LIT3005 : Writing in Enlightenment Britain, 1745 to 1796

Convener(s): Dr Hamish Mathison


Please note: This module may or may not run in any given semester. Please check with the tutor.

General Information

With the defeat of Jacobite forces in 1746, new ways of thinking about philosophy, science and civil society emerged in Britain, particularly in Scotland. This module examines the period often thought of as a time of 'sensibility' or 'enlightenment' in literature and philosophy. Paradoxically, writing that was meant to be both loyal and moral often exposed the cultural fractures that would herald revolution abroad and the 'Romantic' period in Britain. Novels by writers such as Sterne, Richardson, Goldsmith and Mackenzie are examined. The module also examines poetry by writers such as Thomson, Collins, Gray, Burns and Ferguson.


Teaching is by seminar: there will be two 50 minute seminars each week. The seminars are your opportunity to share your ideas and discuss them with other students and your tutor. Discussion will be the basis of the course, and preparation is thus vital, although I will on occasion offer mini-lectures and background talks. We will practice the use of several electronic research resources, such as the DNB and ECCO as we proceed, and will in addition have a session in the University Library, where I will train you in the use of microfilm resources which you will later draw on in class. We will also develop the MOLE site as the course progresses, aiming to turn it into an important resource for the course.


On this course you are assessed by two essays: a mid-term essay of no more than 1500 words (40% of total marks) and a final essay of no more than 2500 words (60% of total marks).

Contact Details

Dr Hamish Mathison

Information last changed: Monday 10th of August 2015 :: 12:40:21 PM (BST)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK