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Writing London


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

Module description

This module introduces you to fictions about London. We will look at seven novels and three plays in their historical contexts. The course begins with a contemporary novel of London, then progresses chronologically from Shakespeare to the present.

The texts studied are:

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

The module 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.