This course aims to introduce students to a pivotal period in English literature, from the birth of Romanticism in the late eighteenth century to the beginnings of Modernism 100 years later. The course will focus particularly on poetry, and students will become familiar with the work and cultural impact of Byron, Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Blake, before examining the high Victorian tradition of Browning, Tennyson and Arnold and the beginnings of Modernism in Whitman, Hopkins and Swinburne. This will be complemented by readings from the fiction of the period (shorts stories and extracts from novels by Dickens, Trollope, Thackeray and Gissing), as well as social and literary criticism, particularly Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy. By the end of the course, students should have a thorough grounding in nineteenth-century poetry and criticism and an appreciation for the aesthetic and ethical temper of the period. This, of course, is an end in itself, but it should also prepare them for the study of Modernism, and equip them to think more deeply and critically about the way in which contemporary ideas have been shaped by those that flourished and perished in the nineteenth century.