Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
― Shakespeare, Macbeth V, i

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty!
In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god!
― Shakespeare, Hamlet, II, ii

And new philosophy calls all in doubt,
The element of fire is quite put out;
The sun is lost, and th’earth, and no man’s wit
Can well direct him where to look for it.
― Donne, An Anatomy of the World, First Anniversary, 1, 205

A little learning is a dang’rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain.
And drinking largely sobers us again.
― Pope, An Essay on Criticism, I

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man
in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
― Austen, Pride and Prejudice. ch. 1

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is, infinite.
― Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

The world is too much with us: late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours.
― Wordsworth, Sonnets, 1807

I am a part of all that I have met
Yet all experience is an arch where thro’
Gleams that untraveled world, whose image fades
Forever and forever when I move.
― Tennyson, Ulysses, 1.6

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.
Books are well-written or badly written.
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray


English - English Literature


 Unique Programs 


Spanning authors from Chaucer to Achebe, the proposed B.A. and B.A. hon. degree programs in English Literature will be distinguished by their focus on the English-language literary tradition as a whole and by their historical approach to the subject.

Texts from the late fourteenth century to the present have been selected according to the influence they have exercised on the traditions of English literature, and will be studied with particular attention to innovations in genre, form, and literary technique. Program coursework and research materials will integrate extensive coverage of methods and theoretical constructs, while the curriculum’s presentation of primary materials along historical lines will ensure a deep understanding of the English-language literary tradition.

 Bright Prospects 


The program will prepare students for graduate study at top universities and is especially designed to help students gain admission to M.A. programs requiring comprehensive reading at the undergraduate level.

Students will also be well prepared for further studies in related and interdisciplinary academic fields, in teaching or in law.

For students seeking to enter the job market directl, the HDDP’s English programs will provide a superior credential for highly skilled positions in the public and private sectors in fields such as writing, communication, editing, publishing, and journalism.

 More Details 


More detailed information, including course descriptions, weekly programs, assignments, and learning outcomes, is provided in the Course Catalogue.

Following the overview of program courses, a full list of the primary readings comprising the honours specialization has been included.


The Honours Degree Program in English Literature


First year

William Shakespeare, portrait by Cobbe

ENG 1.1 Pre-modern and Renaissance literature 

ENG 1.2 English Renaissance Drama 

ENG 1.3 Shakespeare I 

ENG 1.4 Shakespeare II 

ENG 1.5 Metaphysical Poets 



Second year


ENG 2.1 Milton Rochester, portrait

ENG 2.2 Restoration Literature 

ENG 2.3 Augustan Literature 

ENG 2.4 Early Novels 

ENG 2.5 18th Century Novel I 


Third year


ENG 3.1 18th Century Novel II  Jane Austen, portrait

ENG 3.2 Romantic Poetry 

ENG 3.3 19th Century Novel I 

ENG 3.4 19th Century Novel II 

ENG 3.5 19th Century Novel III 


Fourth year


ENG 4.1 Later Nineteenth and Early 20th Century Poetry Virginia Woolf, portrait by George Charles Beresford (1902) 

ENG 4.2 James Joyce 

ENG 4.3 Early 20th Century Novel 

ENG 4.4 Early 20th Century Drama 

ENG 4.5 Postcolonial Literature 




Primary Readings for the Honours Degree in English


Assembled from the bibliographical information for each course, the following list provides a panoptic view of what is to be covered in the program on a year-by-year basis. This list is purely for informational purposes and does not correspond to the type of comprehensive undergraduate exit exam that traditionally characterized humanities programs at universities such as Oxford or Geneva. It may, however, serve as an indication of the depth and breadth of the program proposed by the HDDP, and may also serve as a basis for comparison with programs in similar specializations at other universities.

The dates given in brackets are those of the first publication in the original language. The edition to be used for the course readings will be determined in consultation with the Project’s Head Librarian and the course’s professor. Translations are listed according to the title of the translation to be used. Again, the precise edition to be used will be determined in conjunction with the Head Librarian and the teaching professor.


First Year


“Sin Titulo III” [Untitled III], abstract acrylic painting by Fernando López Lage, 2013, detail

Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales [1476]
More, Utopia [1516]
Spenser, The Fairie Queene [1590]
Sidney, Defense of Poesy [1595]
Shakespeare, Sonnets [1609]
Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy [1592]
Dekker, The Shoemaker’s Holiday [1600]
Marlowe, Doctor Faustus [1604]
Johnson, Volpone [1606]
Webster, Duchess of Malfi [1623]
Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet [1595-1596]
---. A Midsummer Night’s Dream [1595-1595]
---. Julius Caesar [1599]
---. Hamlet [1600]
---. Twelfth Night [1601]
---. Richard II [1595-1596]
---. Henry IV, Part I [1596-1597]
---. Henry IV, Part II [1597-1598]
---. Henry V [1599]
---. King Lear [1605-1606]
---. The Tempest [1611]
Selected poems of Donne, Herbert, Vaughn, Crashaw, Marvell, et al.


Second Year


“Sin Titulo III” [Untitled III], abstract acrylic painting by Fernando López Lage, 2013, detail

Milton, “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity” [1629]
---. “Lycidas” [1637]
---. selected poems [1645]
---. Paradise Lost [1672]
Rochester, “A Satyr against Mankind” [1675]
Wycherley, The Country Wife [1675]
Dryden, “Mac Flecknoe” [1682]
---. All for Love [1678]
---. selected poems [1684]
Vanbrugh, The Provoked Wife [1697]
Congreve, The Way of the World [1700]
Swift, A Tale of a Tub [1704]
---. A Modest Proposal [1729]
---. Gulliver’s Travels [1726]
Addison and Steele, selected articles and essays [1711-1712]
Pope, Essay on Criticism [1711]
---. The Rape of the Lock [1712]
---. The Dunciad [1728]
Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees [1714]
Johnson, The Vanity of Human Wishes [1749]
---. A Dictionary of the English Language [1755]
---. The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia [1759]
Behn, Oroonoko or, the Royal Slave. A True History [1688]
Defoe, The Life and Strange Suprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe [1719]
---. The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders [1722]
Richardson, Pamela or, Virtue Rewarded [1740]
Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling [1749]
Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker [1771]


Third Year


“Sin Titulo III” [Untitled III], abstract acrylic painting by Fernando López Lage, 2013, detail

Sterne, A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy [1768]
Burney, Evelina or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World [1778]
Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho [1794]
Lewis, The Monk [1796]
Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” [1751]
---. “The Progress of Poetry” [1754]
---. “The Bard” [1757]
Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience [1789]
Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads [1789], The Prelude [1799]
Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner [1798]
---. Kubla Khan [1816]
Byron, selected poems [1807-1818]
Keats, selected poems [1817-1820]
Shelley, selected poems & essays [1810-1822]
Austen, Emma [1815]
Scott, Rob Roy [1817]
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre [1847]
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights [1847]
Thackeray, Vanity Fair [1848]
Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter [1850]
Melville, Moby Dick [1851]
Dickens, Hard Times [1854]
Eliot, Middlemarch [1871-1872]
Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady [1881]
Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles [1891]
Moore, Esther Waters [1894]


Fourth Year


“Sin Titulo III” [Untitled III], abstract acrylic painting by Fernando López Lage, 2013, detail

Tennyson, Poems [1842]
Swinburne, Poems and Ballads [1873]
---. Essays and Studies [1875]
Arnold, selected poems [1849-1865]
---. Culture and Anarchy [1869]
Robert Browning, selected poems [1833-1889]
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Poems [1856]
G. M. Hopkins, Poems [1918]
Wilfred Owens, Poems [1920]
Hardy, selected poems [1898-1928]
D. H. Lawrence, Collected Poems [1928]
Yeats, Poems [1895]
Stein, Tender Buttons [1914]
T. S. Eliot, Poems [1936]
Keith Douglas, Selected Poems [1954]
Dylan Thomas, selected poems [1934-1952]
Wallace Stevens, Collected Poems [1954]
Auden, selected poems [1928-1974]
Philip Larkin, selected poems [1945-1974]
Joyce, Dubliners [1914]
---. Ulysses [1922]
Conrad, Heart of Darkness [1899]
D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers [1913]
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse [1927]
Faulkner, As I Lay Dying [1930]
Waugh, A Handful of Dust [1934]
Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest [1895]
Shaw, Saint Joan [1923]
Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire [1947]
Miller, Death of a Salesman [1949]
O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey into Night [1956]
Beckett, Waiting for Godot [1955]
Narayan, The English Teacher [1945]
Achebe, Things Fall Apart [1958]
Naipaul, A House for Mr. Biswas [1961]
Rhys, The Wide Sargasso Sea [1966]
Rushdie, Shame [1983]