The age of political and scientific revolution between 1660 and 1832 also saw a revolution in storytelling. This course examines experiments in fiction during this period, including titillating secret histories and epistolary novels written as letters. How do these fictions portray gender and sexuality, and how have they influenced the commercial novels that we read today? To approach these questions, we study stories by the first women who made a living as authors; the notorious French bestseller Dangerous Liaisons; and Jane Austen’s first published novel, Sense and Sensibility, with an eye to how Austen addresses the genre’s scandalous earlier history.
3-5 units. Less units for students who want to have a lighter load.