ENG-20048 - Revolution and Restoration: Literature of the English Civil War and Restoration
Coordinator: Nicholas P Seager Tel: +44 1782 7 33142
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

Revolution and Restoration: Literature of the English Civil War and Restoration aims to introduce students to one of the most turbulent periods in English history, which nonetheless produced some of its best-known and most exhilarating literary texts. We will focus on writing produced between c. 1640 and 1700, during which time England changed from being an apparently stable monarchy, to civil war, to a republic, to a protectorate and, finally, back to a monarchy. Alongside canonical works such as John Milton's Paradise Lost, Andrew Marvell's poems, and the plays of Aphra Behn, we examine exciting rediscoveries such as the poems of Hester Pulter and Anne Bradstreet, and novel forms of literary production, such as the political pamphlet. Students will have the opportunity to develop new skills in textual editing. Particular attention will be paid to issues such as politics, religion, gender and women's writing, writing in different genres, and the treatment of current events in literary writing. Writers and works studied on the module may include Milton's Paradise Lost, Aphra Behn's The Rover, Davenant's Salmacida Spolia, the poetry of Robert Herrick, Hester Pulter, Anne Bradstreet, and Andrew Marvell, and radical political pamphlets by Anna Trapnel, Abiezer Coppe, Priscilla Cotton, and Mary Cole.

Books for purchase
In many cases we will supply the texts via photocopies or the KLE, or you will access them through online databases. However, you will need to get hold of a copy of the Norton Anthology Volume B (9th or 10th edition, 'The Sixteenth Century/The Early Seventeenth Century', also used on the Renaissance module) and of The Rover (New Mermaids, Oxford, or Penguin).

Preliminary background reading:
Corns, Thomas N. 2007. A History of Seventeenth-Century English Literature. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. [library e-book]
Hobby, Elaine. 1988. Virtue of Necessity: English Women's Writing, 1646-1688. London: Virago.
Hughes, Ann. 2011. Gender and the English Revolution. London: Routledge.
Keeble, N. H. 2001. The Cambridge Companion to Writing of the English Revolution. Cambridge: CUP. [library e-book]
Loewenstein, David & Janel Mueller, ed. 2006. The Cambridge History of Early Modern English Literature. Cambridge: CUP.
Parfitt, George. 1985. English Poetry of the Seventeenth Century. London: Longman.
Parry, Graham. 1989. The Seventeenth Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature, 1603-1700. London: Longman.
Richetti, John, ed. 2012. The Cambridge History of English Literature 1660-1780. Cambridge: CUP.

The module is designed to introduce students to the range of literary texts produced in the period of the English Civil War and its aftermath.
It aims to develop students' abilities to analyse the inter-relation of literary and political cultures.
It aims to develop students' skills in literary analysis, in contextualisation of texts, and in textual editing.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

demonstrate detailed knowledge of literature produced between c. 1640 and 1700 and its historical, social, and cultural contexts: 1,2
demonstrate enhanced research skills in electronic and traditional media: 1,2
use critical and contextual sources effectively, and understand key scholarly debates in this area: 1,2
develop and structure arguments effectively in a variety of written forms (essay, critical introduction): 1,2
edit and annotate primary texts in line with scholarly protocols: 2
use appropriate scholarly referencing systems and present written work in a professional manner: 1,2
analyse literary and non-literary texts effectively, and integrate this analysis into their critical writing: 1,2

Study hours

24 hours of lectures and seminars
65 hours reading and tutorial preparation
40 hours essay researching and writing
20 hours short paper researching and writing
1 hour individual consultation

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 60%
Researched essay of 2,000 words
Students will choose one topic from a list and write a researched essay of 2,000 words.

2: Short Paper weighted 40%
Editing exercise
Students will undertake to produce an edition of a short piece of writing, of around 1,000 words, from the period 1630-1700, which they will source from the database EEBO (Early English Books Online). They will edit the text, annotate it with explanatory notes (of around 300-400 words), and write an introduction of 700-800 words, explaining its literary and/or historical significance.