Pox and Plague: Disease and Illness in Eighteenth Century Satire
Course Unit Director: Dr. Noelle Gallagher
For many eighteenth-century writers, satire was understood as a form designed to “cure” various social ills—to “purge” its readers of sicknesses, imagined and real. This course will explore how ideas of illness or disease—pox, plague, gout, consumption, melancholy, hypochrondria—influenced the formal and thematic development of eighteenth-century satire.
The following is a list of the books that you will be asked to purchase for this course, and may wish to begin reading over the summer. Additional course readings will be provided when the term begins.
***Please note that you are required to purchase the specified editions of the course texts for this course.***
Some of the texts assigned for this course have no chapter divisions or subsections; others have been produced in inexpensive editions with inadequate—or no—footnotes. Our seminar discussions will refer to texts by page number, and you will not be able to find your place in the text if you are using a different edition. Ordering information for all of the course texts (including ISBN) is provided below, but copies will also be available for sale at Blackwell University bookshop. The selections from Dryden, Rochester, and Garth will be available as PDFs on the Blackboard site for the course, but they may also be photocopied from the editions referenced below.
Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year, ed. Cynthia Wall (London: Penguin, 2003). ISBN 9780140437850.
Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub, ed. Angus Ross (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). ISBN 9780199549788.
Laurence Sterne, Sentimental Journey, ed. Ian Jack (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). ISBN 9780199537181.
Tobias Smollett, Humphry Clinker, ed. Sean Regan (London: Penguin, 2008). ISBN 9780199537181.
Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility, ed. James Kinsley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). ISBN 9780199535576.