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Writing London


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: Dr Victoria Mills (autumn) and to be confirmed (spring and summer)
  • Assessment: a 1500-word commentary (20%) and 2500-word essay (80%)

Module description

In this module we introduce you to fictions about London. We will look at seven novels and three plays in their historical contexts, beginning with a contemporary novel, then progressing chronologically from Shakespeare to the present:

  • Zadie Smith, NW (2012)
  • William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1 (c. 1597)
  • Thomas Middleton, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (1613)
  • Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders (1722)
  • Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (1837)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1925)
  • Samuel Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (1956)
  • Harold Pinter, The Caretaker (1960)
  • Ian McEwan, Saturday (2005)

Your tutor will suggest how to use different types of material (literary, critical, historical, visual, for example) to elucidate the primary material.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will have used conceptual, historical and formal frameworks to understand literature that represents the city of London.