Welcome to our Hub-blog for Eh 241, Major British Authors. This website will lead you to all the important information you need this semester. Before we can get started on what is sure to be a very exciting course, there are a few documents you need to read and become familiar with:

1) Course Policy and Procedures

2) Proposed Syllabus

3) Blogging and Eh 241: A User’s Guide

Once you have read these documents, you are ready to move on into our course. You can do so by clicking on the following link. It will take you back to the proposed syllabus page, where you can find the appropriate class information by clicking on the appropriate day.

Best of luck, and I look forward to working with you all this semester.

Assistant Professor Adam Crowley


Today’s Agenda:

1)      Journal Entry:    (7-10 minutes)

a.       For the next 7-10 minutes, I want you to write on the following subject:

Describe, in specific detail, an experience you have in which you felt lost. Being lost can happen in a couple of ways: you can be physically lost, emotionally lost, even spiritually lost. What was that experience like for you? What were the strongest sense memories you have from this experience? Did it change how you look at the world?

2)      Group Work:      (5-7 minutes)

a.       In groups of 3-4, I want you to discuss the reading for today. What caught your interest? What did you make of Columbus’ writing? How did you answer the questions I asked you to answer? Are you seeing any of yourself in him? Everyone should have a chance to share.

3)      Class discussion of Christopher Columbus:                                 (5-10 minutes)

These understandings are going to serve as the foundation for our journey this semester, which is going to begin with an examination of Dante Alighieri and a selection from his most famous work, The Divine Comedy.

4)      Lecture on Dante Alighieri (10 minutes)

Our subject today is Dante Alighieri and the first Canto of his Divine Comedy.

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This class is going to use a lot of technology to make it easier for you to participate, and hopefully help you become a better writer.

In this course, I will frequently require you to POST your homework assignments directly to this website. All posted material can be read by anyone, anywhere, at any time, so you should do your best to present yourself in a professional manner. This is your work and reputation we are talking about.

The process for doing this should be fairly uncomplicated. If you follow these guidelines, you should not have any trouble.

Write your assignment as you normally would in a word-processing program, such as Microsoft WORD. Next, SAVE THE DOCUMENT as you normally would. The reason we do this is because, should you try to write it directly on the website, you could become disconnected from the internet while you are typing. This would result in you losing all of your hard work. Consider yourself warned.

Cut and paste your writing into the COMMENTS BOX at the bottom of the Syllabus’ page for the class you are working on.

Click on the submit comments button. That’s it! You’re done.

Your writing may not show up on the web page right away, as it will be sent to me for moderation first (basically to protect each of you from spam).

If you have problems, it is always okay for you to simply e-mail me your homework at crowleya@fc.husson.edu. However, over the course of this semester I do expect you to become proficient in posting to the blog, as you will have to do a lot of this in your professional life.  We should all be able to do this by the end of week two.

We will also be using a lot of YouTube videos in this course this semester. You need a high-speed internet connection to watch these. If you do not have one at home, that is okay. We have them here on campus in the computer clusters. I’ll explain to you how you are to use these.

Students, this is a very important page. Here you will find links for each and every one of our classes this semester. All you need to do is find the correct date for your class.

Simply click on the day to be taken to the class page.

Week One:

Wednesday, January 14

Friday, January 16

Week Two:

Monday, Jan 19

Wednesday, Jan 21

Friday, Jan 23

Week Three:

Monday, Jan 26

Wednesday, Jan 28

The Individual Presentation

Friday, Jan 30

Week Four:

Monday, Feb 2

Wednesday, Feb 4

Friday, Feb 6

The Short Academic Paper

Week Five:

Monday, Feb 9

Wednesday, Feb 11

Friday, Feb 13

Week Six:

Monday, Feb 16

Wednesday, Feb 18

Friday, Feb 20

Week Seven:

Monday, Feb 23

Wednesday, Feb 25

Friday, Feb 27

Spring Break

Week Eight:

Monday, March 16

Wednesday, March 18

Friday, March 20

Week Nine:

Monday, March 23

Wednesday, March 25

Friday, March 27

Week Ten:

Monday, March 30

Wednesday, April 1

Friday, April 3

Week Eleven:

Monday, April 6

Wednesday, April 8

Friday, April 10

Week Twelve:

Monday, April 13

Wednesday, April 15

Friday, April 17

Week Thirteen:

Monday, April 20

Wednesday, April 22

Friday, April 24

Week Fourteen:

Monday, April 27

Wednesday, April 29

Friday, May 1

Final Exam TBA

** Dear Class, different groupings of people read at different speeds. In order to accommodate our different reading habits, this syllabus currently has a reading schedule that is completed within the first 12 weeks of our 14 week semester. However, should we require more time for a given text or texts, we will simply – in a controlled fashion – expand our reading time to reasonably accommodate our needs.

**This does not mean that you can expect to ever read less than the full assignment for a given night, only that assignment lengths may be shortened or lengthened over the course of the semester to accommodate the class’ average reading speed.

*** Also note, all course material, notes, and lecture videos can be found on the syllabus page of our blog.

Proposed Syllabus

Week One: Orientation To History

Wednesday, January 15: Context Lecture: The Ancient Fantasies of Foreign Strangers

Read: Selections from the works of Christopher Columbus

Write: Blog posting

Friday, January 17: Context Lecture: Dante and his time

Read: The Divine Comedy: Volume I: The Inferno: Canto I

Write: Blog posting

Week Two: Chaucer and an Expanding World

Monday, January 19: Context Lecture: From Dante to Chaucer

Read: The Canterbury Tales, “The Prologue”

Write: Blog posting

Wednesday, January 21: Lecture: Chaucer and Courtly Love

Read: The Canterbury Tales, “The Knight’s Tale”

Focused Annotation: The Knight’s Tale

Friday, January 23: Lecture: Chaucer and the Human Condition

Read: The Canterbury Tales, “Wife of Bath’s Tale”

Focused Annotation: The Wife of Bath’s Tale

Week Three: The Death of LATIN! The birth of ENGLISH!

Monday, January 26: Context Lecture: From the Vulgar to the Vatican

Read: Selections from Imagined Communities

Individual Presentation Assignments

Write: Blog Posting

Wednesday, January 28: Lecture: From the Prophets to the Profitable

Read: Selections from Imagined Communities

Short Paper Assignment (due Feb 13)

Write: Blog Posting

Friday, January 30 Lecture: Context for John Milton

Read: Selections from John Milton

Write: Blog Posting

Week Four: John Milton, His World and the Rise of the Individual

Monday, February 2: Context Lecture: The Nerd Who Spoke to God

Read: Selection from Milton’s poems

Individual Presentations

Short Paper Workshop

Write: Blog Posting

Wednesday, February 4: Lecture: Middle Milton

Read: Paradise Lost: Book One

Individual Presentations

Write: Focused Annotation of Paradise Lost

Friday, February 6: Lecture: Late Milton

Read: Robinson Crusoe

Individual Presentations

Short Paper Workshop

Write: Focused Annotation

Week Five: Daniel Defoe: Writing For Money and Posterity

Monday, February 9: Context Lecture: The Business of Writing

Read: Robinson Crusoe

Individual Presentations

Write: Blog response

Wednesday, February 11 Lecture: Defoe and his time.

Read: Robinson Crusoe

Write: Focused Annotation

Friday, February 13 Short Paper DUE

Lecture: Defoe’s Implications

Read: Robinson Crusoe

Mid-term Review

Write: Blog Post

Week Six: Mary Shelly: A True Genius

Monday, February 23 Context Lecture: The Rise of the Novel

Read: Frankenstein

Individual Presentations

Mid-Term Review

Write: Blog Posting

Wednesday, February 25 Lecture: The Enlightenment and the Novel

Read: Frankenstein

Write: Blog Post

Friday, February 27 Midterm

Spring Break

Week Eight: Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre

Monday, March 16 Context Lecture: Context for Jane Eyre

Read: Jane Eyre

Write: Focused Annotation

Wednesday, March 18 Lecture: Humanism and Jane Eyre

Read: Jane Eyre

Write: Blog Post

Friday, March 20 Lecture: What Would Jane Do?

Read: Jane Eyre

Write: Focused Annotation

Week Nine: Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre

Monday, March 23 Context Lecture: The Social implication of Jane Eyre

Read: Jane Eyre

Group Presentations Assignment

Write: Blog Post

Wednesday, March 25 Lecture: The Promise of the Novel

Read: Jane Eyre

Long Paper Assignment

Write: Focused Annotation

Friday, March 27 Lecture: Final issues

Read: Jane Eyre

Write: Focused Annotation

Week Ten: Jane Austin Pride and Prejudice

Monday, March 30 Context Lecture: Novels of Convention

Read: Pride and Prejudice

Write: Blog Post

Wednesday, April 1 Lecture: Imagined Communities

Group Presentation

Read: Pride and Prejudice

Write: Focused Annotation

Friday, April 3 Lecture: The Role or Mr. Darcy

Read: Pride and Prejudice

Group Presentation

Write: Blog Post

Week Eleven: Jane Austin Pride and Prejudice

Monday, April 6 Lecture: Austin’s Place in our reading

Read: Pride and Prejudice

Write: Focused Annotation

Wednesday, April 8 Lecture: The social implications of Pride and Prejudice

Read: Pride and Prejudice

Group Presentation

Write: Blog Post

Friday, April 10 Lecture: Reflection on the grand journey

Read: Pride and Prejudice

Group Presentation

\Write: Focused Annotation

Week Twelve [Group Presentations/Long Paper Focus]

Monday, April 13

Wednesday 15

Friday, April 17

Week Thirteen: [Group Presentations/ Long Paper Focus]

Monday, April 20

Wednesday, April 22

Friday, April 24

Week Fourteen [Long Paper Focus/ Final Exam Review]

Monday, April 27

Wednesday, April 29

Friday, May 1 Long Paper Due

Final Exam TBA

Policy and Procedure Sheet

Eh 241:           Major British Authors

Dates:             MWF:  1-150

Location:       MW, 228 Peabody;F 127 Peabody

Instructor:      Assistant Professor Adam Crowley

General Catalog Description:

This course provides a study of canonical authors and works of the British Isles from medieval times to the Victorian era. Depending on instructor, texts and authors may include Beowulf, Chaucer, Langland, Malory, Donny, Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, Austen, Wordsworth, Bronte, and Tennyson.

Specific Description:

This course is intended to introduce students to canonical European authors whose works reflected – and in some cases even instigated – major social and cultural changes within the British Isles and, later, the British Empire from the Medieval to Victorian eras. Students will actively engage both texts and authors with a series of critical enterprises, which will culminate in a final project that demonstrates students’firm familiarity with this general literary period.

Required Texts:

Chaucer, Geoffrey              Selected Canterbury Tales

Defoe, Daniel                         Robinson Crusoe

Shelly, Mary                          Frankenstein

Austen, Jane                         Pride and Prejudice

Bronte, Charlotte               Jane Eyre

*Other supplemental readings to be provided

Attendance Policy:

You will be required to attend this class regularly and promptly in order to pass.  If you show up more than a few minutes late, you will be marked absent. Students are expected to attend all scheduled class sessions for courses in which they are enrolled.  For a MWF course, you can miss 3 classes over the course of the semester. After that, you will lose 1/3 of a full letter grade per missed class on your final grade. For example, a B+ would become a B. An absence is an absence is an absence — thus there are no excused or unexcused absences. Each one counts towards your total.

When a student is absent for more than 15% of the scheduled class time for a semester, I will award the grade of X and deny course credit for excessive absences.

For classes that meet MWF – no more than 6 absences


I will mark you as absent if you are more than 5 minutes late.

I will mark you absent if your cell phone disturbs the class.

I will mark you absent if you are caught using electronic devices (cell phones, computer, ect.) for non-class room related activities.

I will mark you absent if you do not come to class with your basic supplies (pen, paper, book, ect).

I will mark you absent if you pack up to leave class before class has finished.


Class will only be canceled if the university is closed or I am ill. As your driving instructor taught you, YOU are responsible for deciding whether or not it is safe to drive to Husson, and only YOU are responsible for what happens to you on the road. If class is in session and you do not think it is safe to drive, YOU should make the informed decision to stay home or come to school. If you don’t think it’s safe to drive, then, certainly DO NOT DRIVE. On average, there are typically one to two major winter storms during the winter semester, but with global warming today, it’s anybody’s guess how many we may see.

If you are sick, stay home! Don’t make your classmates sick. Three absences should be more than enough to cover potential sick/snow days in a given semester.   Do not waste them!


Papers and assignments are due in person at the beginning of class on the day specified.  They must meet all the requirements listed on the writing prompt, including those of length and format. All papers must be accompanied by previous drafts.   Late papers will receive a penalty of one-third of a grade for each class period that passes, assessed from the final grade of the paper. All revisions are due within one week of the receipt of the paper. Late papers can be turned in no later than one week after the due date. Failure to do so will result in a grade of F on the paper, and you will lose the chance to revise.


Journal                                           10%

Individual Presentation           10%

Group Presentation                    10%

Short Paper                                    20%

Midterm                                           10%

Long Paper                                     30%

Final Examination                      10%

Brief description of graded activities:


We will be journaling every day in this class, and missed journal assignments cannot be made up. Entries will generally be on the topic of the reading that was assigned for our meeting. While I do not believe in trick questions, you can expect to be asked specific questions about the text. You will be “on call” to demonstrate a basic understanding of the material at all times.

Individual Presentations:

During our second week of classes, we will all be signing up for our individual presentations for the semester. These presentations will be 10 minutes long, and will occur throughout the semester. You will be presenting to the class on a particular aspect of a story or poem that interests you.  As part of your presentation, you will be facilitating classroom discussion. Specific instructions on the exact specifications for these presentations will be delivered to you shortly.

Group Activities:

During our third week of classes, we will all be signing up for our group presentations for the semester. These presentations will be 20 minutes long, and will occur throughout the semester. In groups of 4, you will be presenting to the class on important historical and cultural information that you believe contextualizes a specific book or books that we will be reading this semester.

Short Research Paper:

Your short research paper will be 4-5 pages in length. It will offer a literary argument on one of the texts we have read by mid-semester. The paper will need to follow MLA conventions, and have at least four secondary sources.


The midterm examination will be an essay exam that asks you for meaningful reflections on specific texts that we will have read by the middle of the semester.

Long Research Paper:

This paper will build on your short research paper. It will propose a mature literary argument capable of sustaining the critical scrutiny of your peers. The length will be 7-8 pages, and you will need to use 8-10 secondary sources.

Final Exam:

The final examination will be an essay exam that will ask you to write detailed answers to questions that are focused on the materials we have covered since the midterm.

Grading Policies

  • All assignments will be graded on a standard letter-grade scale.

  • Late assignments will be downgraded one letter-grade per day late [including weekends].

  • Once assignments are handed back to students, no further late assignments will be accepted.

  • The student must complete all assignments to pass the course.

  • All papers must be typed.

  • An act of plagiarism or other forms of cheating will result in an F for the course grade.

  • Students MUST contact the instructor prior to the due date of an assignment if they have any problems with the assignment.

Equal Opportunity Policy:

If you require any specific assistance with regard to a physical or mental disability, please let me know right away. I will make every reasonable effort to accommodate your specific classroom needs.

Writing Center:

The writing center is a resource you should use to help you improve your writing. The writing center is not for remediation; both inexperienced and experienced writers are encourage to take full advantage of the center’s services. The writing consultants the center employs can help you invent, organize, and revise your documents to meet the specific requirements established during class. Take the time to become familiar with this resource and use it regularly. Please note: To improve the effectiveness of the writing consultation, please set up an appointment with a tutor at least 2 days before the assignment is due. Also, bring 2 copies of your paper with you to the tutoring session. Also note that the writing center is not an editing service. When you attend a session, you will sit down with the consultant and have a 15 to 30 minute conversation with him or her about how to improve your writing.

Writing Center Hours:

Tutors will be available between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (and by appointment) Monday through Friday. However, hours will be adjusted to meet the needs of the Husson community.


Peabody 210

Email: writingcenter@husson.edu

Phone ex: 1097

Academic Integrity:

Simply put, I will absolutely flunk you for plagiarism, no matter who you are. Academic honesty is expected of all students. Any work that is not the student’s own is a violation of Husson College policy and of the student’s own integrity.  Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated.  The penalty for cheating or plagiarism will be failure of the course.  Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Copying from another student’s papers, quizzes, exams or reports

  • Copying sections from books or articles or any other source

    without proper citation

  • Allowing work to be copied by another student

Written Work Preparation:

Students’ papers should meet the following guidelines:

  • ALL work should be typed

  • Font size should be 12

  • Margins should be 1″ (do not justify the right margin)

  • Text should all be double spaced

  • First page should include students’ name and assignment identification

  • Citations to material must be in MLA Style


The system of evaluating a student’s achievement at Husson is by letter grade with the following percentage equivalents:

A                     95-100                         C                     73-76

A-                    90-94                           C-                    70-72

B+                   87-89                           D+                   67-69

B                     83-86                           D                     63-66

B-                    80-82                           D-                    60-62

C+                   77-79                           F                      Below 60

Other grades you may encounter include:

E          Exited without withdrawing (student disappeared from class during first four weeks of semester)

WW     Withdrew before midterm (no grade is given)

WP      Withdrew Passing

WF      Withdrew Failing

X         Credit Denied for Excessive Absences

WA     Administrative Withdrawal

I           Incomplete

Q         Audit

Today’s Agenda

1)      Presentation

2)      Journal Work

For the next ten minutes, I want you to write on the following subject:

How do you know the difference between right and wrong? Where do you get your “moral compass” from? Is it from your family, your friends? Or a combination of these and/or other sources? I want you to explain to me to the best of your ability your ethical and moral development.

Group Discussion:

For the next five to seven minutes, I want you to discuss the following:

At one point or another in our lives, we have all done things that we regret. What is the experience of regret like for you? How does it manifest itself physically (i.e. how do you FEEL)? How does it manifest itself in your understanding of the world, and your expectations of the world? While you do not need to talk about what you regret, specifically, I do want you to discuss what the experience of regret is like for you.

Group Discussion (5-7)

Mini-Lecture (10 mins):

  • We have discussed changes to Language and Time
  • Notice that there is no real discussion of evil – at least not as we might understand it – in this writing
  • For example: Dante, Columbus, and Chaucer.

So, as of last week, we had discussed the major changes in language and time that shaped the period between the death of Chaucer and the early life of John Milton. One of the things you may have noticed in our reading so far is that there has been very little in it about either evil or villains.

For example, while many people would call Columbus evil, his writing is nowhere concerned with villainy or evil. The same might be said of what we have seen of Chaucer. The prologue presents despicable characters, but it does not directly address the evil or villainy of these characters. In terms of Dante, one could certainly argue that all of the Inferno is, itself, concerned with evil characters and their punishment – and this is true, but we need to notice that, in the 1st canto, evil is something that Dante will only have to face if he continues on the wrong path alone. Once he knows that he had a guide, he readily charges into Hell – as if he felt that he were protected from it. Evil is a place that has a HOME, and it is the job of the reasonable person to AVOID that home.

  • Europeans began to fear for their souls
  • People no longer certain that they had a bead on “where” God was in the universe or “where” the Devil was.

Well, as a result of the massive chances we thought about last week, many Europeans began to actively fear for their souls in ways that they had not before. People could no longer be certain that God was a fixed force in the universe, and so they could no longer assume that the Devil was a fixed force, either.

  • People began to fear that the Devil was walking the Globe, looking for souls.
  • The Witch Hunts
  • Women and other minorities targeted.
  • Sell their soul through an exchange of commerce.

In fact, it is during this exact period when people first began to believe that the Devil was actively walking the Globe, looking for souls to corrupt and destroy. This belief is most spectacularly represented in the beginning of the “Witch Hunts,” that plagued Europe for most of this period. Women — who were generally believed to be more difficult to instruct in Religious matters than men – were targeted as having “sold themselves to the devil.” The devil was believed to actually appear to such woman, and to take them through some ceremony – typically through dancing naked in the woods and signing their names in his book (the ironic fact that most of these women could not read seems to have not been considered by their prosecutors).

  • Catholic Church no longer seen as an adequate shield from the Devil (Exorcisms)
  • Various weird factions and witch hunters begin to emerge.

Fear of a walking, talking Devil drove many people in this era to devise all kinds of particular religious habits, and indeed this is a period in which the power of the Catholic Church to maintain order and influence across the continent begins to wane considerably. For some religious groups, such as the pilgrims who landed near Plymouth Rock, fear of the devil and damnation was an all consuming force in their lives. The question of what was wrong and what was right became a central public debate.

We need to understand this development, because it will help us understand our next writer a bit better. Milton takes us this issue specifically.

Let’s begin to consider John Milton:


J. Milton’s Early Life

1608: Born to a middle-class British family

1626: Expelled from Cambridge (he wrote a dirty poem in Latin)

1632: Begins to publish poetry — first poem “On Shakespeare”

1635: Lives at home

1637: His mother died

1639: Returns to England and lives and teaches in England

J. Milton’s Mid-Life

1641: Major political troubles begin to England. Milton begins to write “political tracks”

1642: Civil War breaks out in England/ Mrs. Milton gets fed up and leaves John. He quickly writes a track defending divorce. But he and his wife continue to see each other. We know this because he had several daughters — who we will come back to shortly.

1647: John’s father dies

1649: King Charles is executed

J. Milton’s Late Life

1652: Milton becomes blind

1663: He gets married again

1667: Paradise Lost is first published.

1674: Expanded version of Paradise Lost is published. Milton dies.

Homework: Read Book One of Milton’s Paradise Lost


Paradise Lost, Book One

Today’s Agenda:

1)      Take you your journals. (10 Min)

a.       For the next ten minutes, I want you to write in response to the following prompt.

i.      Describe the process by which you have been taken into a community: i.e. a group of friends, a group of co-workers, a sports team, artistic group, or community-based organization. What was it like for you to be taken into this group. Describe how you were introduced to the important members, and how this introduction shaped your immediate expectations of this body.

b.      Group Work: (5-7)

i.      In your groups, I want you to have a good conversation on the following topic.

1.       Are you judgmental people? If so, how do you know this? If not, then how do you know that?  Describe how and why you once passed judgment on someone. An easy way to begin thinking about this is to recall an extremely eccentric person that you have met in your life. What was it like to meet this person? How did your initial judgment of them shape your expectations of them?

2)      Class Discussion (5-7 mins)

3)      Transition from Dante TO Chaucer

a.       An ongoing Spiritual, Emotional, and Geographic crisis

b.      From the Bible To the Romans to …your friends?

4)      Context For this Week: Geoffrey Chaucer

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