Writing the Revolution 1640 - 1720

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
30 July 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA QT37 English and United States Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA T720 English and United States Literature,
BA T723 English and United States Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA T728 English and United States Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q300 English Literature,
BA Q303 English Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA Q320 English Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q321 English Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA QV23 Literature and Art History,
BA QV24 Literature and Art History (Including Placement Year),
BA QV2H Literature and Art History (Including Foundation Year),
BA QV32 Literature and Art History (Including Year Abroad),
BA QV3B Literature and Art History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA Q210 English and Comparative Literature,
BA Q211 English and Comparative Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA Q212 English and Comparative Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA Q218 English and Comparative Literature (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

The revolutionary period covered by this module saw the abolition of censorship, an explosion of publishing, the airing of formerly repressed opinions, a civil war, the execution of the king, Cromwell’s short-lived ‘Commonwealth’, the restoration of the monarchy, the re-opening of the theatres – and through it all, the appearance of radically new kinds of writing.

This module looks at the great achievements of seventeenth-century literature from Milton’s classic tale of rebels and rebellion in Paradise Lost, to classic lyrical poetry as well as radical pamphleteering, political satire, libertine verse and the creative journalism of Daniel Defoe.

This module ends with a shipwreck and the arrival on a desert island of the entirely self-made modern man, Robinson Crusoe, presaging the advent of a brave new world culture of mercantile enterprise, self-reliance and capitalist endeavour – and, arguably, the invention of a new literary form: the novel.

Module aims

1. To convey an idea of the wealth of writing from 1640 to 1720
2. To have students engage closely with specific examples of such writing
3. To develop an appreciation of the close interrelationship between historical conditions and literary culture

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of a wide variety of writing in all genres from 1640 to 1720
2. Analyse and describe the processes out of which specific literary genres were formed
3. Critically evaluate and analyse particular literary works with an informed understanding of the historical period
4. Plan and deliver a researched group presentation on their chosen topic
5. Research, structure and write an essay.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly two-hour seminars


  • Selected poems of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester,
  • Robertson, Geoffrey; Baker, Philip. (2007) The Putney debates: the Levellers, London: Verso.
  • Pepys, Samuel; Latham, Robert. (2003) The diaries of Samuel Pepys: a selection, London: Penguin.
  • Milton, John; Orgel, Stephen; Goldberg, Jonathan. (2008) Paradise lost, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Defoe, Daniel. (1993) Robinson Crusoe, Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth.
  • Marvell, Andrew; Donno, Elizabeth Story. (©2005) The complete poems, London: Penguin.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Presentation Supporting Document     25% 
Coursework   Essay (2,000 - 2,500 words)    70% 
Practical   Participation     5% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Christopher Bundock, email:
Dr Christopher Bundock
LiFTS General Office, email: Tel. (01206) 872626



External examiner

Prof Duncan James Salkeld
University of Chichester
Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature
Available via Moodle
Of 23 hours, 23 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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