19th Century Long List

The PhD Oral Examination

in the

Nineteenth Century

(updated July 2018)



In addition to six critical works, students should choose forty primary authors (each represented by a novel, play, or cluster of poems/essays) distributed among the various genres as indicated.

POETRY (at least 10)


Matthew Arnold, William Blake, Emily Bronte, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Robert Burns, Lord Byron, John Clare, Arthur Hugh Clough, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, George Crabbe, Michael Field, Thomas Hardy, Felicia Hemans, G.M. Hopkins, John Keats, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, George Meredith, William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, Percy Bysshe Shelley, A.C. Swinburne, Alfred Tennyson, Augusta Webster, Oscar Wilde, William Wordsworth, W.B. Yeats



FICTION (at least 10)


Jane Austen, M.E. Braddon, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Lewis Carroll, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Benjamin Disraeli, Arthur Conan Doyle, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, William Godwin, H. Rider Haggard, Thomas Hardy, James Hogg, Elizabeth Inchbald, Charles Kingsley, M.G. Lewis, Robert Charles Maturin, George Meredith, Margaret Oliphant, Anne Radcliffe, Olive Schreiner, Walter Scott, Mary Shelley, R.L. Stevenson, Anthony Trollope, William MakepeaceThackeray, Mrs. Humphry Ward, H.G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, Charlotte Yonge



NON-FICTION PROSE (at least 8)

(Note: one or more periodicals might serve in the place of an author, or authors, in this section.)


Matthew Arnold, William Blake, Edmund Burke, Thomas Carlyle, Frances Power Cobbe, S.T. Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey, Charles Darwin, George Eliot, T. H. Huxley, Anna Jameson, John Keats, Charles Lamb, Vernon Lee, T. B. Macaulay, Harriet Martineau, Alice Meynell, J. S. Mill, John Henry Newman, Thomas Paine, Walter Pater, John Ruskin, Walter Scott, P. B. Shelley, Herbert Spencer, Oscar Wilde, Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth, William Wordsworth





Students may optionally include a list of no more than 6 scripts by the following playwrights, reducing their selection from the other literary genres accordingly.

Joanna Baillie
Dion Boucicault
Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Lord Byron
Wilkie Collins
George Colman, the Younger
W.S. Gilbert
Felicia Hemans
Thomas Holcroft
Elizabeth Inchbald
Douglas Jerrold
William Moncrief
Arthur Wing Pinero
James Robinson Planché
Tom Robertson
George Bernard Shaw
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Tom Taylor
Oscar Wilde




Students should choose six from the list below; substitutions are possible but need to be approved by the area chair.

Tom Mole, What the Victorians Made of Romanticism (2017) 

Alison Booth, Homes and Haunts: Touring Writers’ Shrines and Countries (2016) 

Devin Griffiths, The Age of Analogy (2016)  

Talia Schaffer, Romance’s Rival (2016) 

Caroline Levine, Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network (2015) 

Kate Flint, ed., Cambridge History of Victorian Literature (2012) 

Catherine Robson, Heart Beats (2012) 

Leah Price, How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain (2012) 

Gillian Beer, Darwin ’s Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot, and 19th Century Fiction (2009) 

James Eli Adams, A History of Victorian Literature (2009) 

Herbert Tucker, Epic: Britain’s Heroic Muse 1790-1910 (2008) 

Sharon Marcus, Between Women: Friendship, Desire and Marriage in Victorian England (2007) 

Elaine Freedgood, The Ideas in Things: Fugitive Meaning in the Victorian Novel (2006) 

Jeffrey Robinson, Unfettering Poetry: Fancy in British Romanticism (2006) 

Susan Wolfson, Borderlines: The Shiftings of Gender in British Romanticism (2006) 

William St. Clair, The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period (2004) 

Alex Woloch, The One vs. the Many: Minor Characters and the Space of the Protagonist in the Novel (2003) 

Phillip Davis, The Victorians (2002) 

Jerome McGann, Byron and Romanticism (2002) 

Karen Chase and Michael Levenson, The Spectacle of Intimacy: A Public Life for the Victorian Family (2000) 

Anna-Lise Francois. Open Secrets: The Literature of Uncounted Experience (1999) 

Iain McCalman, ed., An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age (1999) 

Katie Trumpener, Bardic Nationalism: The Romantic Novel and the British Empire (1997) 

Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (1995) 

Duncan Wu, ed., Romanticism, A Critical Reader (1995) 

Alan Richardson, Literature, Education, and Romanticism (1994) 

Isobel Armstrong, Victorian Poetry: Poetry, Poetics, and Politics (1993) 

Robin Gilmour, The Victorian Period (1993) 

Susan Fraiman, Unbecoming Women (1993)  

Edward Said. Culture and Imperialism (1993) 

Christopher Herbert, Culture and Anomie: Ethnographic Imagination in the Nineteenth Century (1991) 

Thomas Richards, The Commodity Culture of Victorian Britain (1990) 

Gary Kelly, English Fiction of the Romantic Period (1989) 

Marlon Ross, The Contours of Masculine Desire (1989) 

Patrick Brantlinger, Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism (1988) 

Catherine Gallagher, The Industrial Reformation of English Fiction, 1832-1867 (1988) 

D.A. Miller, The Novel and the Police (1988) 

Mary Poovey, Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian England (1988) 

Nancy Armstrong, Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel (1987) 

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (1985) 

Virgil Nemoianu, The Taming of Romanticism (1984) 

Martin Meisel, Realizations: Narrative, Pictorial, and Theatrical Arts in Nineteenth-Century England (1983) 

Nina Auerbach, Woman and the Demon: The Life of a Victorian Myth (1982) 

George Levine, The Realistic Imagination: English Fiction from Frankenstein to Lady Chatterley (1981) 

Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the 19th Century Literary Imagination (1979) 

Terry Otten, The Deserted Stage: The Search for Dramatic Form in Nineteenth Century England (1972) 

M.H. Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism (1971) 

Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, 1780-1950 (1958) 

Robert Langbaum, The Poetry of Experience (1957) 

Mario Praz, The Romantic Agony (1933)