Monday, July 28, 2008

Beatrix Potter's Birthday is celebrating Beatrix Potter's birthday with homepage images....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mid-Term Revisions

A reminder to those who have not yet picked up their graded Mid-Term revisions that special office hours are available by appointment right through to August 11th. We will go over in consultation directly and on paper your revision: this is a uniquely valuable aspect of the Writing Intensive programme, which allows you to get the best possible sense of how your present writing can be improved.

Of course, you will not want to wait anywhere near the 11th, given that the Final Essay is due on that date. This week and next will be your most advantageous period....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Final Essay

The final course essay, thirty-five hundred words in length, is due August 11th in my Department mailbox. I will pick up the essays at 23:59:59 on that date.

The topic, of your choosing, must deal with a minimum of three course texts, weighted as best suits your argument, and illuminate an aspect of the transition from Victorian to Edwardian or from Edwardian to Modernist.

The draft thesis paragraph or essay outline is due in class for peer and Lecturer editing on July 28th.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Beatrix Potter Tales: Specific

Here is the list given in lecture of the particular Tales to absolutely concetrate upon -- should one, inexplicably, not want to read the great woman's œuvre entire.
  • The Tale of Benjamin Bunny
  • The Tale of the Fierce Bad Rabbit
  • The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies
  • The Tale of Ginger & Pickles
  • The Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck
  • The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher
  • The Tale of Johnny Town Mouse
  • The Tale of Miss Tiggy Winkle
  • The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse
  • The Tale of Mr. Tod
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • The Tale of Samuel Whiskers
  • The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin
  • The Tale of Two Bad Mice

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Beatrix Potter Æsthetic

A classfellow sends along a link to The Beatrix Potter Emporium, suggesting that this indicates an enduring Edwardian appeal....

Edwardian TV Series

I am trying to get a copy of Manor House on DVD for us: "...the history reality program.... set in Edwardian Britain."
PBS presents Manor House, a gripping new series which brings class to reality television. Nineteen volunteers from the modern world find that life of a grand country house in the early 20th century is plagued by all-too familiar themes: money, power and position.
Taking Manderston (an authentic Edwardian pleasure palace in the Scottish Borders), a family of five and a newly formed staff of 14 - this six-part series turns back the clock to re-create life as it was for the new rich and their servants during the halcyon period in British social history before the First World War. Everything is quintessentially British: a magnificent house and boating lake, model dairy and tea room, croquet and tennis in the garden, a stable full of horses and carriages - and a group of people utterly divided and ruled by class.
Please look around their content-rich website: priceless.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Engl 436 Allahakbarries

Wonderful time Monday's class learning cricket in the AQ lawn with Raj Salvi from Indcan Cricket (2nd from the left.)

The Allahakbarries are a delightful piece of Edwardiana. J.M Barrie, author of Peter Pan (and -- gratuitous Edwardian-Age-in-pop-culture reference -- subject of a 2004 Johnny Depp & Kate Winslett film) put together a cricket team comprised of many Edwardian literary greats: our own P.G. Wodehouse & Jerome K. Jerome among them.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wodehouse's Roderick Spode, the Original of

Roderick Spode is P.G. Wodehouse's parody of the loathsome Sir Oswald Mosley, British fascist; the son of whom, one Max, bears his father's odium with equal desert: Formula One President Refuses to resign over Nazi-Inspired Orgy.

Edwardian Information

The "Fashion-Era" website has useful tid-bits about Edwardian life: look to the useful linklist at the left hand side.

A content-rich webpage at BBC4 from their series on "The Edwardians. I especially loved the "Edwardian SuperSize Me" episode (the full English breakfast is the best thing in the world):

How will our 21st-century foodies cope with seven days' worth of huge breakfasts, meat-heavy dinners and rich puddings? A glance at Monday's menu - which in Edwardian terms is a fairly simple affair, being for a private family day with no guests - gives an idea of just how daunting is the task ahead of them.
Experts will be on hand to explain how, among other things, the Edwardians gave the world the Full English Breakfast, allowed women into restaurants (though strictly as decoration) and entertained on a table-creakingly grand scale at home.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Essay Outline and Draft

I have uploaded a lecture on strategies for outlining and drafting academic essays, available online at this link.

A most useful webpage on transition between ideas is available online from Capital Community College at Hartford Conneticut.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Blog on Wodehouse & Neo-Edwardianism

From the Givvup Only Are There blog, a post titled "Neo-Edwardianism marches on." The opening quotation has a link to a Wodehouse scan, the blog entitling P.G.W. "The Master" (as he widely is so-referred.)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mid-Term Questions

Chose one of the following topic questions for your mid-term essay.
  1. The concluding "Two Voices" chapter of G.K. Chesterton's The Napoleon of Notting Hill is one of the novel's most memorable and widely remarked aspects. Identify the specific literary form that the chapter adopts, locate the chapter and its form historically, and then describe the effects that the chapter has on the understanding of the chapters preceding it.
  2. H.G. Wells' The Sleeper Awakes incorporates Darwinian evolution--of which Wells, having learned it directly from T.H. Huxley, was a strong advocate--into both theme and plot. Detail the favourable presentation of Darwinism throughout the text, and harmonise that with Wells' astonishing expression of "Ostrog's Point of View" in explicitly Darwinian terms.
  3. Several important writers name P.G. Wodehouse as supreme prose stylist of the 20th Century. Analyse the prose in Psmith in the City and identify and detail specific characteristics of Wodehouse's writing which support the judgement of his literary peers.

Monday, May 26, 2008

3rd Group Seminar Discussion: Schedule

June 2nd: Ian, Graham, Chelsea
June 16th: Breanna, Laura, Sherina
June 23rd: Gurveen, Brendan, Kathleen
June 30th: Megan, Molly, Neil.
July 7th: Trevor, Darcy, Robert
July 14th: Nicole, Jane, Jocelyn

Group 'Transition' Projects: Membership

Group A:
Gurvine J., Robert G., Jane S., Sherina C., Darcy B.
Group B:
Brendan W., Laura S., Nicola G., Trevor F.
Group C:
Ian B., Molly S., Megan P., Chelsea G.
Group D:
Kathleen M., Breanna L., Jocelyn Mc., Graham N., Neil K.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Room Change

We do in fact have a room change: we are now in AQ-5025.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Text's Friendly Dig at H.G. Wells

Out next course author, H.G. Wells, was, as given in lecture, was a friend & oftimes debating opponent of Chesterton. GKC gets a sly dig at his friend in The Napoleon of Notting Hill, on page 81 of our edition, where Mr. Turnbull is described as arranging toy soldiers as a compensatory means for his frustrated martial feelings. Wells was famous for mapping military strategies with toy soldiers and toy ordnance (think modern war-gaming), as this famous picture illustrates. ("More brass than brains," my grandmother once remarked.)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Harlan Elison's "Napoleon of Notting Hill" Echo

The great speculative science fiction writer Harlan Elison (a treasure of mine) wrote a now-famous short story, "Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman," in 1965, having strong thematic similarity to Chesterton's imagined political future in his The Napoleon of Notting Hill: notably its rebelliousness, its objection to a sterile, well-ordered, mechanistic universal technocracy society envisioned in the not-too-distant future, and a Fool who opposes it by jest and absurdity.

Click on this post's title for a hotlink to a .pdf version of the story....

Chesterton and Imaginative Distance

Seminar discussion in tonight's class brought up the importance of distance in Chesterton's act of setting his political ideas is a fiction of the future: a very strange future in that it is exactly like Chesterton's present.

As it happens, Chesterton was very much aware of the value--even the necessity--of using distance to break the soporiphic spell of familiarity. Here are quotations from two of his apologetic works which make this exceedingly and delightfully plain. The first is from Orthodoxy and the second from Heretics.

  1. I have often had a fancy for writing a romance about an English yachtsman who slightly miscalculated his course and discovered England under the impression that it was a new island in the South Seas.I always find, however, that I am either too busy or too lazy to write this fine work, so I may as well give it away for the purposes of philosophical illustration. There will probably be a general impression that the man who landed (armed to the teeth and talking by signs) to plant the British flag on that barbaric temple which turned out to be the Pavilion at Brighton, felt rather a fool.I am not here concerned to deny that he looked a fool. But if you imagine that he felt a fool, or at any rate that the sense of folly was his sole or his dominant emotion, then you have not studied with sufficient delicacy the rich romantic nature of the hero of this tale. His mistake was really a most enviable mistake;and he knew it, if he was the man I take him for. What could be more delightful than to have in the same few minutes all the fascinating terrors of going abroad combined with all the humane security of coming home again? What could be better than to have all the fun of discovering South Africa without the disgusting necessity of landing there? What could be more glorious than to brace one's self up to discover New South Wales and then realize,with a gush of happy tears, that it was really old South Wales.This at least seems to me the main problem for philosophers, and is in a manner the main problem of this book. How can we contrive to be at once astonished at the world and yet at home in it?How can this queer cosmic town, with its many-legged citizens,with its monstrous and ancient lamps, how can this world give us at once the fascination of a strange town and the comfort and honour of being our own town?
  2. Far away in some strange constellation in skies infinitely remote, there is a small star, which astronomers may some day discover. At least I could never observe in the faces or demeanor of most astronomers or men of science any evidence that they had discovered it; though as a matter of fact they were walking about on it all the time. It is a star that brings forth out of itself very strange plants and very strange animals; and none stranger than the men of science. That at least is the way in which I should begin a history of the world if I had to follow the scientific custom of beginning with an account of the astronomical universe. I should try to see even this earth from the outside, not by the hackneyed insistence of its relative position to the sun, but by some imaginative effort to conceive its remote position for the dehumanized spectator. Only I do not believe in being dehumanized in order to study humanity. I do not believe in dwelling upon the distances that are supposed to dwarf the world; I think there is even something a trifle vulgar about this idea of trying to rebuke spirit by size. And as the first idea is not feasible, that of making the earth a strange planet so as to make it significant, I will not stoop to the other trick of making it a small planet in order to make it insignificant. I would rather insist that we do not even know that it is a planet at all, in the sense in which we know that it is a place; and a very extraordinary place too. That is the note which I wish to strike from the first, if not in the astronomical, then in some more familiar fashion.

"Hang Spring Cleaning!"

The opening to Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows is an intensive expression of many essential Edwardian aspect; for instance, its balanced loves of countryside and urban life (but many more aspects are invoked by lexical clues, some explained in lecture, here emboldened. You may also notice the Freudian cast to the passage: Freudianism being another essentially Edwardian aspect, in its British application, as we shall see explicitly in our concluding course text.
THE Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms. Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing. It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said `Bother!' and `O blow!' and also `Hang spring-cleaning!' and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat. Something up above was calling him imperiously, and he made for the steep little tunnel which answered in his case to the gravelled carriage-drive owned by animals whose residences are nearer to the sun and air. So he scraped and scratched and scrabbled and scrooged and then he scrooged again and scrabbled and scratched and scraped, working busily with his little paws and muttering to himself, `Up we go! Up we go!' till at last, pop! his snout came out into the sunlight, and he found himself rolling in the warm grass of a great meadow.
`This is fine!' he said to himself. `This is better than whitewashing!' The sunshine struck hot on his fur, soft breezes caressed his heated brow, and after the seclusion of the cellarage he had lived in so long the carol of happy birds fell on his dulled hearing almost like a shout. Jumping off all his four legs at once, in the joy of living and the delight of spring without its cleaning, he pursued his way across the meadow till he reached the hedge on the further side.

Edwardian Eros

The point made in lecture regarding the Edwardian reserve in sexual matters being more eros than prudery is illustrated well by a National Lampoon cover from 1981 which represents our own Age's anti-Edwardian--that is, unreserved--eros as creating sexual dis-satisfaction.
The issue cover can be found online at this link.

Mayoralty of London

Classfellow G.N. sends alone this article from the New York Times, entitled "Clown Prince of the City" à propos Chesterton's The Napoleon of Notting Hill.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

High Tea

Classfellow N.K. has negotiated a price of $21.00 per person for high tea at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver. We will discuss the practicality and logistics in class this week.

Characteristically, high tea is a Victorian creation that the Edwardians made definitive.

Please do leave your elegantly-expressed RSVP in the comments of this post....

Patriotism vs. Nationalism

Contra the assertion by Martin Gartner in the Introduction to our edition of Chesterton's The Napoleon of Notting Hill that "....patriotism now called nationalism," I presented in lecture that George Orwell makes an important dichotomy between the two concepts, in his 1945 essay "Notes on Nationalism." Here is one memorable quotation from it, offered pace Chesterton's affirmation of patriotism:

Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Attendance Bonus

Beneficial contribution to the class dialectic will be treated as follows. Consistent participation in class discussion is assumed, at the Instructor's discretionary judgement.

Full attendance:

  1. For the Final Paper, rounding up to the next letter grade where percentage is within five points. (E.g. Final paper is 85.5 %: grade assigned is 90%.)
  2. For the Group Discussion Assignment, eliminating the lowest grade of the three presentations and scaling the remaining two for the fifteen percent component of the course grade.
One class absence:

  1. For the Final Paper, rounding up to the next letter grade where percentage is within one point. (E.g. Final paper is 89.0 %: grade assigned is 90%.)
  2. For the Group Discussion Assignment, eliminating the lowest grade of the three presentations and scaling the remaining two for the fifteen percent component of the course grade.

Two class absences:

  1. For the Group Discussion Assignment, eliminating the lowest grade of the three presentations and scaling the remaining two for the fifteen percent component of the course grade.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mid-Term Essay: Structure

Here is the Writing-Intensive arrangement and the schedule of dates for the Mid-Term Essay, twenty five hundred words and revisions. The assignment is worth thirty percent of the Course grade.

Eight-week writing path

  1. June 2nd: choice of topics posted on the blog
  2. June 16th: draft version due in class.
  3. June 30th: draft returned with comments & conditional grade.
  4. July 7th: peer-editing of draft revision.
  5. July 14th: revision due in class.
  6. July 21st: revision returned with comments & final grade.
  • The draft is an opportunity to get your ideas and structure freely down on paper. The marking will identify the types of error which require revision: after studying these you are encouraged to bring the draft to Office Hours for additional and thorough-going help.

Grading structure:
  • Intensive copy-editing and analysis, in red ink, will be done on the first two-thirds of the essay. The remaining third is left unmarked, to provide you, once having read and studied my work, with a practical document on which to apply the same degree and type of copy-editing corrections yourself. Upon completion of that exercise, you are welcome to bring that to me in an Office Hour for discussion.
  • There is a circled grade beside my concluding comments at the end of your paper.
  • This is your conditional grade.
  • Upon revision of the draught, the mark can go down no more than one full letter grade and can go up no more than one full letter grade: conditional upon the quality of your revision.
  • If little revision is done, the conditional grade will stand
  • If no or poor revision is done the mark will go down.
  • If comprehensive revision is done, the mark will go up.
    • The mark after the revision will be the final grade for the assignment.
    • The revision will be graded according to the improvements made from the draught.
    • A complete re-write is possible, if the student feels that they wish to improve upon the range available from the conditional grade received. The complete re-write will be judged as a final revision and the grade on that re-write will be the final grade for the assignment.

    G.K. Chesterton

    As we heard in lecture, G.K. Chesterton, our course's first Edwardian author, was an extremely likable man, and a literary figure who endures. On the likability, he had a Johnsonian love of rollicking debate, which he perennially conducted with a number of famous antagonists (Bernard Shaw & H.G Wells at the forefront) all of whom remained his dear friends. On his endurance as literary and cultural influence, this is the type of case (nearly the only type of case) where benighted "wikipedia" is useful, for its sole reliability is its record of popular attitudes.

    G.K.C. was also -- as the image leftward here shows -- a great lover of food and drink, which he enjoyed prodigiously and appreciated for its convivial qualities.

    Chesterton is also famous for his religious apologetics (a large part of his legacy); however we will not be focusing on these aspects of his writings, but will instead look at the political dimensions of The Napoleon of Notting Hill and at Chesterton as a representative of the controlled rebelliousness which formed part of the Edwardian social genius.

    A puckish link pace G.K.C via classfellow G. N. is here.

    Course E-mail Netiquette

    A few salient points of productive e-mail protocol for our course :
    1. Use only your SFU account for e-mail to the course Lecturer. All other e-mail is blocked by whitelist.
    2. E-mail (indeed, all communication) between Lecturer and student is a formal and professional exchange. Accordingly, proper salutation and closing is essential.
    3. Business e-mail is courteous but, of professional necessity, concise and direct. It rejects roundabout or ornate language, informal diction, and any appearance of what is termed in the vernacular, 'chat.'
    4. Customary response time for e-mail to the Course Lecturer is two weekdays. E-mail on weekends will ordinarily be read the Monday following.

    In general, course e-mail is only for essential matters of Course business, and it avoids questions about lecture material, course reading, assignment criteria, or deadlines, which are all reserved for tutorials and office hours. Missed classes and deadlines do not need to be reported by e-mail: if a medical or bereavement exception is being claimed, the supporting documentation is handed in, along with the completed assignment, either in person or the Instructor's mailbox outside the Department Office.


    Classfellow G.N. sends along this link to a New York Times article on steampunk which claims the genre as evincing an Edwardian sensibility (late Victorian-Edwardian.) A plausible claim, at least ....

    I blogged steampunk miscellenia last term for a Victorian Literature course, here.

    Update: An excellent article, interview, & overview online here.
    Steampunk fiction features a heady blend of influences like Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and inventor-hero fiction from the American pulps of the 1800s. It typically includes some mix or mash-up of airships, mad (or, at least, heavily-invested) scientists, eccentric inventors, Victorian-era adventure, and clockwork technology of the sort that we've largely abandoned. Its godfather may well be Michael Moorcock, with his novel The Warlord of the Air, and it gained huge popularity in its first wave because of novels like William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's The Difference Engine in the 1980s and early 1990s. Other classics include Paul Di Filippo's The Steampunk Trilogy, K.W. Jeter's Infernal Devices, and Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates.

    Wednesday, May 7, 2008

    "The Innocence of Edwardian England"

    This book cover posted online via The Major's Bookcase as a representation of "The innocence of Edwardian England."

    Follow the hotlink to the site for other fascinating covers of like kidney.

    Opening Class

    Thank-you all for a memorably engaging and productive opening class. Ahead of most (coughallcough) of you having opportunity to read the opening text, today required us to get (a.) a firm and workable grasp of what "Edwardianism" means -- not just the hard dates but the experience and the aesthetic -- and (b.) a similar background feeling for Chesterton the man and The Napoleon of Notting Hill the literary work.

    Syllabus to follow later this week, now that I have your preferences, with schedule of readings. You should have GKC read by next week and -- recommended -- a start on the glory that is Marie Corelli.....

    From "Comments" to the post on the original blog:

    jane said...
    With regard to human height, A. de Quatrefages’ The Human Species (2nd edn., 1879) contains a table with the following stats:
    England....1.687....5 6½
    Belgium....1.686....5 6½
    Germany....1.680....5 6
    France (northern).1.665....5 5½
    France (southern).1.630....5 4. (the French were teeny)

    Graham Nickel said...
    In case people haven't picked up the Chesterton book in time to read it for next class it's online, full-text at the Gutenberg Project.

    Course Syllabus

    Course Approach

    The calendar title of English 436 (writing intensive) is "Literature of Transition." We focus on the transition from the 19th to the 20th Centuries which, happily, has its very own "Age"—to wit, the Edwardian, corresponding to the reign of King Edward VII (ending, according to one's understanding, with that Monarch's death in 1910, with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, or (my own understanding) the outbreak of WWI in 1914.) Our special concentration will be on the conception—seen most strongly in the arts; literature, drama, film and even popular music and culture—of the Edwardians as living a Golden Age.
    Supporting this conception are the plain facts that, one, the years following the great Victorian Era were a time of peace and prosperity for the British Isles; two, the mood of the literature and belle lettres evinces this mood; and, three, the representation of the Edwardians in later years (our own included) is manifestly nostalgic and enduring popular. Objections to this view have been, and still are, made, and strenuously; drawing attention to the fact that social injustices existed in Edwardian Britain, and, especially in recent years, dismissing Edwardianism tout courte for its Imperial character.
    But, important for our course, the Edwardian literature shows that the Age has a subtly, and maturity and a multi-dimensionality that, lacking among its contemporary detractors, makes their objections seem facile polarisations. Left vs. Right, Good vs. Evil, Gold vs. Dross; these are the simplistic binaries of our own Age, not of the Edwardians. Imperfection, the Edwardians writers implied, is not, surely, the same as entire corruption. As a literary masterpiece can contain a flaw—even a large one—yet remain an artistic triumph, so an Age can contain injustice and still be held Golden. And, of course, part of—a large part of—the belle epoque aspects of Edwardian Britain that induce nostalgia, even Paradise Lost, for us, comes from the knowledge that the experience was transitory: doomed utterly and horribly by the irredeemably obscenity of WWI.
    These and other Edwarian subtleties, and aspects of their culture, will be explored through our Term together in the works of some of their literary greats.

    Schedule of Readings

    Primary Course Texts

    May 5th & 12th
    —Chesterton, G. K. The Napoleon of Notting Hill
    May 26th & June 2nd
    —Wells, H. G. The Sleeper Awakes
    June 9th & 16th
    —Wodehouse, P. G. Psmith in the City
    June 23rd & 30th
    —Jerome, Jerome K. Three Men in a Boat
    July 7th & 14th
    —Potter, Beatrix Complete Tales
    July 21st & 28th
    —West, Rebecca, Return of the Soldier

    Secondary Texts

    May 5th—June 9th
    —Corelli, Marie The Sorrows of Satan
    June 16th—August 4th
    —Grossmith, G. Diary of a Nobody

    Nb: There is a four percent per day late penalty for all assignments, documented medical or bereavement leave excepted. For medical exemptions, provide a letter on a Physician's or Surgeon's letterhead which declares his or her medical judgement that illness or injury prevented work on the assignment. The letter must cover the entire period over which the assignment was scheduled and may be verified by telephone. For bereavement leave, simply provide, ex post facto, a copy of the order of service or other published notice of remembrance.
    Support material available on Library Reserve.

    Nb: “Participation requires both attendance and punctuality."

    Assignment Due Dates

    May 12th, Group Discussion Projects sign-up sheet.
    June 2nd, Mid-Term Essay topics Posted.
    June 9th, Group 'Transition' Project outline due.
    June 16th, Mid-Term Essay Draft due.
    June 30th, Graded Mid-Term Essay Draft returned.
    July 7th, Mid-Term Essay Revision peer-edit in class.
    July 14th, Mid-Term Essay Revision due.
    July 28th, Mid-Term Essay Revision returned.
    July 28th, Final Essay Outline or Thesis ¶ Draft due.
    August 11th, Final Essay due.

    Group Seminar Discussion Projects
    In groups of three, lead a fifteen minute seminar discussion on some appealing aspect of the text for the week or the week to follow. Select a literary component of the text that your group judges to be exemplary (in he strict sense of that term.) The assignment will be graded according to the involvement of all group members equally, the pertinency and value of the aspect being discussed, and the successful engagement of the class in discussion. Technology is not outright prohibited in the project, but it is discouraged.
    The grading is Fail, Pass, Succeed:
    • a cursory presentation is Fail at 0%
    • a half-hearted or notably flawed presentation is Pass at 50%
    • everything else is Success at 100%.
    Group Transition Projects
    Groups of five members will submit two written or creative projects that represent the Edwardian Age as a transition between Victorianism and Modernity. Elements or characteristics of Edwardian as belle epoque—as a contemporary phenomenon or in our own popular culture—lend themselves strongly here. A caveat is that in journalism and mass culture, "Edwardian" is oftimes adjectivally applied to things American, which is an academic solecism.
    • Each of the two assignments is worth 10% of the course grade, and thus requires 10% of the course effort.
    • The assignments can be related—two sides of an argument, for instance, or two contrasting course authors—or independent.
    • Submit your schedule of due dates for the two halves of the project along with a written proposal of between two hundred and fifty and five hundred words in class no later than June 9th. If the creative options is used (i.e. a form besides a scholarly essay) then the proposal must be in the form of failure standards. The sole criterion for the due dates is that they must be no less than two weeks apart.
    • Class time will be regularly available throughout the Term for work on the projects.
    • Originality, understanding, enlightenment and recognition of Edwardian characteristics—all implying some independent reseaarch—are included among the grading criteria.

    Final Essay

    Open topic. See the schedule of dates for the assignment components. The essay outline or thesis ¶ draft will be peer-edited and commented by the Lecturer in class.

    Instructor Contact:
    Office Hours: AQ 6094 -- Monday 14:30-18:00, Tuesday 12:00-15:00, Wednesday 11:30-12:30, 14:30-15:00. Bring your coffee and discuss course matters freely. E-mail to Telephone 778-782-5820. Bring your coffee and discuss course matters freely.

    Monday, May 5, 2008

    Course Outline

    The Victorian 19th century is severed from the 20th century by the unbridgeable chasm that is the First World War. There was, however, a miraculous transitional time of serenity, gentilesse, manners and happiness between these two epochs: the Edwardian Age. Although the name is unfamiliar, the character of the Age remains. It is only slight exaggeration to say that North Americans’ image of Englishness is Edwardian; embodied in film adaptations like Howard’s End and Remains of the Day, television series such as Upstairs, Downstairs and The Forsyte Saga, and the constant popularity of children’s classics like the Beatrix Potter Tales, Wind in the Willows and Peter Pan. In this course, we will come to understand, appreciate, and perhaps love, the tragic glory of the Edwardians through a study of six of their greatest novels; each of them beloved, influential and, in their different ways, subliminally expressive of the achingly transient nature of a moment that was widely felt to be, in the words of novelist George Gissing, the “Crown of Life.”

    In addition to the books on the Required and (strongly) Recommended lists, several scholarly studies of the Edwardians will be placed on Course Reserve. We will, of course, use video adaptations as the Course progresses to more fully encounter the Edwardian sensibility.


    Chesterton, G. K. The Napoleon of Notting Hill Dover
    Wells, H. G. The Sleeper Awakes Dodo
    Wodehouse, P. G. Psmith in the City Wildside
    Jerome, Jerome K. Three Men in a Boat Penguin
    Potter, Beatrix Complete Tales Warne
    West, Rebecca Return of the Soldier Penguin

    Strongly Recommended:

    Grossmith, G. Diary of a Nobody Oxford
    Corelli, Marie The Sorrows of Satan Valancourt

    15% Three group seminar discussions
    20% Two group "Transition"projects
    30% Mid-term paper (2500 words with revisions)
    35% Final project (3500 words with draft outline)