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CSULA Department of English | Comprehensive Examination Reading Lists

British Literature: Nineteenth Century

Period Reading List for Part One Exam

  1. Anna Leticia Barbauld, “The Mouse’s Petition,” “Epistle to William Wilberforce, Esq. on the Rejection of the Bill for Abolishing the Slave Trade,” “Inscription for an Ice House,” “To Dr. Priestley, Dec. 29, 1792,” “To the Poor,” “Washing-Day,” Eighteen Hundred and Eleven, A Poem

    2. William Godwin, Caleb Williams

    3. John William Polidori “The Vampyre”

    4. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations or Oliver Twist

    5. Fred Engels, “The Conditions of the Working Poor in England”

    6. William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads (1798); Wordsworth, “Preface” to Lyrical Ballads, “Michael,” “Resolution and Independence,” “Ode: Intimations of Immortality,” “Ode to Duty”; Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1817 with marginal notes in prose), “Christabel”

    7. George Gordon, Lord Byron, Manfred and Don Juan, Cantos 1-2

    8. Percy Shelley and Keats—Shelley, Prometheus Unbound; Keats, Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems (1820) (in Keats’s Poetry and Prose, ed. Jeffrey N. Cox)

    9. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

    10. Harriet Taylor Mill & John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women

    11. Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam, “The Lady of Shalott,” “Mariana,” “Ulysses,” “The Lotus Eaters,” “Charge of the Light Brigade,” “Morte d’Arthur,” “St. Agnes Eve,” “Maud”

    12. George Eliot, Middlemarch

    13. Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present

    14. Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “The Lost Leader,” “A Grammarian’s Funeral,” “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” “Caliban on Setebos,” “Meeting at Night,” “Parting at Morning,” “Two in the Campagna,” “A Death in the Desert,” “Sonnets from the Portuguese,” “The Cry of the Children”

    15. Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

    16. Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, Literature and Science, “Dover Beach,” “The Scholar-Gipsy,” “Thyrsis,” “The Buried Life,” “Empedocles on Aetna,” “Preface” [to the 1853 volume of poems]

    17. Dante Gabriel and Christina Rossetti, [DR] “Jenny,” The House of Life, [CR] Monna Innominata: A Sonnet of Sonnets, “The Convent Threshold,” “Uphill,” “Goblin Market,” “In an Artist’s Studio”

    18. Walter Pater, The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry

    19. Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

    20. Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Sign of Four” or “The Hound of the Baskervilles”

    21. Bram Stoker, Dracula

Selected Text for Part Two Exam

The next time the comprehensive examination in this period is offered, the Part Two text will be

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein