Frontispiece to 1753 edition of An Essay on The Art of Ingeniously Tormenting

Monday, September 2nd

Labor Day / No Class

Wednesday, September 4th

Jane Collier, The Art of Ingeniously Tormenting. Link to ODNB entry.

Definition of Satire

“Satire can be described as the literary art of diminishing or derogating a subject by making it ridiculous and evoking toward it attitudes of amusement, contempt, scorn, or indignation. It differs from the comic in that comedy evokes laughter as an end in itself, while satire derides; that is, it uses laughter as a weapon, and against a butt that exists outside the work itself. That butt may be an individual (in “personal satire”), or a type of person, a class, an institution, a nation, or even . . . the entire human race.” (pp. 275)

(From M.H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms, Seventh Edition)

Monday, September 9th

Lady Mary (Pierrepont) Wortley Montagu, Sir Godfrey Kneller, painted before her marriage

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, The Turkish Embassy Letters (Letters 1 through 37; pg. 47-145). You must read the Introduction to this edition as well as Appendix A (221-224), which includes Mary Astell’s 1725 introduction.

Link to Montagu’s ODNB entry.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu Portraits and Eighteenth-Century Dress

Please choose 1 of the following prompts:

  1. How would you characterize Lady Mary Wortley Montagu as a traveller? What does she pay attention to? How does she characterize herself as a “witness” during her travels?
  2. Look at one pair of letters and briefly describe how they differ, focusing on tone and/or content: Lady Mar/Alexander Pope (Letters 30 and 31 or Letters 21 and 22)

Her Imperial Majesty, Elisabeth Christine of Austria, c. 1725

 Wednesday, September 11th

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, The Turkish Embassy Letters (Conclude the letters)


Eliza Haywood (1693?-1756), Erin Schilling. Erin will be discussing this selection from The Female SpectatorPlease focus on where the X begins on pg. 54 to “Methinks” on pg. 56. She’ll be comparing this work of Haywood’s to Addison and Steele’s The Spectator nos. 57 and 66, which we read earlier this semester.

Frances Sheridan (1724-1766), Max Rabb

Frances Burney

Monday, September 16th

Frances Burney, Evelina (Volume I; 89-242). ODNB entry. 

Editions from Worldcat

From the British Library

Wednesday, September 18th

Frances Burney, Evelina (Begin Volume II; 245-296)


Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), Emma Welborn

Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806), Jacob Kisic

Maria Cosway (1760-1838), Hillory Bingham

Video Re-creation of Dido Belle’s dressing for her portrait

Monday, September 23rd

Frances Burney, Evelina (Conclude the novel)

Frontispiece from the 4th edition (British Library)


Dido Elizabeth Belle (1761?-1804), Ayesha Jerald

Wednesday, September 25th

Phillis Wheatley, Read the Course Pack selections in their entirety. Please focus on poetics (i.e. how the poems are written) as well as thematics.

We discussed “On Being Brought from Africa to America” and “On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield”

ODNB Entry

Literary Terms for English 4460

Mary Collier, The Woman’s Labour; an Epistle to Mr. Stephen Duck; In Answer to his late Poem, called The Thresher’s Labour, please print and bring to class

ODNB Entry

Clara Reeve, from “To my Friend, Mrs. –, On her Holding an Argument in Favour of the Natural Equality of Both the Sexes.” There is a download link at the bottom of the page. Please print and bring to class.

ODNB Entry


Clara Reeve (1729-1807), Katie Pope


Charlotte Smith

Monday, September 30th

Re-view Wheatley, “To Maecenas,” the ode to the Earl of Dartmouth, and “A Farewell to America”

Charlotte Smith, Elegiac Sonnets, Read the Course Pack selections of Smith’s poetry in their entirety

ODNB Entry

Review the definitions of the sonnet. Definition to be posted.

Anna Barbauld, “On the Death of Mrs. Jennings“. Please print up and bring to class.

ODNB Entry


Anna Letitia Barbauld (1743-1825), Avery Simpson

Hannah More (1745-1833), Zach Green

Group Work: Discussion of Phillis Wheatley’s “To Maecenas” and Charlotte Smith’s Sonnet 1 (sometimes called “The Partial Muse”)

How would you characterize the poetic form, techniques, and language (inclusive of vocabulary as well as figurative language) of each of these two poets? What differences do you see? Similarities? 

What larger argument can you make about these poets given what you’ve found?


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