19th Century English Culture - 2nd semester


a) To acquire a good knowledge of 19th century British culture (Romantic and Victorian Ages).
b) To become more proficient in specific topics that are relevant to the study of 19th century British culture.
c) To identify the influence of 19th century Britain in its own time and the modernity of the Victorian legacy.
d) To develop research and debating skills in 19th century cultural topics and the field of cultural studies.
e) To produce one written test and the oral presentation of a research piece (either individual or collective), with tutorial and bibliographic support provided by the teacher.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Paulo Pereira da Silva


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Fluency in both Portuguese and English. Classes will be taught in Portuguese, with possible tutorial support in English for Erasmus students.


- Boyd, K. & McWilliam, R. (Eds.) (2007). The Victorian Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge.
- Gilmour, Robin (1993). The Victorian Period, The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature, 1830-1890. Harlow, Essex: Longman.
- Harvie, C. & Matthew, H. C. G. (2005). Nineteenth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- McCalman, Ian (ed.) (2001). An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age. British Culture 1776- 1832. Oxford /New York: Oxford University Press.
- Newsome, David (1997). The Victorian World Picture. London: Fontana.
- O´Gorman, F. (Ed.) (2010). The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Ramos, I. F. (2014). Matrizes Culturais: Notas para um Estudo da Era Vitoriana. Lisboa: Edições Colibri.

- Tucker, Herbert F. (ed.) (1999). A Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
- Wilson, A. N. (2003). The Victorians. London: Arrow Books.

Teaching method

Theoretical presentation designed to provide an historiical, ideological, philosophical and critical context for subsequent approaches to the selected texts; practical application of the knowledge gained in joint analyses (teacher and students) of the works on the reading list; group discussion of works from the selected critical bibliography, previously read by the students. Students will be guided and supported with a view to preparing them for the tests.

Evaluation method

Participation in class discussions or debates, text analysis and spontaneous interventions (10%); oral presentation of a research piece (either individual or collective), with tutorial and bibliographic support provided by the teacher (30%); one written classroom test to take place by the end of the semester (60%).

Subject matter

1. Historical and cultural introduction. The Age of Revolution and its impact in the United Kingdom.
1.1. Facts and personalities.
1.2. Concepts and themes.
2. The impact of Economic Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries and subsequent political and social reform in the Victorian Age.
2.1. Political ideologies and the evolution of suffrage.
2.2. Utilitarianism and free trade.
2.3. Expansionism and imperialism.
3. Scientific debate and artistic intervention in Victorian culture.
3.1 Scientific and technological progress.
3.2. Creationism and evolutionary theory.
3.3. Artistic and aesthetic trends.

4. Tradition and modernity.
4.2. The Victorian legacy.