Jun 23, 2024  
Catalogue 2021-2022 
Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ENGL 365 - Selected Author

Semester Offered: Fall
1 unit(s)

(Same as MEDS 365 )  Study of the work of a single author. The work may be read in relation to literary predecessors and descendants as well as in relation to the history of the writer’s critical and popular reception. This course alternates from year to year with ENGL 265 .

Topic for 2021/22a: William Congreve. Most famous now for his last comedy, The Way of the World, Congreve was the author of four more successful plays in the last decade of the seventeenth century.  He won such critical acclaim that his eighteenth-century biographer could say he knew “every man of his time whom wit and elegance had raised to reputation.” Dryden picked him as his true successor, and the distinguished Kit-Kat Club exalted him as their favorite.  Even Voltaire made a pilgrimage to his doorstep.  Poor eyesight forced Congreve into early retirement although he never completely stopped writing, producing the libretto for an opera and many poems, along with a complete edition of his plays. The five plays are the focus of this course, but we also read some work by playwrights who most influenced Congreve: Dryden, Wycherley, or Etheredge. In addition, we read Congreve’s novella, The Incognita, and some of his poetry. We also look into the world of the Kit-Kat Club that included many of Congreve’s friends and admirers. Congreve’s complete works are available in a superb edition by D. F. McKenzie, available online through our library. That is our main text. Robert DeMaria.


This course satisfies one of the two pre-1800 requirements for the English major.

One 2-hour period.

Course Format: CLS

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