Accessibility statement

Henry James - ENG00022H

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Victoria Coulson
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This module is an opportunity to study in depth the fiction of one of the most exciting, compelling, innovative, and influential writers of the Anglo-American nineteenth- and early-twentieth centuries. James’s work spans a rich transitional period in literary culture, connecting the (pre-)Victorian novel with the radical experimentalism of the Modernists. His earliest work owes a great deal to the steely delicacy and narrative ironies of Jane Austen; his latest writing engages with the questions of subjectivism and the paradoxes of authority which would later preoccupy Stein, Woolf and Joyce. James’s work addresses some of the biggest themes – passion, violence, loss and desire – but it’s less often noticed that he can be enormously funny and beguilingly shameless. This module aims, above all, to take seriously the pleasures of James’s texts; to read James in the light of his own apologia – ‘it is art that makes life, makes interest’.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

The aim of this module is to study in depth the work of Henry James.

Module learning outcomes

  • An in-depth engagement with the literary work of Henry James
  • An ability to develop your own approaches to, and interpretations of, James’s work
  • Knowledge and understanding of some significant debates in contemporary Jamesian scholarship


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

  • You will be given the opportunity to hand in a 1000 word formative essay in the term in which the module is taught (usually in the week 7 seminar).  Material from this essay may be re-visited in your summative essay and it is therefore an early chance to work through material that might be used in assessed work. This essay will be submitted in hard copy and your tutor will annotate it and return it two weeks later (usually in your week 9 seminar).  Summary feedback will be uploaded to your eVision account.  
  • Class descriptors for this module can be found on the Student homepage


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is designed to help you to improve your work, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further you can discuss it with your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours  
  • For more information about the feedback you will receive for your work, see the department's Guide to Assessment

Indicative reading

  • The Europeans
  • The Princess Casamassima
  • The Spoils of Poynton
  • The Golden Bowl

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.