Course Information

Welcome to the class website for Dickinson College English 341

Late 19th Century British Literature & Culture:
Aesthetes, Libertines, & Dandies

**students please refer to the readings & schedule for links to readings and updated assignments**

2023 Syllabus PDF

The fin de siècle—French for ‘the end of the century’— is a period of literature and culture that has been portrayed as being “caught between two ages, the Victorian and the Modern” (Ledger and Luckhurst). This in between period is perhaps known best for its cry of “art for art’s sake” and the suggestion that morality is relative. Because it usually is characterized by decadence and questions of immorality, the end of the nineteenth century is too often overlooked as a period of enormous technological, political, social, and intellectual change in British literary and cultural life. In this course, we will examine literature, and art more broadly, in the context of discourses on urban problems, ‘The New Woman,’ imperialism and socialism, as well as place it in conversation with a number of developments in science, psychology, and sexology.

We will read a range of different works of fiction, drama, and poetry by authors such as Oscar Wilde, Michael Field, Mona Caird, H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Bram Stoker, and William Morris.


lartdansladcorat00uzan_0007Background Image: L’art dans la décoration extérieure des livres, en France et a l’étranger : les couvertures illustrées, les cartonnages d’éditeurs; la reliure d’art
by Uzanne, Octave, 1852-1931; Rhead, Louis, d 1857-1926, illustrator