Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas

English Literature Studies - 1st semester



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas


Línguas, Culturas e Literaturas Modernas, Secção de Estudos Ingleses e Norte-Americanos



Teacher in charge

Miguel Alarcão

Weekly hours

3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Teaching language



a) To revisit the origins of the British historical novel, particularly Sir Walter Scott´s Ivanhoe (1819);
b) To research on and examine the British historical novel on the Miidle Ages (1819-1918);
c) To assess the quality and amount of work produced.



Subject matter

- Introduction;
- The Historical Novel (Origins, development, theoretical and critical approaches, etc.);
- Scott and/on the Historical Novel;
- Ivanhoe;
- Ivanhoe (Dir. Richard Thorpe, featuring Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Fontaine, 1952);
- William Thackeray, Rebecca and Rowena (1850);
- Other 19th century British historical fiction on the Middle Ages;
- 20th-21st century British historical fiction on the Middle Ages;
- Conclusion.


ALEXANDER, Michael, Medievalism: The Middle Ages in Modern England. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007.

D’ARCENS, Louise (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Medievalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

SCOTT, Sir Walter. 1986 (1819). Ivanhoe. Ed. A. N. Wilson. (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, “Penguin Classics”).

DE GROOT, Jerome, The Historical Novel. London and New York: Routledge, “The New Critical Idiom”, 2010.

LUKÁCS, Georg, The Historical Novel. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd., 1981 (Merlin Press, 1962).

Teaching method

With the exception of the first session, this course will take a highly interactive shape through the regular presentation and discussion of research by the students themselves. At the end of each session, a short period (10-15 mins.) will be set aside for questions, comments and debate. The lecturer will guide students through their researches by suggesting and providing additional references for further reading.

Evaluation method

Oral and individual presentations on any relevant theme/topic listed in the course (50%).
A short essay (c.12 pages) presented at the end of the term (50%).