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Survey of British Literature: ENGL 310

Below is the Departmental list of authors and works which should be covered in the 310 survey of British literature. Where no specific works are listed, it is assumed that students will be given a general knowledge of appropriate works in the canon. The course is not limited to the authors and works listed; works by women will be included in the list of supplemental works. In addition to essay tests and quizzes, students will be required to write at least one formal, critical essay (1,500-word computer drafted minimum).

Required texts and materials

Norton Anthology of English Literature (major authors edition). Paperbacks may be supplemented where appropriate.

The University Writing Center

To receive individual instruction and feedback on writing in progress, students should be encouraged to visit The Academic Support Services Center in the basement of Scarborough Library. Visits are by appointment (via the online schedule found at or through ShepOwl at

The Old English Period

Beowulf: selected lyrics

Middle English Period

Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales, General Prologue; two of the following: “Miller’s Tale,” “Wife of Bath’s Prologue,” “Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale”

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Langland: Piers Plowman selections

Everyman or the Second Shepherds’ Play

Margery Kempe or Julian of Norwich


Spenser: Faerie Queene, Book I, Selected Sonnets

Shakespeare: A Play

Marlow’s Dr. Faustus or Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi

Donne: “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning,” “The Flea,” selected Holy sonnets, Meditation XVII

Herbert or Marvell: Selected metaphysical poems

Milton : “Lycidas,” Paradise Lost, Books I, II, and IX, Arguments for Books III-XII

Revision approved Spring 2008