Course No. and Title:  ENGL711: The Wordsworth Circle
Term: Spring 2012
Instructor’s Name: L. Adam Mekler, Ph. D.
Office: Holmes Hall 228
Phone: 443.885.4032
Classroom: Communications Center 204
Office Hours: M-F 2-3, R 10-11 & 1-3, and by appointment
Class Home page:

Course Description:
This course will provide in-depth examination of the writings of some of the most important writers of the first generation of British Romantics, centering specifically on the circle formed by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, including Dorothy Wordsworth, William Hazlitt, Robert Southey, Charles Lamb, and Thomas De Quincey.

Course Objectives:
This course will emphasize the importance of critical and analytical skills in examining Romantic-era literature within its historical, interpersonal, and literary contexts.  Students will be expected to utilize their own interpretive abilities in addition to demonstrating the capacity to

Student Learning Outcomes:
After completion of English 711, students should be able to Course Requirements and Student Evaluation: Grading Scale:

Weekly Response Papers: 10 %

Critical Response Paper 10 % A: 90-100

Oral Presentation: 20 % B: 80-89

Class Participation:  20 % C: 70-79

Critical Research Paper: 20 % F: 0-69

Final Examination 20 %

Required Texts:

Recommended Text: Reading List (subject to subtle revision):
Jan 24 Course Introduction

Coleridge and Southey,  Fall of Robespierre
STC, "Ode on the Departing Year" (cpp): 34-42
"Fears in Solitude" (cpp): 108-16
"France: An Ode" (cpp):  116-119
"Vision of the Maid of Orleans" (cpp): 125-29
"Fire, Famine, and Slaughter: A War Ecologue" (cpp): 140-43
Letter to George Coleridge, 10 March 1798 (cpp): 626
Recommended: Buckley, "A Dream of Murder"  
Feb 7
Lyrical Ballads and Other Conversations
"Effusion XXXV" ("The Eolian  Harp") (cpp): 17-20
"Reflections on Having Left a Place of Retirement" (cpp): 52-54
"The Foster-Mother's Tale" (cpp): 100-2

"The Nightingale" (cpp): 102-5
"The Dungeon" (cpp): 105
"Love" (cpp): 106-8
"To a Friend" (cpp): 134-36
"This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison" (cpp): 136-39
Biographia Literaria, Ch. 14 (cpp): 489-90 (1st 2 ¶'s)
Letters of STC and Charles Lamb (Handout)
Advertisement (mw): 591-92
Note to "The Thorn" (mw): 593-94
Preface (mw): 595-615
Recommended: Burwick, "Coleridge's Conversation Poems" 
Recommended: Romanticism on the Net Special Issue 

14 WW & STC, Lyrical Ballads, cont.
"Salisbury Plain": (mw): 13-28
"The Female Vagrant" (Handout)
"The Mad Mother" (Handout)
"Old Man Travelling" - "Lines Left Upon a Seat" (mw): 29-31
"Lines Written a Small Distance" - "The Thorn" (mw): 54-66
"The Idiot Boy" - "Last of the Flock"
(mw): 67-91
"Expostulation and Reply" - "The Tables Turned" (mw): 129-31
Recommended: Hale,"Wordsworth's "The Mad Mother"
Deadline to Select Topic for Brief Oral Presentation

21 DW, Journals
DW, Poems (Handout)
WW, "A Whirl-blast from Behind the Hill" (mw): 66-7
"Beggars," (mw): 243-44
"To a Butterfly" (mw): 244
STC, "Christabel" (cpp): 158-79
Recommended: Comitini, "'More than Half  a Poet'" 
Recommended: Henderson, "Revolution, Response, and 'Christabel'" 

STC, “Dejection: An Ode” (cpp): 143-58
WW, "Resolution and Independence" (mw): 260-64
“Ode: Intimations of Immortality” (mw): 297-302
Letter from WW to SH
IF Notes to "Ode"
STC/WW, "The Mad Monk"
Recommended: Keanie, "Coleridge's Capable Negativity" 
Critical Response Paper Due
Mar 6
WW, The Recluse (excerpts)
Preface (Handout)
"The Ruined Cottage" (mw): 31-44
"[A Night-Piece]" (mw): 44-5
"Discharged Soldier" (mw): 45-49
"Old Cumberland Beggar" (mw): 49-54
"Home at Grasmere" (mw): 174-99
Appendix, (mw): 676-81
Recommended: Wordsworth, "On Man, On Nature, and On Human Life" 
Recommended: Johnston, "Wordsworth and the Recluse" 

13 WW, The Prelude (Bks.1-8) (mw): 375-508
Recommended: Kneale, "WW's Images of Language" 

20 ** Spring Break **

WW, The Prelude (Bks. 9-13) (mw): 509-92
Handout: Excerpt from 1799 Prelude
Recommended: Gravil, "Some Other Being" 
Deadline for Research Paper Proposals
Apr 3
STC,  Biographia Literaria (cpp): 372-552
WW, 1815 Preface to Poems and Supplementary Essay (mw): 626-62, but esp. 630-39
Recommended: Mudge, "Politics of Autobiography" 

10 De Q,  Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (ceo): vii-80
Suspiria de Profundis, (ceo): 87-181
Handout: Letter of WW to De Q, 29 July 1803 
Recommended: “The Letters of De Quincey to Wordsworth, 1803-1807”
Recommended: “Leeches and Opium”

17 De Q,  Recollections of the Lakes and the Lake Poets
Recommended: "De Quincey and the Dark Sublime" (Handout)

24 Hazlitt,  "The Character of Mr. Burke" (sw): 54-66
"The French Revolution" (sw): 84-98
“My First Acquaintance with Poets” (sw): 211-29
"Mr. Wordsworth" (sw): 347-58
Recommended: Robinson, “Autobiography of a Cultural Critic”
May 1
Lamb,  Essays of Elia 
"The South Sea House" (ee): 1-14
"Christ's Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago" (ee): 27-50
"Imperfect Sympathies" (ee): 133-47
"Modern Gallantry" (ee): 181-88
"The Praise of Chimney-Sweepers" (ee): 249-61
"A Complaint on the Decay of Beggars" (ee): 262-75
Old China" (Handout)
Recommended: WW, "Written After the Death of Charles Lamb" 
Recommended: Hickey, "Double Bonds"

Final Examination

15 Final Research Paper Due