The Cambridge History of English Literature, Vols. VIII., IX., X.
Courthope’s A History of English Poetry, Vols. III., IV., and V.
Stephen’s English Literature in the Eighteenth Century.
Taine’s History of English Literature, Book III., Chaps. I., II., III.
Gosse’s History of Eighteenth Century Literature begins with 1660.
Garnett’s The Age of Dryden.
Phillips’s Popular Manual of English Literature, Vol. I.
Minto’s Manual of English Prose Literature.
Saintsbury’s Life of Dryden. (E.M.L.)
Macaulay’s Essay on Dryden.
Lowell’s Essay on Dryden in Among My Books.
Dryden’s Essays on the Drama, edited by Strunk.
Fowler’s Life of Locke. (E.M.L.)
Stephen’s History of Thought in the Eighteenth Century.
Dennis’s The Age of Pope.
Thackeray’s English Humorists (Swift, Addison, Steele, Pope).
Stephen’s Life of Swift. (E.M.L.)
Craik’s Life of Swift.
Courthope’s Life of Addison. (E.M.L.)
Macaulay’s Essay on Addison.
Stephen’s Life of Pope. (E.M.L.)
De Quincey’s Essay on Pope, and On the Poetry of Pope.
Johnson’s Lives of the Poets (Dryden, Pope, Addison).
Lowell’s My Study Windows (Pope).
Dryden.—From his lyrical verse, read Alexander’s Feast or A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day. The opening lines of Religio Laici or of The Hind and the Panther will serve as a specimen of his argumentative or didactic verse and Absalom and Achitophel for his satire. (Cassell’s National Library, 15 cents.)
Selections are given in Ward, II., 454-483; Bronson, III., 20-58; Manly, I., 203-209; Oxford Treasury, III., 99-110; Century, 266-285.
For his critical prose, read An Essay of Dramatic Poesy (Strunk’s edition of Dryden’s Essays on the Drama). For selections see Craik, III., 148-154; Manly, II., 146-163; Century, 276-285.
What is the chief subject matter of Dryden’s verse? Point out typical qualities in his argumentative and satiric verse. Give definite instances of his power in argument and satire.
Why is his prose called modern? Point out some of its qualities.
Defoe.—Read or reread Robinson Crusoe and point out where he specially shows the skill of the journalist in the presentation of his facts. Can you select passages that show the justice of the criticism? How would the interest in the story have been affected, had Defoe, like the author of Swiss Family Robinson, caused the shipwreck to occur on an island where tropical fruits would have rendered unnecessary Crusoe’s labor to secure food?