University of the West of England


(Template Revised October 2005)

Code: UPGPTB-30-2 Title: British Writing 1900 – 1950 Version: 3

Level: 2 UWE credit rating: 30 ECTS credit rating: 15

Module type: Standard

Owning Faculty: Social Sciences and Humanities Field: English

Valid from: September 2008 Discontinued from:

Contributes towards: Awards up to BA/BSC (Hons)

Pre-requisites: UPGPDC-60-1 (Approaches to Literature and Criticism) or

UPGPDD-30-1(Narrative Literature: Prose and Verse)

Co-requisites: None

Excluded combinations: None

Learning outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate:

    • understanding of key literary movements of the period in their social, historical and critical contexts (assessed through all elements of assessment).

    • familiarity with the different types and genres of British writing (excluding drama, and with a particular focus on prose and narrative) of the period (assessed through all elements of assessment).

    • skills of close reading and literary analysis of texts (assessed through all elements of assessment).

    • the ability to apply relevant theoretical perspectives to their reading of texts (assessed through all elements of assessment).

Syllabus outline:

The module will examine novels and short stories, some non-fictional prose writing and some poetry written in Britain between 1900 and 1950. The approach will be broadly chronological and will locate texts within their historical and cultural contexts. It will examine the impact of war and the ‘end of empire’ on culture and writing; the ways in which writers responded to other aspects of social and cultural change; literary explorations of national identity; literary modernism and the continued use of realism; and the relationship between the literary avant garde and mainstream and popular writing. The main focus will be on fiction and prose writing, but some poetry will also be studied in order to deepen understanding of modernism and the ways in which writers responded to political events.

Teaching and learning methods:

The module will be taught through weekly lectures and seminars. Lectures may involve visual material and some workshop activity (small group discussion on aspects of the material introduced in lectures). Seminars will involve focussed discussion on aspects of the texts on the course, and may involve short student presentations.

Reading Strategy

Students will be expected to buy all the set primary texts as specified in the module handbook, except where it is indicated that photocopies of short stories and poems will be provided. The bibliography in the handbook will indicate which secondary texts are available in the library and which include discussions of specific authors being studied. It will also indicate which books are on short loan. Students should also make use of Literature Online and other databases, as well as journals held in the library. Some links to critical articles may also be provided via UWEonline.

Indicative sources:

The following list is offered to provide validation panels/accrediting bodies with an indication of the type and level of information students may be expected to consult. As such, its currency may wane during the life span of the module specification. However, as indicated above, CURRENT advice on readings will be available via other more frequently updated mechanisms.

Fussell, P. The Great War and Modern Memory (London: OUP, 1990)

Hapgood, L. & Outside Modernism: In Pursuit of the English Novel 1900 – 1930

Paxton, N. L (eds) (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000)

Giles, J. & Middleton, T. (eds) Writing Englishness 1900 – 1950: An Introductory Sourcebook on

National Identity (London: Routledge, 1995)

Light, A. Forever England: Femininity, Literature and Conservatism Between the Wars (London: Routledge, 1991)

Levenson, M. The Cambridge Companion to Modernism (Cambridge: CUP, 1999)

Maslen, E. Political and Social Issues in British Women’s Fiction 1928 – 1968

(Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001)

Montefiore, J. Men and Women Writers of the 1930s: The Dangerous Flood Of History

(London: Routledge, 1996)

Pykett, L. Engendering Fictions: The English Novel in the Early Twentieth Century

(London: Edward Arnold, 1995)

Schwartz, D.R. The Transformation of the English Novel 1890 – 1930 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1995)

Trotter, D. The English Novel in History 1895 – 1920 (London: Routledge, 1993)


Weighting between components A and B (standard modules only) A: 40% B: 60%


First Assessment Opportunity

Component A

Description of each element Element weighting

1. Two hour seen examination 40%

Component B

Description of each element Element weighting

1. Essay (1500 words) 25%

2. Essay (2500 words) 30%

3. Attendance 5%

Second Assessment Opportunity (further attendance at taught classes is not required)

Component A

Description of each element Element weighting

1. Two hour seen examination 40%

Component B

Description of each element Element weighting

1. Essay (1500 words) 25%

2. Essay (2500 words) 35%

SECOND (OR SUBSEQUENT) ATTEMPT: Attendance at taught classes is required.

Specification confirmed by ……………………………………………Date ……………………………

(Associate Dean/Programme Director)

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