8:98 Honors Seminar: Victorian Lives

We will read essays on the interpretation of life-writing as well as autobiographical poems, novels and memoirs by a wide range of nineteenth-century writers, and explore the boundaries of history, memory, lived experience and imaginative recreation in their works.

Readings will include a dramatic essay by Florence Nightingale (Cassandra); poems by Alfred Tennyson (“In Memoriam”) and Oscar Wilde (“The Ballad of Reading Gaol”); memoirs by the working-class writers Elizabeth Campbell and Ellen Johnston; autobiographies by Mary Seacole and John Stuart Mill; and novels by Charles Dickens (David Copperfield), George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss), and Olive Schreiner (The Story of an African Farm).

Assignments will include short Icon postings, class presentations on authors and critical reception, and a fifteen page research and critical essay.