English literature and culture 1 [Cognomi A-E] (2014/2015)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Rita Severi
Rita Severi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2014 al Jan 10, 2015.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course introduces students to the main literary movements and the relevant authors from the second half of the 19th century through the first half of the twentieth century, with particular attention devoted to travel literature in English. Constant attendance will enable the students to organize cultural and literary itineraries in their own city.
The course will examine both English and American writers who travelled to Italy and Verona, and have been inspired by the country and the ancient city, from a period of turmoil and revolutions which achieved the Risorgimento to the present times. First we will analyze the role played by the great Victorian writers, Ruskin, Dickens, and the American William Dean Howells (consul in Venice during the Licoln presidency), then we'll move on to a close reading of those late Nineteenth century authors who lived most or part of their lives in Italy and produced many of their successful works while staying abroad. By examining a few chosen texts of such lesser known authors as Maurice Hewlett, Arthur Symons, and Vernon Lee, we'll see how great the demand for travel literature (especially those accounts that described Italian towns and cities outside the beaten tracks of the Grand Tour) had spread by the beginning of the Twentieth century, and how it was pursued up to the present by such different writers, as D. H. Lawrence, the poet Henry Reed, and the American contemporary novelist, Robert Hellenga (first & only, so far, resident writer at the University of Verona in 2008-2009).



Charles Dickens (1812-1870),from Pictures from Italy (1846): By Verona, Mantua and Milan, across the Pass of the Simplon into Switzerland, pp. 120-143.

John Ruskin (1819-1900),from Verona and Other Lectures (1894): Verona and its Rivers(1870), pp. 3-35.

William Dean Howells (1837-1920) from Italian Journeys (1901, ill. by J. Pennell): Vicenza, Verona, and Parma, pp. 259-292.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), At Verona (1881).

Vernon Lee (Violet Paget, 1856-1935),from Genius Loci. Notes on Places (1899): Introduction (see HEWLETT).

Maurice Hewlett (1861-1923) Madonna of the Peach Tree/Madonna del Pesco. Una storia di Verona, ed. bilingue a cura di R. Severi, Bologna, Patron 2007 (includes Vernon Lee, pp. 118-125).(10 euros in bookshops).

Arthur Symons (1865-1945), from Cities of Italy (1907): Verona, pp. 227-235.

David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930), from Twilight in Italy (1916): On the Lago di Garda: Lemon Gardens; The Theatre.

Henry Reed (1914-1986), from Collected Poems, ed. by J. Stallworthy, Oxford, OUP, 1991: A Map of Verona (1946); The Town Itself (1974).

Robert Hellenga, Six Weeks in Verona, Verona, Biblioteca Civica, 2010 online.

EXTRA credits: Robert Hellenga, The Confessions of Frances Godwin, New York, Bloomsbury 2014.

** All the texts on the list are available online for download, with the exception of MAURICE HEWLETT (required reading) and ROBERT HELLENGA, The Confessions of Frances Godwin which is not required reading.

Critical Bibliography (required study):

Rita Severi, La poesia A VERONA di Oscar Wilde e altri viaggiatori anglofoni nella città scaligera, in Odeporica e Dintorni. Cento Studi per Emanuele Kanceff, a cura di P. Menzio e C. Kanceff, Moncalieri, Torino, CIRVI, 2011, pp. 283-293.

Rita Severi, Note sui viaggiatori anglofoni durante la Belle Époque: scelte di vita e di viaggio, in "Bollettino del CIRVI", 62, luglio-dicembre 2010, pp. 497-508.

Rita Severi, John Ruskin e i viaggiatori inglesi a Verona nella seconda metà dell'Ottocento (con un inedito), in "Bollettino del CIRVI", 59, gennaio-giugno 2009, pp. 7-30.



or any good History of English Literature. A list of authors will be posted online.

Assessment methods and criteria


All classes will beheld in English. Students are required to attend lessons

and actively intervene. At the end of the course the students will have to

pass a written test.
Copyrighted material cannot be photocopied.