Romance Long List

The PhD Oral Examination in


(Updated February 2018)


Part I: Core List 
Candidates must offer twenty of the following texts:


  • Homer, The Odyssey 
  • Heliodorus, Ethiopica 


  • Marie de France, Lais 
  • Chretien de Troyes, Yvain; Lancelot; Erec and Enide; Perceval 
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 
  • Chaucer, The Knight's Tale; Troilus and Criseyde 
  • Queste del Saint Graal 
  • Malory, Works 


  • Ariosto, Orlando Furioso 
  • Cervantes, Don Quixote 
  • Spenser, The Faerie Queene 
  • Sidney, Arcadia (either Old or New)
  • Greene, Pandosto
  • Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale; The Tempest 

Gothic and Romantic 

  • Walpole, The Castle of Otranto 
  • Shelley, "Alastor"
  • Percy, Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (the candidate may choose selections from this three-volume collection. Those selections should include the “General Introduction.” Each volume divided into “Books;” the candidate’s selection should include three of these or the equivalent)
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein 
  • Keats, "Eve of Saint Agnes"; "La Belle Dame Sans Merci"
  • Byron, "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
  • Coleridge, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
  • Sir Walter Scott, Waverley 

Nineteenth Century 

  • Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights 
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance or The Scarlet Letter 
  • Melville, Moby Dick 
  • Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn 
  • Robert Browning, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"
  • William Gilmore Simms, The Yemmassee
  • Tennyson, Idylls of the King 
  • Dickens, Great Expectations  or Bleak House
  • Henry James, The American, including the 1909 preface

Twentieth Century 

  • Pauline Hopkins, Of One Blood
  • Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim 
  • James Joyce, "Araby"
  • Ursula le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness 
  • John Fowles, The Ebony Tower 
  • Garcia Marquez, 100 Years of Solitude 

Part 2: Supplementary List 

Candidates must offer at least twenty literary works in addition to the twenty chosen from the core list above. This second list of twenty may come from the remaining texts on the core list or from the supplementary list below. (One or two Film or TV works also a possibility.) Candidates are not obliged to take all their works from these lists (which proffer, however, a range of possibilities), but they must be prepared to defend their own selections to the committee. Candidates may organize the supplementary list in any way they choose (e.g., through particular historical or thematic concentrations).


  • Virgil, The Aeneid 
  • Ovid, Metamorphoses 
  • Longus, Daphnis and Chloe 
  • Apuleius, The Golden Ass 


  • Roman D'Eneas 
  • Beroul, Tristan 
  • Gottfried von Strasburg, Tristan 
  • Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival 
  • Mort Artu 
  • Boccaccio, Il Filostrato 
  • King Horn 
  • Chaucer, The Franklin's Tale; The Squire's Tale; The Wife of Bath's Tale; The Merchant's Tale 
  • John Gower, Apollonius of Tyre (from Confessio Amantis )
  • Stanzaic, Morte d'Arthur 
  • Thomas Chestre, Sir Launfal 
  • Sir Orfeo 
  • The Squire of Low Degree 

l6th/17th Century 

  • Shakespeare, As You Like It; Twelfth Night; Cymbeline; Pericles; Two Noble Kinsmen 
  • Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered 
  • Francis Beaumont, The Knight of the Burning Pestle 
  • Aphra Behn, Oroonoko 
  • Lodge, Rosalynde 
  • Montemayor, Diana 
  • Sannazaro, Arcadia 
  • Lady Mary Wroth, Urania 
  • Milton, Comus 

18th Century/Gothic/Romantic 

  • Voltaire, Candide 
  • Samuel Johnson, Rasselas 
  • Richardson, Pamela 
  • Fielding, Joseph Andrews 
  • Godwin, Caleb Williams 
  • Clara Reeve, The Old English Baron 
  • William Beckford, Vathek 
  • Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho 
  • Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland 
  • Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
  • Charlotte Lennox, The Female Quixote 
  • Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey 
  • Keats, Lamia 
  • Byron, Don Juan 
  • Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer 

19th Century 

  • Hawthorne, House of the Seven Gables ; the prefaces to House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, and The Marble Faun; “The Custom-House Sketch” (preface to The Scarlet Letter)
  • Melville, Omoo; Typee 
  • Fenimore Cooper, Last of the Mohicans 
  • Henry James,  The Turn of the Screw 
  • Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King Arthur 
  • Frank Norris, McTeague
  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre 
  • J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Uncle Silas 
  • William Morris, The Wood Beyond the World; News From Nowhere 
  • George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind 
  • Christina Rossetti, "Goblin Market"
  • Tennyson, "Mariana"
  • H. Rider Haggard,  She
  • Rudyard Kipling, "The Man Who Would Be King"
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula 
  • Samuel Butler, Erewhon 

20th Century: 

  • H. G. Wells, The Time Machine 
  • Virginia Woolf, Orlando 
  • T. H. White, The Once and Future King 
  • Robert Frost, "Directive"
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby 
  • William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
  • Alain-Fournier, Le Grand Meaulnes 
  • J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings 
  • C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces 
  • T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land 
  • James Joyce, "The Dead"
  • Joseph Conrad, The Shadow Line; Romance; Heart of Darkness 
  • Eudora Welty, The Robber Bridegroom 
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms 
  • Iris Murdoch, The Unicorn 
  • Thomas Pynchon, 
  • William Golding, Lord of the Flies 
  • Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea 
  • Toni Morrison, Beloved 
  • A.S. Byatt, Possession
  • Octavia Butler, Xenogenesis Trilogy

Part 3: Critical and Theoretical Readings 

Candidates should select at least six of the following texts. When articles or single chapters are selected, two articles or chapters will substitute for one full-length work. At least two of these works should have a fairly broad focus (for example, your list may not only consist of works on medieval and Renaissance romance). Candidates may propose supplementary readings if they so choose.

  1. Nandini Das, Renaissance Romance: The Transformation of English Prose Fiction (2011) 
  2. Jennifer L. Fleissner, “After the New Americanists: The Progress of Romance and the Romance of Progress in American Literary Studies,” Companion to American Literary Studies, ed. Caroline Levander (2011) 
  3. Lloyd Pratt, Archives of Time: Literature and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century, ch. 2 (2010) 
  4. Mary Ellen Lamb and Valerie Wayne, eds. Staging Early Modern Romance: Prose Fiction, Dramatic Romance and Shakespeare (2009) 
  5. Corrine Saunders, ed. A Companion to Romance from Classical To Contemporary (2007) 
  6. Helen Cooper, The English Romance in Time (2004) 
  7. Barbara Fuchs, Romance (2004) 
  8. G. R. Thompson and Eric Carl Link, Neutral Ground: New Traditionalism and the American Romance Controversy (1999) 
  9. Philip Gould, Covenant and Republic: Historical Romance and the Politics of Puritanism (1996) 
  10. Colin Burrow, Epic Romance: Homer to Milton (1993) 
  11. Ian Duncan, Modern Romance and Transformations of the Novel (1992) 
  12. Donald Pease, ed., Revisionist Interventions into the Canon, “Introduction” and essay by John McWilliams (1990) 
  13. G. Logan and Gordon Teskey, eds., Unfolded Tales: Essays on Renaissance Romance (1989) 
  14. Michael McKeon, The Origins of the English Novel 1600-1740, chapters 1 and 4 (1987) 
  15. Michael Nerlich, Ideology of Adventure , vol. I, chapter 1 (1987) 
  16. Eugène Vinaver, The Rise of Romance (1984) 
  17. Janice Radway, Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature (1982) 
  18. M. M. Bakhtin, "Forms of Time and Chronotype in the Novel" (in particular the sections on "The Greek Romance" and "Chivalric Romance") from The Dialogic Imagination (1981) 
  19. Patricia Parker, Inescapable Romance: Studies in the Poetics of a Mode (1979) 
  20. Northrop Frye, The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance (1976) 
  21. Fredric Jameson, "Magical Narrative: Romance as Genre," NLH  7 (1975), pp. 135-63 
  22. John Stevens, Medieval Romance: Themes and Approaches (1974) 
  23. Gillian Beer, The Romance (1970) 
  24. Robert Scholes and Robert Kellogg, The Nature of Narrative (1966) 
  25. Richard Chase, The American Novel and Its Tradition (1957) (the candidate choosing this work should also include Pease, ed., Revisionist Interventions into the Canon (1990), on their list)