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Course : Eighteenth Century Literature

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2023
Days & Times
Final Exam Day/Time

ENGL 4853 x10 Eighteenth Century Literature

Women & the Age of Anne


Undergraduate Schedule for Reading & Due Dates


Dr. Peter Fields, assoc. professor of English

Office: Bea Wood 230 in PY Ph: 940-397-4246

Office Hours: MTWR 11:00 AM to1:30 PM; also, by appointment.



Note: the DROP BOX will mark the ESSAYS late after 11:59 PM the night of the due date.

D2L Submit ESSAY 1 to DROP BOX 30%               Monday October 2

D2L Submit ESSAY 2 to DROP BOX 30%               Monday October 30

D2L Submit ESSAY 3 to DROP BOX 40%               Monday December 11

D2L THREADS 10% (a thread must have all required essay elements to receive full credit).


LATE WORK: Late essays are penalized 10 points out of 100 even if D2L says they are only late by a minute or less. No late Essays are accepted after 11:59 PM Wednesday December 13 of Finals Week.


Required book: The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century. Second edition. ISBN: 978-1-55481-047-5. You can make the first edition work too. Depending on which edition you have, you are missing something: the new edition is missing THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO while the first is missing Phillis Wheatley. Here is the link for buying a student passcode to the Broadview website that has all the titles:


Course Description: The literature and intellectual currents of the period with emphasis on Pope, Swift, and Johnson. The distinctive feature of ENGL 5853 is a series of essays graduate students will write comparing and contrasting notable female authors of the Age of Anne and after (prior to 1800) including Aphra Behn, Margaret Cavendish, Anne Finch, Mary Astell, Lady Mary Wortley Montague, Eliza Haywood, Hester Thrale, and Phillis Wheatley and examining how women are portrayed in notable works of male authors, including not only Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, and Jonathan Swift but also John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Wycherley, and Horace Walpole.


·        Familiarizing ourselves with the life and times of Anne, Queen of Great Britain, and the period that follows (until 1800); see my NOTES in D2L.

·        Familiarizing ourselves with the lives of women in the Age of Anne and after (until 1800).

·        Reading the introduction, prefaces, and both long and short titles from the Age of Anne and after in our anthology and website as indicated in our schedule.

·        Students can freely cite historical dates, terms, events from the introduction and prefaces in our book and website as well as the webpages and videos I have provided without citing the source; if students utilize verbatim passage they should follow MLA format (see Purdue Owl) for in-body citation and Works Cited references.

·        Engaging in a writing process with self-awareness about women in the Age of Anne and after as indicated in our schedule; students follow writing model stipulated in this syllabus.

·        Students have the option of sending me their paragraphs prior to a due date in a thread for my input. IMPORTANT: In our course, only I can see what you post and only you can see how I reply—a special arrangement for us in D2L.



I am not authorizing use of any literary sources outside of our Broadview anthology and the related Broadview website. Historical sources are a different matter. Students may mention historical facts, names, and dates without citing the source. Of course, verbatim use of an explanatory passage in a historical source (like a Broadview preface) should have quotation marks, utilize “According to” language, and provide a Works Cited reference. But we don’t really have a place for historical quotes.


Students must quote from our required titles in Broadview, which means quotation marks and parenthetical pages for prose pieces and quotation marks and parenthetical line numbers for poetry. Plays require quotation marks and parenthetical act, scene, and line. Purdue Owl is our official online guide for MLA citing, both in-body and in the Works Cited.


I should mention that D2L does alert me to possible plagiarism. We have Turnitin and, most recently, an AI detector. But I do not accuse students of plagiarism, if I can help it. If I feel the plagiarism is overwhelmingly obvious, the grade must unfortunately be a “0’ for the essay (no points). However, the problem most of the time comes down to not following directions, something my rubric can address with a baseline grade of 56 out of 100. Yes, that’s an F—but there’s hope. Perhaps the best option is to show me your work-in-progress as a thread. Our threads are NOT public. They are for my eyes only.


THREAD OPTION: I am the only one who sees your work.

You have the option of getting my input before you submit your best version of an Essay to the drop box. In Content, click on DISCUSSIONS. Then click on the arrow beside the title of the relevant forum. Open View Topic and you will find the text box into which you can type directly or copy and paste from your own document.


IMPORTANT: Our threads are NOT the usual type. We are not doing a discussion board. When you post your thread to me, I am the ONLY person who sees your writing-in-progress. You will be the ONLY person who sees my reply—my suggestions and concerns.


REMEMBER: Getting my input is NOT for grade.

You must still submit the best version of your Essay to the drop box before 11:59 PM of the due date. My reply to your thread is not for credit. The only way your work gets counted, evaluated, and graded is when you submit your document to the drop box.


ESSAYS 1, 2, and 3. Use “I” or “we” – not “you.” Each essay is seven paragraphs.

An essay requires FIVE body paragraphs that have these components:

Body paragraphs begin with a topic idea. Then they address a thought and/or scenario from a relevant long title and then reinforce it with a significant quote from that title. The paragraph does not conclude until it has brought in a relevant thought or scenario from one of our short titles and reinforced it with a significant quote from that title.


CONCLUSION: The essay requires a final paragraph that is not a review of the essay.

Instead, the last paragraph offers a NEW thought or scenario pertaining to a short or long title—a quote is optional. This paragraph concludes with a relevant insight. Our conclusion is more an epilogue or coda.


INTRODUCTION: Paragraph one answers the prompt question in general terms; it then anticipates topic ideas for the body paragraphs and previews scenarios or thoughts specific to the long titles addressed by the body paragraphs; it also anticipates scenarios or thoughts specific to short titles addressed by the body paragraphs; finally, paragraph one refines the answer to the prompt as a thesis statement at the end of the paragraph. This paragraph is substantial—think of it as a mini-essay.



The prompt question for Essay One and Essay Two is as follows: what are we learning about women in the Age of Anne? The “Age of Anne” is our way of framing the era (late 1600’s through the early 1700’s) that otherwise goes by titles like Age of Enlightenment, Age of Reason, Age of Neoclassicism, and Augustan Age. You are free to bring in information about Anne, Queen of Great Britain, as you find it in supplemental webpages and YouTube videos. If you quote directly, cite the source. If you use your own phrasing, you do NOT have to cite the source. For our purposes, no one person can own an historical term or event. The prompt question for Essay Three is as follows: what are we learning about women AFTER the Age of Anne as we get closer to 1800?

Reading Schedule and Due Dates


NOTE: The underlined titles in bold are “long” titles: i.e., 10 pages or more. The seven long titles are (1) The Convent of Pleasure, (2) The Pilgrim’s Progress, (3) Oroonoko: The Royal Slave, (4) The Country Wife, (5) Fantomina: Love in a Maze, (6) Part Two of Gulliver’s Travels: A Voyage to Brobdingnag, (7) The Castle of Otranto.


WEEK 1 August 28 - September 1:


The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century pp. XXXV-LXXI: Religion, Government, and Party Politics; Empiricism, Skepticism, and Religious-Dissent; Industry, Commerce, and the Middle Class; Ethical Dilemmas in a Changing Nation; Print Culture; Poetry; Theatre; The Novel.


Margaret Cavendish 1 – 31: The Poetess’s Hasty Resolution, An Excuse for Much Writ, Of the Theme of Love, A Woman Drest by Age, A Dialogue Betwixt Body and Mind, The Hunting of the Hare.  The Description of a New World, called the Blazing World, and Social Letters. The Convent of Pleasure (A Comedy).


Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea 348-354: The Spleen, The Introduction, A Letter to Daphnis, The Unequal Fetters, By Near Resemblance that Bird, A Nocturnal Reverie.


Mary Astell 354-372: from A Serious Proposal to the Ladies; from Reflections Upon Marriage, the Preface.


Labor Day Holiday: Campus closed Monday September 4


WEEK 2 September 5 – September 8:


John Bunyan 32 – 68: from The Pilgrim’s Progress; from The Second Part (Christian’s wife and sons).

Samuel Pepys 112-138. The 1666 London Fire: from The Diary 132-138.

Daniel Defoe 302-347: Ch. 6 of Robinson Crusoe 329-335; from A Journal of the Plague Year 338-347; A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veal 304-308.


WEEK 3 September 11 – 15:


John Dryden 69 – 71, 90-91, from Religio Laici.

John Locke 159-160: from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

David Hume 183-185: from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding: “Of Miracles.”

James Boswell 185-186: from The Life of Samuel Johnson.

Willian Hogarth 187-188. Credulity, Superstition, and Fanaticism: A Medley.

Judith Drake 192-194: from An Essay in Defense of the Female Sex.

Eliza Haywood 194-195: The Female Spectator No. 10.

Aphra Behn 196-237. The Disappointment; Oroonoko: or, The Royal Slave. A True History.


WEEK 4 September 18 – 22. Work on draft of Essay 1.


WEEK 5 September 25 – 29 OPTION: Thread for Essay 1 due Monday September 25


WEEK 6 October 2 - 6: Essay 1 due in the drop box Monday October 2 before 11:59 PM.


John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester 290-300 (Warning: graphic language): A Satire on Charles II; A Satire Against Reason and Mankind; Love and Life: A Song; The Disabled Debauchee; The Imperfect Enjoyment.


William Wycherley 238-289: The Country Wife

Jeremy Collier 655-656: from A Short View of the Immorality of the and Profaneness of the English Stage.

Edmund Burke 943-944: from On the Sublime and the Beautiful.

Oliver Goldsmith 872-878: The Deserted Village.

Eliza Haywood 630-656 (Warning: sexual situations): Fantomina: or, Love in a Maze;

The Eighteenth Century Sexual Imagination.


WEEK 7 October 9 - 13:


Alexander Pope 540-542: Windsor Forest (548-555); from An Essay on Man (575-583); Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady (568-569); Eloisa to Abelard (570-74).


Jonathan Swift 373-375. Part Two of Gulliver’s Travels: A Voyage to Brobdingnag (420-452) Letter from Swift to Alexander Pope (519-521).


WEEK 8 October 16 – 20: Work on draft of Essay 2.


WEEK 9 October 23 - 27: OPTION: Thread for Essay 2 due Monday October 23


WEEK 10 October 30 – November 3: Essay 2 due in the drop box Monday October 30 before 11:59 PM.


Thomas Gray 804-809 Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, Favorite Cat, Mr. Richard West, and Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.


William Cowper 879-880: Light Shining Out of Darkness; The Castaway; The Retired Cat; My Mary.


Laboring-Class Poets 890-903: Mary Collier, The Woman’s Labor: To Mr. Stephen Duck; Mary Leapor, An Epistle to a Lady; Elizabeth Hands, On the Publication of a Volume of Poems by a Servant Maid.


Lady Mary Wortley Montague 602-629: Saturday: The Small Pox; The Reasons for The Lady’s Dressing Room (cf. p. 379-380); Epistle from Mrs. Yonge to Her Husband; The Spectator 573: President of the Widow’s Club; Letters to Wortley; A Plain Account of the Inoculating of the Smallpox by a Turkey Merchant; The Adrianople Letters.


Samuel Johnson 759-760: The Rambler No. 12 – Cruelty of Employers 769-771; The Rambler No. 155 – On Becoming Acquainted with our Real Character 774-776; The Idler No. 26 & No. 29 Betty Broom 776-779; from Lives of the English Poets – Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man 797-799. Letters to Mrs. Thrale 801-803.


Hester Thrale Piozzi 945-951 – from Hester Thrale’s Journal.


Phillis Wheatley:1016-1024 On Being Brought from Africa to America; To the Right Honorable William, Earl of Dartmouth; To S.M. a Young African Painter; A Funeral Poem on the Death of C.E., An Infant of Twelve Months; On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield.


WEEK 11 November 6 – 10:


Horace Walpole The Castle of Otranto; Origins of The Castle of Otranto; Reactions to The Castle of Otranto. This material is available at the Broadview website:


WEEK 12 November 13 – November 17: Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, continued.


WEEK 13 November 20 – November 24: Thanksgiving Holiday: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday


WEEK 14 November 27 – December 1: Work on draft of Essay 3.


WEEK 15 Dec 4 – Dec 8: Essay 3: OPTION: Thread for Essay 3 due Monday December 4.


FINALS WEEK: Essay 3 is due in the drop box Monday December 11 before 11:59 PM


Essays are penalized the late penalty of 10 points out of 100 even if D2L says the lateness is only a minute or less. ALL LATE ESSAYS MUST BE SUBMITTED NO LATER THAN 11:59 PM WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 13.

The Grading Rubric


Essays will be graded on this scale: failing (56), passing (66), satisfactory (76), good (86), and excellent (96-100). The five categories are averaged together.

·        Paragraph one answers the prompt question in general terms; anticipates topic ideas for body paragraphs; previews scenarios or thoughts specific to the long titles; anticipates scenarios or thoughts specific to short titles; refines answer to prompt question as a thesis statement at the end of the paragraph. Think of paragraph one as a mini-essay.

·        Provides thoughtful topic ideas for body paragraphs.

·        Examines a scenario or thought in the relevant long title(s) and quotes.

·        Examines a scenario or thought in the relevant short title(s) and quotes.

·        Conclusion features a NEW thought pertaining to a short or long title and closes with a relevant insight.





Attendance is by log-in history.

LATE WORK: Late essays are penalized 10 points out of 100 even if D2L says they are only late by a minute or less. No late Essays are accepted after 11:59 PM Wednesday December 13 of Finals Week

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

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