, The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 50-177.


    Please remember that in compliance with art 171 L22.04.1941, n. 633 and its amendments, it is illegal to copy entire books or journals, only 15% of their content can be copied.

    For further information on sanctions and regulations concerning photocopying please refer to the regulations on copyright (Linee Guida sulla Gestione dei Diritti d’Autore) provided by AIDRO - Associazione Italiana per i Diritti di Riproduzione delle opere dell’ingegno (the Italian Association on Copyright).

    All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library.

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