Realism and Fantasy in Victorian Literature (PGT) ENGLIT5124

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores the ways in which realist and fantastic genres shaped one another in Victorian literature. The course texts include fiction, poetry, non-fiction prose and drama, and authors studied may include: George Eliot, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, Aubrey Beardsley, Anthony Trollope, Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, William Morris, Oscar Wilde, Ellen Wood, Olive Schreiner, George Gissing, and J. R. PlanchĂ©.


1 x 2hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. One of these seminars will normally be conducted in Special Collections.

Requirements of Entry

Standard Entry to Masters at College Level

Excluded Courses

ENGLIT4101: Realism and Fantasy in Victorian Literature Level 4 (UG)

ENGLIT4040: withdrawn (UG)


7-minute oral presentation: 10%

Close reading exercise (1500 words): 30%

Essay (3000 words): 60%

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Enable students to analyse the ways in which realist and fantastic writing responded to and drew on each other during the Victorian period

■ Enhance students' critical skills in appraising a wide range of critical and literary historical scholarship on genre, readerships and reading practices

■ Facilitate the investigation of the literature and culture of the Victorian period at an advanced level

■ Develop students' ability to assess and interrogate the relationship of literary texts to Victorian discourses of class, race, gender, and sexuality

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ intervene critically in debates on the historical development of realism and fantasy in Victorian literature

■ appraise and critique contrasting critical approaches to concepts of realism and fantasy in literature

■ conduct independent research and apply advanced skills in editing, presentation and argumentation through written and oral assessments

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.