It’s time to revisit George Eliot’s Middlemarch, last offered in 2014. In eight sessions we will read the novel, book by book, discovering the degree to which it deserves its reputation as the greatest British novel. We will explore the historical context within which Eliot places her narrative, assess her famous habit of authorial intrusions, as well as analyze the familiar issues of plot, characterization, and the challenge of its conclusion. We have both taught the novels separately to college students and enjoyed teaching it as a team, seven years ago, to a group of wise seniors. We propose to teach this course twice, one in the AM and one in the PM to allow for maximum participation. Read the first Book, chapters 1-12, for the first session.
Instructor John Ward has been professor and chair of Kenyon College English Department and has served as Dean of Centre College. He earned his B.A. from Amherst College and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, and has taught courses in 18th and 19th century British literature and the history of the British novel. He has published on 18th and 19th century British works as well as those of Vachel Lindsay and Robert Lowell
Instructor Maryanne Ward is retired after a 40-year career in small college education. She chaired Kenyon College Humanities program and served as academic dean until moving to Centre College as professor of English and chair of the Humanities program. Her area of special interest and scholarship is 19th century British literature. Among other topics, her publications have examined the relationship between literature, landscape, and painting.
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