Painting of royal socialites in Georgian England

Georgian England runs roughly from 1714-1837, a period that encompasses a period of extraordinary change: Great Britain, arguably the most powerful nation in the world by 1800, gains and loses and then gains another empire, cities (especially London) grow explosively, modern industry begins, the novel as a literary genre is born, women and the working classes begin to assert their rights, and much else. Literature and the arts—in poetry, in fiction, in painting, in music, in drama, in architecture—are at a pinnacle. The course will focus on modules that explore some of the most important political, historical, and artistic facets of the period: criminal justice and the legal system, the power of satire, the birth of women’s rights, the country vs the city, the emergence of the professional writer, the class system, and the exploration of a new kind of personal poetry with the Romantic movement. We will study Swift, Pope, Wollstonecraft, Hogarth, Johnson, Wordsworth, Austen, as well as additional reading in primary sources on crime and justice.