Modern British Novel

Pedagogical Goals

If you take this class, you should expect the following:
To develop familiarity with the techniques and concerns of the modern novel in Britain;
To learn about the novel’s interaction with other genres and with historical forces;
To gain exposure to the methods of literary criticism;
To improve your writing.


Texts are available at Labyrinth Books, 290 York Street, except David Lodge, The British Museum is Falling Down (Penguin 978-0140124194) which you should buy used on-line.

Required at Labyrinth:

  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Norton 978-0393926361)
  • Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (Broadview 978-1551113814)
  • E. M. Forster, Howard's End (Norton 978-0393970111)
  • James Joyce, Dubliners (Norton 978-0393978513) or just read “The Dead”
  • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man (Norton 978-0393926798)
  • D. H. Lawrence, The Rainbow (Penguin 978-0141441382)
  • Katherine Mansfield, Stories (Vintage 978-0679733744)
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Harcourt 978-0156030359)
  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (Harcourt 978-0156030472)
  • Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited (Back Bay 978-0316926348)

Recommended at Labyrinth:

  • Don Gifford, Joyce Annotated (University of California Press 978-0520046108)
  • Pericles Lewis, The Cambridge Introduction to Modernism (Cambridge 978-0521535274)

Class Time

TTh 11:35-12:25 plus one hour of section. Please come on time. Regular attendance required.

Office Hours

Tuesday 2:00-3:45 and other times by appointment, 451 College Street, Room 213.

I encourage all students to come meet with me and share their thoughts about the course. In order to be sure of having enough time to talk, please schedule an appointment by contacting Angelika Schriever at

Course Requirements

  • Regular attendance at class and participation in section discussions
  • Mid-term
  • Two short papers (6 to 8 pages each)
  • Final Exam
  • Regular communication with your Teaching Assistant, through emailed reading responses, participation in the course's blogs, or other methods proposed by your TA.
  • Papers must be submitted at the English department drop box before 4:00 p.m. on the due date.
  • Late papers will be penalized unless accompanied by a Dean's excuse.


  • Grade for attendance, participation, assignments in section: 20%
  • Mid-term: 10%
  • Each of two short papers: 20%
  • Final exam: 30%
  • You must complete all assignments to earn a passing grade in this class.


The course website will include copies of the slides used in the lectures on the arts, as well as reproductions of manuscripts from the Beinecke Library that you may use for your papers. The website forms part of a broader project called the Modernism Lab (

Format of Papers; Plagiarism

Consult “Some Matters of Form” for guidelines on how to format your papers. This document is available from the English department. Your assignments must be typed in 12-point font, with margins of one inch. You should document all your sources for any ideas or information if you are unsure whether they originated with you. (This includes any information you find on the web, although generally known facts such as the birthdate of an author need not be footnoted). Yale College regulations require that I report all cases of plagiarism to the Yale College Executive Committee. You can find further information in a pamphlet entitled “Sources: Their Use and Acknowledgment,” which you should have received from the Yale College Dean’s Office. See also



T 12 What is Modernism?
Th 14 Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

T 19 Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Th 21 Primitivism, Futurism, and Cubism
Th-F 21-22 First section meeting

T 26 Ford, The Good Soldier
Th 28 Ford, The Good Soldier
Assignments for first paper distributed in class and posted on classes server


T 2 Forster, Howards End
Th 4 Forster, Howards End

T 9 Katherine Mansfield, “Bliss” and “The Garden Party”
Th 11 James Joyce, “The Dead”
F 12 First paper due in English department drop box by 4 p.m.

T 16 Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Th 18 Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Th-F 18-19 Visits to Yale University Art Gallery

T 23 A Brief Guide to Bloomsday: James Joyce, Ulysses (excerpts)
Th 25 Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway


T 2 Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
Th 4 Mid-term exam in class

T 23 D. H. Lawrence, The Rainbow
Th 25 D. H. Lawrence, The Rainbow

T 30 D. H. Lawrence, The Rainbow


Th 1 Woolf, To the Lighthouse

T 6 Woolf, To the Lighthouse
Th 8 Woolf, To the Lighthouse

T 13 Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
Th 15 Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

T 20 Lodge, The British Museum is Falling Down (purchased used)
Th 22 After Modernism?

M 26 Final paper due in English department drop box by 4 p.m.


Th 6 Final Exam, 9:00 a.m.

Heart of Darkness book cover

The Good Soldier book cover

Howard's End book cover

Dubliners book cover

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man book cover

The Rainbows book cover

Stories book cover

Mrs. Dalloway book cover

To the Lighthouse book cover

Brideshead Revisited book cover

The British Museum is Falling Down book cover

Brideshead Revisited book cover

The British Museum is Falling Down book cover