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ENGL412: Restoration & Eighteenth-century Drama

Unit 1: An Introduction to Restoration & Eighteenth-century History and Culture   The English Civil war erupted as a result of disputes over the proper role of the monarchy in Britain.  While “Royalists” supported King Charles I, “Parliamentarians” pushed for a voice for the nobility and the people of England.  Ultimately, England saw the rise of Oliver Cromwell, the murder of the king, and the emergence of England’s first Commonwealth and Parliament.  The Parliamentarian victory was relatively short lived, however, as King Charles II was “restored” to the throne in 1660 and a new “Restoration Era” ensued.  In this unit, we will examine the history of this period in England with a focus on the politics, science, and culture of Restoration England.

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Provide an introduction to and brief overview of Restoration and eighteenth-century English history, politics, and culture.
  • List and explain the major historical developments in seventeenth-century England.
  • Explain and describe politics, gender politics, religion, and science in Restoration England and the Age of Reason.
  • Discuss and differentiate between Restoration comedy, eighteenth-century sentimental comedy, domestic tragedy, musical theater, and satire.

1.1 Restoration England in Socio-Historical Context   1.1.1 Introduction Restoration England   - Reading: The University of Mannheim (Germany): Professor C. H. Firth’s “Chapter V: The Stuart Restoration” and Britannia.com’s “Timeline of the Reformation and Restoration Periods” Links:  The University of Mannheim (Germany):  Professor C. H. Firth’s “Chapter V:  The Stuart Restoration”(HTML) and Britannia.com’s “Timeline of the Reformation and Restoration Periods”(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down and read the entirety of The University of Mannheim’s version of Professor C. H. Firth’s overview of the Restoration.  Also, please scroll down and read the entirety of Britannia.com’s timeline of Reformation and Restoration England. 
 
About the Links:  The University of Mannheim (Germany) has made this chapter from Professor Firth’s book online.  Britannia.com, a website dedicated to the history and culture of England, has made this document available online. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

1.1.2 Major Historical Developments in Seventeenth-Century England   - Reading: Union County College: Dr. E. K. Hawthorne’s “Glorious Revolution” Link:  Union County College:  Dr. E. K. Hawthorne’s “Glorious Revolution”(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down and read the entirety of Dr. Hawthorne’s overview of the major historical developments of seventeenth-century England through the Restoration era and Glorious Revolution.  In your own words, define the “Glorious Revolution” in England and place it in relation to the Restoration. 
 
About the Link:  Dr. E. K. Hawthorne, professor at Union County College, has made this document available through his university website.
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.3 Restoration Politics   - Reading: Britain Express’s “Oliver Cromwell and the Restoration” Link:  Britain Express’s “Oliver Cromwell and the Restoration”(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down and read the entirety of Britain Express’s introduction to Restoration politics.  What were the causes of the English Civil War?  What was Oliver Cromwell’s place in this history? 
 
About the Link:  Britain Express, a website dedicated to English history and culture, has made the entirety of this document available online. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.4 Restoration Gender Politics: Through the Lens of the Literary   - Reading: Shirl’s Site: “Love and Marriage in Three Restoration Comedies” Link:  Shirl’s Site:  “Love and Marriage in Three Restoration Comedies”(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down and read the entirety of this article concerning gender politics in Restoration England.  How did Restoration era individuals conceptualize the role of marriage in life? 
 
About the Link:  Shirl’s Site, a personal website created by a former English professor, has made this document freely accessible on the web. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

1.1.5 Religion and Science in Seventeenth-Century/Restoration England   - Reading: Reviews in History: Justin Champion’s Review of Religio Medici: Medicine and Religion in Seventeenth-Century England edited by Andrew Cunningham and Ole Peter Grell Link:  Reviews in History:  Andrew Cunningham and Ole Peter Grell (eds)’s Justin Champion’s Review of Religio Medici:  Medicine and Religion in Seventeenth-Century England(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down and read the entirety of Campion’s review of Religio Medici:  Medicine and Religion in Seventeenth-Century England in which Campion provides a useful introduction to the religion and science of this period.  How was religion contrasted against and opposed to science during this era? 
 
About the Link:  Reviews in History, a website dedicated to providing freely accessible book reviews online, has made this review by Justin Campion available on the web. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.6 Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Sexuality   - Reading: Rictor Norton’s “The Gay Subculture in Early Eighteenth-Century London” Link:  Rictor Norton’s “The Gay Subculture in Early Eighteenth-Century London”(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down and read the entirety of Norton’s introduction to heterosexuality and homosexuality in late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth century England.  How did Restoration England perceive sexuality and sexual politics? 
 
About the Link:  Rictor Norton, a scholar of the history of sexuality, has made this article available through his personal website. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.2 The Eighteenth-Century in Socio-Historical Context   1.2.1 Introduction to Eighteenth-Century England   - Lecture: YouTube: Great Writers Inspire: Anna Beer’s “Literature and Politics in Seventeenth Century London”  Link: YouTube: Great Writers Inspire: Anna Beer’s “Literature and Politics in Seventeenth Century London” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Watch this lecture and take notes.
 
Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Anna Beers and the original version can be found here.

1.2.2 Eighteenth-Century Literature: An Introduction   - Reading: Norton Topics Online: The Norton Anthology of English Literature’s “The Restoration and Eighteenth Century: Introduction” Link:  Norton Topics Online:  The Norton Anthology of English Literature’s “The Restoration and Eighteenth Century:  Introduction”(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down and read the entirety of Norton Topics Online’s introduction to Restoration and Eighteenth-Century literature, culture, and history. 
 
About the Link:  Norton Topics Online, the online presence of Norton Publishing, has made this document available on the internet. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.2.3 English Monarchy During the Eighteenth Century   - Reading: History1700.com: Rick Brainard’s “England’s Kings and Queens of the 18th Century” Link:  History1700.com:  Rick Brainard’s “England’s Kings and Queens of the 18th Century”(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down and read the entirety of Rick Brainard’s article on British monarchy during the eighteenth century.  Who were the major monarchial figures during this century? 
 
About the Link:  History1700.com has made the entirety of Rick Brainard’s essay available online through the organization’s website. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.2.4 The Age of Reason in England and Europe: An Age of Revolution   - Reading: enLearn LabSpace: David Roden’s “The Enlightenment Habit, Part I: Revolutionary Skepticism” and “The Enlightenment Habit, Part II: Many Enlightenments?” Links: OpenLearn LabSpace: David Roden’s “The Enlightenment Habit, Part I: Revolutionary Skepticism” (PDF) and “The Enlightenment Habit, Part II: Many Enlightenments?” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read these pages, which provide an introduction to both the eighteenth century and to the scientific revolution.
 
Reading both pages will take approximately 15 minutes. 
 
Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales. It is attributed to OpenLearn and the original versions can be found here.

1.3 The Context of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama: The Literary Scene   1.3.1 Restoration Comedy   - Web Media: “Acting in Restoration Comedy with Simon Callow” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

1.3.2 Eighteenth-Century Sentimental Comedy   - Reading: University of Valencia: “Sentimental Comedy” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)

1.3.3 Eighteenth-Century Domestic Tragedy   - Reading: Britannica.com: “Domestic Tragedy” Link:  Britannica.com:  “Domestic Tragedy”(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down and read the entirety of Britannica.com’s introduction to Domestic Tragedy during the English eighteenth century.  In your own words, define “Domestic Tragedy.” 
 
About the Link:  Britannica.com, the online presence of Encyclopedia Britannica, has made this introduction to Domestic Tragedy in England during the eighteenth century available online. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.3.4 Satire in the Eighteenth-Century   - Reading: Vancouver Island University: Dr. Ian Johnston’s “A Brief Introduction to Restoration and Eighteenth Century Satire” Link:  Vancouver Island University:  Dr. Ian Johnston’s “A Brief Introduction to Restoration and Eighteenth Century Satire” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down and read the entirety of Dr. Johnston’s introduction to the genre of satire in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century England.
 
About the Link:  Dr. Ian Johnston of Vancouver Island University has made this document available through his university website. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.3.5 Renewed Interests in Italian Opera   - Reading: Victoria and Albert Museum: “18th Century Opera” Link:  Victoria and Albert Museum:  “18th Century Opera”(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down and read the entirety of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s overview of eighteenth-century opera.  Why do you think interests in Italian opera took root in England during this era? 
 
About the Link:  The website of the Victoria and Albert Museum has made this article available online. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.3.6 Musical Entertainment in Eighteenth-Century England   - Reading: The University of Michigan: “Musical Background of Eighteenth Century England” Link:  The University of Michigan: “Musical Background of Eighteenth Century England”(HTML)
 
Instructions:  Please click on the link for “Musical Background” on the left-hand side of the page and then scroll down and read the entirety of the University of Michigan’s introduction to musical entertainment in eighteenth-century England.  Why do you think interests in musical theater developed in England during this period? 
 
About the Link:  The University of Michigan has made this document available online through the university’s website. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.3.7 Case Study in the Theater of the Period   - Reading: The University of Western Ontario: William Wycherley’s The Country Wife Link:  The University of Western Ontario:  William Wycherley’s The Country Wife(HTML)
 
Also available in:
ePub format on Google Books
 
Instructions:  Please scroll down and read the entirety of the University of Western Ontario’s version of William Wycherley’s play The Country Wife.  In what ways do you see Wycherley’s play as a reflection of the politics, science, culture, and social dynamics of this period?  Review the history that we have covered from the readings above to answer this question. 
 
About the Link:  The University of Ontario has made the entirety of William Wycherley’s The Country Wife available online. 
 
Terms of Use:  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.