Guidance on Avoiding Plagiarism Guide to Honours and Level 3 English Learning Outcomes

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EL40A0: WRITING THE CITY 1550-1630

30 Credits: 12 weeks

Session 2008/09

Seminars: Mondays 3-5pm, A15 Taylor Building

Thursdays 3-5pm, MT013 Meston

Course Convenor: Dr Andrew Gordon

Taylor Building, B7. tel: 01224 272626 email:

Office Hours:

This course guide must be read in conjunction with the following booklets:-

Good Writing Guide

Guidance on Avoiding Plagiarism

Guide to Honours and Level 3 English

Learning Outcomes

A: Knowledge and Understanding of:-

  • historical context of literary production in early modern London;

  • texts from a range of different genres;

  • debates concerning the place of the stage;

  • audiences for and reception of literary works in early modern London.

C: Practical Skills – able to:-

  • think and speak cogently about the literary productions of early modern London and about some of its principal representative texts, using appropriate techniques and terminology

  • write critically about literature of early modern London, including consideration of its textual strategies

  • discuss the historical context for the production of literature in early modern London including awareness of its different audiences.

B: Intellectual Skills – able to:-

  • read and appreciate a selection of literary texts from the period, and interpret them against their historical background

  • engage with critical debates concerning the literature of early modern London

  • examine critically textual strategies for the representation of the city

D: Transferable Skills – able to:-

  • discuss complex issues with clarity and cogency, both orally and in writing

  • write clearly, succinctly, grammatically and idiomatically

  • organise study time effectively

Course outline

London in the early modern period was a centre of government, a thriving commercial hub and one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. It was also a centre for literary production across a range of genres, from plays to pageants, from poetry to pamphlets. This course will examine the various ways in which the city is represented in the literature of the period and will explore such topics as the place of the stage; sin and the city; ceremony and festivity; commerce and the community; and urban satire.

Teaching Format

The course will be structured around seminar discussion of the set texts for that week. Students will have the opportunity to give individual presentations in the first part of the course, and to work on a group presentation to be delivered in the final week of the course.

Set Texts:

EL40A0 Course Pack available from the School Office.

All texts marked within an asterisk [*] in the Course Programme below are included in the Course Pack.

Students are expected to purchase the following texts:

Arthur Kinney, ed., Renaissance Drama: An Anthology of Plays and Entertainments (Blackwells, 1999).

James Knowles, ed., The Roaring Girl and other City Comedies (OUP: World’s Classics)

For A Trick to Catch the Old One please buy Thomas Middleton, A Mad World My Masters and other plays (OUP World’s Classics) ed Michael Taylor.

Course Programme

Week 1: Introduction: A Visitor’s Guide to early modern London

1st seminar:

Course orientation and introduction to early modern London

Reading: ‘Defining the City’* in Course Pack

2nd seminar:

John Stow, A Survey of London (extracts): ‘Epistle Dedicatory’; On the estate of the city; On orders and customs, and sports and pastimes.

Week 2: John Stow and the Lord Mayor’s show

1st seminar:

John Stow, A Survey of London (extracts): The City of London divided into parts. The wards of: Aldgate, Limestreet, Bishopsgate, Broad street, Cheap; Bridge ward without .

2nd seminar:

William Smith ‘Description of the Lord Mayor’s Election and Investiture’*

Thomas Dekker, Troia Nova Triumphans *

[supplementary reading Anthony Munday, The Triumphs of Re-United Britannia [in Kinney]]

Week 3: Royal Entries

1st seminar:

Richard Mulcaster, The Queen's Majesty's Passage [in Kinney]

Description of the Royal entry of Elizabeth from Henry Machyn’s Diary*

[supplementary reading Extracts from the Corporation of London records on entry of Elizabeth*]

2nd seminar:

Thomas Dekker, The Magnificent Entertainment *

Ben Jonson, His Part of King James his Royal and Magnificent Entertainment *

Week 4: Plaguing the City

1st seminar

Thomas Dekker, The Wonderfulle Yeare*

2nd seminar

T[homas] B[rewer], The Weeping Lady*

John Davies of Hereford, ‘The Triumph of Death’*
Week 5: London underworlds

1st seminar

[Gilbert Walker], A Manifest Detection of Diceplay *

Robert Greene, A Notable Discovery of Cozenage*

[supplementary reading Letter of Fleetwood to Burghley on a School for Pickpockets*]

2nd seminar

Thomas Dekker, Gul’s Hornebooke*

Week 6: Satire and the City

1st seminar

Puttenham on the origins of satire*

Selections from Everard Guilpin ‘Skialetheia’ and Samuel Rowlands ‘The letting of humor’s blood in the head-vaine’ *

2nd seminar

Horace, Satire IX*

John Donne, Satire I*

Week 7 Essay Writing

There will be no seminars in this week.

Week 8: Poetic Narratives

1st seminar

Isabella Whitney, ‘Last Will and Testament’*

2nd seminar

Ben Jonson, ‘On the Famous Voyage’*, ‘An Execration upon Vulcan’*

Week 9 Staging the City: Urban Fantasy

1st seminar

Thomas Dekker, Shoemaker’s Holiday [in Knowles and in Kinney]

2nd seminar

Thomas Heywood, If You Know Not Me You Know Nobody (part 2)*

Week 10: Commerce and Community

1st seminar

Chapman, Jonson & Marston, Eastward Ho [in Knowles]

2nd seminar

Middleton, A Trick to Catch The Old One [in Taylor ed A Mad World…]

Week 11: Comedy and Urban Audiences

1st seminar

Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker, The Roaring Girl [in Knowles]

2nd seminar

Francis Beaumont, Knight of the Burning Pestle [in Kinney]
Week 12

Group Projects


The following list of works on the literature and culture of early modern London is by no means exhaustive. As well as searching the library catalogues for printed materials, you can also make use of the university’s extensive electronic resources via Metalib and ebrary. The various databases are organised by subject and amongst the most useful of the Literature & Linguistics is Literature Online (LION) which includes both primary and secondary texts and includes access to JSTOR online journals. The plays and pageant texts in the Kinney anthology are also printed with individual bibliographies. When selecting secondary material be aware that some of the texts we are studying on this course have not been written about extensively. You may find it useful to adopt a comparative angle – extracting ideas/approaches from work which focuses on different texts but which deals with issues relevant to your own project. If you have any difficulties finding material, do let me know and I will do what I can to help.


Cultural history of London:

Ian Archer, The Pursuit of Stability: Social Relations in Elizabethan London (Cambridge UP 1991) [3DL]

A.L. Beier & Roger Finlay, eds., London 1500-1700: The Making of the Metropolis (Longman 1986) [3DL]

Laura Gowing, Domestic Dangers: Women, Words, and Sex in Early Modern London (Oxford 1996).

Paul Griffiths and Mark Jenner, eds., Londinopolis: Essays in the Cultural and Social History of early modern London (Manchester UP 2000) [3DL]

J.F. Merritt, ed., Imagining Early Modern London: Perceptions & Portrayals of the City from Stow to Strype 1598-1720 (Cambridge UP 2001) [HD]

Steve Rappaport, Worlds within Worlds: Structures of Life in sixteenth century London (Cambridge UP 1989)

Civic Ceremony:

Sydney Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry and early Tudor policy (Warburg 1969)

David M. Bergeron, English Civic Pageantry 1558-1642 (Arnold 1971) [3DL]

Michael Berlin, ‘Civic Ceremony in early modern London’, Urban History Yearbook (1986), pp.15-27.

Michael Berlin, ‘Reordering ritual: ceremony and the parish 1520-1640’ in Londinopolis.

M C Bradbrook, ‘The Politics of Pageantry: Social Implications in Jacobean London’ in Poetry and Drama, 1570-1700: Essays in Honour of Harold F. Brooks ed. Antony Coleman et al. (Methuen 1981), pp. 60-75.

Tracey Hill, Anthony Munday and Civic Culture: Theatre, History and Power in early modern London 1580-1633 (Manchester 2004), esp chap 5 ‘Munday and civic history’.

Gordon Kipling, ‘Triumphal Drama: Form in English Civic Pageantry’ in Renaissance Drama (1977), n.s. 8, 37-56.

Iain Munro, ‘London’s Mirror: Civic Ritual and the crowd’ chap 2 of The Figure of the Crowd in Early Modern London: The City and Its Double (2005)

Charles Pythian-Adams, ‘Ceremony and the citizen: the communal year at Coventry 1450-1550’ in Crisis and Order in English Towns 1500-1700, ed. P Clark and P Slack (Routledge 1972).

Mervyn James, ‘Ritual, Drama, and the Social Body in the Late Medieval English Town’, Past & Present 98 (1983), 3-29.
Edward Muir, Ritual in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 1997), esp. chap 7 ‘Government as a ritual process’, pp.229-268.

Barbara Hanawalt and Kathryn L. Reyerson, eds, City and Spectacle in Medieval Europe (Minnesota, 1994).

London and the Stage:

Anne Barton, ‘London comedy and the ethos of the city’ and ‘Comic London’ in Essays, mainly Shakespearean (Cambridge UP 1994) [HD]

Douglas Bruster, Drama and the Market in the age of Shakespeare (Cambridge UP 1992) [3DL]

Janette Dillon, Theatre, Court and City, 1595-1610: Drama and Social Space in London (Cambridge UP 2000) [HD]

Theodore B. Leinwand, The City Staged: Jacobean Comedy, 1603-1613. (University of Wisconsin Press 1986) [3DL]

Jean Howard, Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy 1598-1642 (University of Pennsylvania Press 2007)

Margot Heinemann, Puritanism and Theatre: Thomas Middleton and Opposition Drama under the Early Stuarts (CUP 1980) [HD]

Steven Mullaney, The Place of the Stage (University of Michigan Press 1988)

Lena Orlin, ed., Material London, ca.1600 (University of Pennsylvania Press 2000) [HD]

Gail Paster, The Idea of the City in the Age of Shakespeare (University of Georgia Press 1985)

D Smith, R Strier & D Bevington, eds., The Theatrical City: Culture, Theatre and Politics in London, 1576-1649 (Cambridge UP 1995) [3DL]

Peter Stallybrass and David Scott Kastan, eds., Staging the Renaissance, (Routledge 1985) [HD]

John Twyning, London dispossessed: Literature and Social Space in the Early Modern City (Macmillan 1998) [3DL]

Lawrence Manley, Literature and culture in early modern London (Cambridge UP 1995) [HD]

Useful Websites:

Early English Books Online enables you to search for and download digitized copies of books published between 1473 and 1700.

Thomas Dekker:

Ben Jonson:

Francis Beaumont:

Thomas Middleton :

Week 1: Introduction

Some background reading on London in the period would be advisable. Examples from the reading list: A. L. Beier & Roger Finlay, ‘The significance of the Metropolis’ in London 1500-1700 (Longman 1986), pp.1-34

Vanessa Harding, ‘City, capital and metropolis: The changing shape of seventeenth century London’ in Imagining Early Modern London, ed. Merrit (Cambridge UP 2001), pp.117-143.

Derek Keene, ‘Material London in Time and Space’ and David Harris Sacks, ‘London’s Dominion’ in Material London, ca. 1600, ed. Orlin (University of Pennsylvania Press 2000), pp.55-74.

The standard critical edition of Stow, is John Stow, A Survey of London, edited by C. L. Kingsford (Oxford 1908), 2 vols. [HD] It contains useful notes as well as a brief biography along with documents relating to his life.

Ian Archer, ‘The nostalgia of John Stow’ in The Theatrical City, ed. Smith et al (Cambridge UP 1995).

Andrew Gordon, ‘Overseeing and Overlooking: John Stow and the Surveying of the City’ in John Stow (1525-1605) and the Making of the English Past (BL 2004)

Patrick Collinson, ‘John Stow and nostalgic antiquarianism’ in Imagining Early Modern London, ed. J.F. Merritt. [Many of the articles in this collection touch on Stow’s Survey in some way.]

Lawrence Manley, ‘Of sites and rites’ in The Theatrical City and see chap 3 of Literature and Culture

Barrett L Beer, Tudor England Observed: The World of John Stow (Sutton 1998).

William Hall, ‘A Topography of Time: Historical Narration in John Stow's Survey of London’, Studies in Philology (Winter 1991).

Cynthia Wall, ‘Grammars of Space: The Language of London from Stow’s Survey to Defoe’s Tour’, Philological Quarterly 76:4 (1997), 387-411.

Week 2: John Stow and the Lord Mayor’s Show


Michael Berlin, ‘Civic Ceremony in early modern London’, Urban History Yearbook (1986), pp.15-27.

Theodore B. Leinwand, ‘London Triumphing: The Jacobean Lord Mayor’s Show’, Clio 11:2 (1982), 136-153.

James Knowles, ‘The Spectacle of the Realm: civic consciousness, rhetoric and ritual in early modern London’, in Theatre and Government under the early Stuarts ed. Mulrayne and Shewring (Cambridge UP1983), 157-189.

Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky, ‘The Triumphes of Golde: Economic Authority in the Jacobean Lord Mayor's Show’, English Literary History 60:4 (1993).

Hans Werner, “A German Eye-Witness to Dekker’s Troia Nova Triumphans’ in Notes & Queries 46 (1999) 251-254.

Week 3: Royal Entries

Wendy Wall, The Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English Renaissance (Cornell 1993), chap 2.

Andrew Gordon, ‘Performing London: the map and the city in ceremony’ in Literature, Mapping and the Politics of Space in early modern Britain, ed. Gordon and Klein (Cambridge UP 2001), 69-88. [3DL]

William Leahy, "Propaganda or a Record of Events? Richard Mulcaster's The Passage Of Our Most Drad Soveraigne Lady Quene Elyzabeth Through The Citie Of London Westminster The Daye Before Her Coronacion." Early Modern Literary Studies 9.1 (May, 2003): 3.1-20>.

Lawrence Manley, ‘Scripts for the pageant: the ceremonies of London’ chap 5 of Literature and Culture.

R. Malcolm Smuts, ‘Public ceremony and royal charisma: the English royal entry in London, 1485-1642’ in The First Modern Society ed. Beier, Canadine and Rosenheim (Cambridge UP 1989), pp. 65-93. [photocopy in HD]

Germaine Warkentin, The Queen Majesty’s Passage & Related Documents (Toronto 2004) [3DL]

Week 4: Plaguing the City

Leeds Barroll, Politics, Plague and Shakespeare’s Theater, chap 3 ‘Pestilence and the Players’

Sandra Clark, The Elizabethan pamphleteers: popular moralistic pamphlets 1580-1640 (Athlone 1983) [HD]

Margaret Healy, ‘Discourses of the Plague in early modern London’ in Epidemic Disease in London, ed. J.A.I. Champion (Centre for Metropolitan History Working Papers Series, No.1, 1993): pp. 19-34. Online at

Margaret Healy, Fictions of Disease in Early Modern England: Bodies, Plagues and Politics (Palgrave 2001), esp. chaps 2 and 3.

Ian Munro, ‘The City and Its Double: Plague Time in Early Modern London’, English Literary Renaissance 30:2 (2000), 241-261 – and reprinted as chapter 6 of The Figure of the Crowd

M. Pelling, The common lot. Sickness, medical occupations and the urban poor in early modern England (1998)

Lawrence Manley, Literature and culture, chap 6.

Paul Slack, ‘Metropolitan Government in Crisis: The Response to Plague’ in The Making of the Metropolis ed Beier and Finlay, pp.60-81.

John Twyning, London dispossessed: Literature and Social Space in the Early Modern City (Macmillan 1998)

Alexandra Walsham, Providence in Early Modern England (Oxford 1999), chap 3.

Week 5: London underworlds

A. L. Beier, ‘Anti-language or jargon?: Canting in the English underworld in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’ in Peter Burke and Roy Porter, eds, Languages and jargons: contributions to a social history of language (Polity 1995).

A. L. Beier, Masterless Men: The vagrancy problem in England 1560-1640 (Methuen 1985).

Patricia Fumerton, ‘London’s Vagrant Economy: Making space for “low” Subjectivity’, in Material London, ca.1600, ed. Orlin (University of Pennsylvania Press 2000).

Paul Griffiths, ‘Overlapping circles: imagining criminal communities in London, 1545-1645’ in Communities in early modern England ed. Shepard and Withington (Manchester UP 2000).

Gamini Salgado, The Elizabethan Underworld (Dent 1977)

Linda Woodbridge, Vagrancy, homelessness and English Renaissance literature (2001)

Linda Woodbridge, "Imposters, Monsters, and Spies: What Rogue Literature Can Tell us about Early Modern Subjectivity." Interactive Early Modern Literary Studies Dialogues (1999): 4.1-11>.

See also the following articles in the special issue of English Literary Renaissance 33:2 (May 2003) [available online via the library]

A.L.Beier, ‘On the Boundaries of New and Old Historicisms: Thomas Harman and the Literature of Roguery’

Linda Woodbridge, ‘Jest Books, the Literature of Roguery, and the Vagrant Poor in Renaissance England’

Patricia Fumerton, ‘Making Vagrancy (In)Visible: The Economics of Disguise in Early Modern Rogue Pamphlets’

Week 6: Satire and the City

Lawrence Manley, Literature and culture chap 7: ‘Essential difference: the projects of satire’

R B Gill, ‘A Purchase of Glory: The Persona of Late Elizabethan Satire’, Studies in Philology 72 (1975), 408-418.

Karen Newman, ‘Walking Capitals: Donne’s First Satyre’ in The Culture of Capital: Property, Cities, and Knowledge in early modern England, ed. Henry S Turner (Routledge, 2002), pp.203-221.

Peter Stallybrass, ‘The Mystery of Walking,’ Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 32 (2002), 571-578.

M Thomas Hester, ‘“All are players”: Guilpin and “Prester John” Donne’, South Atlantic Review

Arnold Stein, ‘Voices of the Satirist: John Donne in English Satire and the Satiric Tradition ed Claude Rawson (1984), pp.72-92.

John Peter, Complaint and Satire in Early English Literature (1956)

Week 7: Essay Writing There will be no seminars in this week.

Week 8: Poetic Narratives


Betty Travitsky, ‘The “Wyll and Testament” of Isabella Whitney (fl.1567-1573),’ English Literary Renaissance 10 (1980), 76-94.

Lorna Hutson, The Usurer’s Daughter (Routledge 1994), chap 4 ‘Userers’ Daughters and Prodigal Sons’.

Wendy Wall, Imprint of Gender, chap 5, ‘Dancing in a Net’

Elaine V Beilin, Redeeming Eve: Women Writers of the English Renaissance (Princeton UP 1987)


Andrew McRae. ‘“On the Famous Voyage”: Ben Jonson and civic space’, Literature, mapping and the politics of space, ed. Gordon and Klein, 181-203.

Bruce Boehrer, The Fury of Men’s Gullets: Ben Jonson & the Digestive Canal (University of Pennsylvania Press 1997) chap 4, pp.147-175.

Bruce Boehrer, ‘Horatian Satire in Jonson's On the Famous Voyage’, Criticism 44:I (2002) 9–26

Katherine Duncan Jones, ‘City Limits: Nashe's 'Choise of Valentines' and Jonson's 'Famous Voyage’, Review of English Studies 56:224, (2005), 247-62.

Week 9: Staging the City: Urban Fantasy

Paul S. Seaver, ‘The Artisanal World,’ and David Bevington ‘Theatre as Holiday.’, in The Theatrical City (Cambridge UP 1995), ed. Smith et al [3DL]

Anita Gilman Sherman, ‘The Status of Charity in Thomas Heywood’s If You Know Not Me You Know Nobody II', Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England (1999), 199-220

Charles W Crupi, ‘Reading Nascent Capitalism in Part II of Thomas Heywood's If You Know Not Me, You Know Nobody’, Texas Studies in Literature and Language 46:3 (2004), 296-323.

David Scott Kastan, ‘Workshop and/as Playhouse’ in Staging the Renaissance, ed Kastan and Peter Stallybrass (Routledge, 1985) [HD]

Alexander Leggatt, Citizen Comedy in the Age of Shakespeare (Toronto,1973)

Kathleen E. McLuskie, Dekker and Heywood (Macmillan 1994). [3DL]

Peter Mortenson, ‘The Economics of Joy in The Shoemakers' Holiday, Vol. 16, No. 2, (Spring, 1976), 241-252.
Martha Straznicky, ‘The End(s) of Discord in The Shoemaker's Holiday’, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, Vol. 36, No. 2, Spring 1996, pp. 357-72

David Wiles, `That day are you free':The Shoemakers Holiday’ in Cahiers Elisabethains 38 (1990).

Week 10: Commerce and Community

Jill Phillips Ingram, "Economies of obligation in Eastward Ho!." Ben Jonson Journal 11 (2004), 21-40. (2004)
Brian Gibbons, Jacobean City Comedy (1980)

Theodore Leinwand, The City Staged and Theatre Finance and Society

Anne-Julia Zwierlein, ‘Shipwrecks in the City: Commercial Risk as Romance in Early Modern City Comedy’ in Plotting Early Modern London: New Essays on Jacobean City Comedy ed Mehl et al (2004), pp. 75-94.

Margot Heineman, Puritanism and Theatre: Thomas Middleton and Opposition Drama (1980) [HD]

Swapan Chakravorty, Society and Politics in the Plays of Thomas Middleton (1996) [HD]
Scott Cutler Shershow, ‘"The pit of wit: sub-plot and unity in Middleton's A Trick to Catch the Old One’" Studies in Philology 88:3 (1991), 363-81.

Week 11: Comedy and Urban Audiences

Clare McManus, ‘The Roaring Girl and the London Underworld’, in Early Modern English Drama: A Critical Companion ed Suliivan et al (2006), pp. 213-24
Mary Beth Rose, "Women in Men's Clothing: Apparel and Social Stability in The Roaring Girl"
English Literary Renaissance, 14:3 (1984), 367-391

Jean E Howard, ‘Sex and Social Conflict: The Erotics of The Roaring Girl’ in Erotic Politics: Desire on the Renaissance Stage ed Zimmerman (1992) pp. 170-90
Stephen Orgel, ‘The Subtexts of The Roaring Girl’ in Erotic Politics , pp. 12-26
Marjorie Garber, ‘The Logic of the Transvestite: The Roaring Girl (1608)’ in Staging the Renaissance ed Kastan and Stallybrass (1991), pp. 221-34
Mario DiGangi, ‘Sexual slander and working women in The Roaring Girl Renaissance Drama 32 (2003), 147-76.
Janette Dillon, Theatre, Court and City, chap 5: ‘Placing the Boundaries’

Sandra Clark, The Plays of Beauymont and Fletcher (Harvester 1994)

Philip Finkelpearl, Court and Country Politics in the Plays of Beaumont and Fletcher, (Princeton 1990), Chap 3.


Attendance at all lectures and seminars for level 3 and 4 students is compulsory. Attendance registers will be taken at both lectures and seminars, and students' attendance records will be reflected in their Seminar Assessment Marks.

Poor attendance is regarded very seriously, and will be penalised heavily through the Seminar Assessment Mark. {See paragraph on Seminar Assessment SAM}. The penalties are likely to affect the overall degree classification of Honours students.

In addition the University operates a system for monitoring students' progress to identify students who may be at risk of failing to complete satisfactorily a particular course. If the Course Co-ordinator has concerns about your attendance and/or performance, the Registry will be informed. The Registry will then write to you (by e-mail in term-time) to ask you to contact the Senate Office in the first instance. Depending on your reason for being deemed ‘at risk’, the Senate Office will either deal directly with your case or will refer you to your Adviser of Studies or a relevant Student Support Service.   Students are required to attend such meetings with their Adviser of Studies in accordance with General Regulation 8.

Set criteria are used to determine when a student should be reported in the monitoring system: Students who miss more than 4 classes in this 12-week course without good cause will be reported to the Senate Office.

If you fail to respond within the prescribed timescale (as set out in the e-mail or letter), you will be deemed to have withdrawn from the course concerned and will accordingly be ineligible to take the end-of-course assessment or to enter for the resit. The Registry will then write to you (by e-mail in term-time) to inform you of this decision. If you wish consideration to be given to reinstating you in the course you will require to meet with the Convener of the Students' Progress Committee.

It is especially important that students attend the first meeting of all courses for which they are enrolled, since in those meetings the aims and objectives of the course are explained. Failure to attend the first meeting of a course will be regarded with special gravity.

Poor attendance during the Honours years may have another serious consequence: the School may not feel it appropriate to write references for a student whose attendance record suggests a lack of interest in the subject.


Continuous assessment: essay (40%); examination (40%); Seminar Assessment Mark (10%); group project (10%)


The examination will consist of one 2-hour paper. A mock exam paper is provided in Appendix B. Resit arrangements are dealt with in the Guide to Honours section on ‘Written Work and Assessment’

Group Projects

For information on how group projects are assessed see Appendix C.

Seminar Assessment Mark

The SAM will be assessed according to three criteria: regularity of attendance; frequency of participation and quality of participation in seminar discussion.

Regularity of Attendance

Course Regulations state that attendance at each meeting of every course is compulsory. Students may miss no more than two classes if they are to be awarded a first-class SAM; miss four classes and the maximum SAM will be 17, miss six classes and the maximum SAM will be 14; miss eight classes and the maximum SAM will be 11; miss more than eleven classes and this will mean that the class certificate will be refused. In each of these cases allowance will be made for absence covered by a doctor’s medical certificate. Students who are persistently last for the class may, after warning, be considered as though they were absent.

Frequency of participation:

It is expected that all students will participate voluntarily in open forum and in group work as appropriate. Participation includes asking questions of the course leader or of other students, exploring or contesting views expressed by others, summarising discussion, etc., etc. To obtain a first-class assessment for frequency of participation, regular participation in each class is required; to obtain a 2i grade, regular participation in a majority of classes attended will be expected; those who contribute to discussion only occasionally will be awarded a 2ii grade, while persistent silence will merit a 3rd-class grade.

Quality of participation:

The quality of participation will be measured by the nature of the arguments or perceptions or evidence offered to the seminar; relevant knowledge; evidence of the care with which the text or film has been read, or data interpreted; evidence of having prepared the assignments; willingness to initiate discussion; intellectual interaction with other members of the seminar.

Essay length and quality of writing

  • Essays should be between 2,500-3,000 words long, including quotations and footnotes; students should note that they will be penalised by the deduction of 2 marks for work which is either too long or too short.

  • Good essays will be identified by the quality of argument, use of evidence, relevance to topic and quality of expression. Inaccuracies in punctuation, spelling, grammar, idiom, referencing and bibliography, and sloppiness in presentation (numerous insertions, deletions, coffee stains, etc.) will be penalised by the deduction of up to 4 marks. Students should refer to the Guide to Good Writing for further advice. Students who are referred by the tutor to the Academic Writing Support programme are strongly advised to make use of this service so as to improve their essay writing skills.

  • All students should use the conventions of reference as set out in the Guide to Good Writing. As noted in the statement on ‘Quality of Writing’, marks will be deducted for inadequate referencing.

  • Essays should be word-processed wherever possible. Write or type on one side of the paper, in double line spacing, leaving a wide margin (with space for comment). Spell-check and proof read your essay as both spelling and typing errors will be penalised.

  • At the end of your essay, add a bibliography, listing any secondary works you have used according to the guidelines specified in the Guide to Good Writing. You should also state the approximate number of words used.

  • Before submitting your essay to the school office, you must complete and attach the regulation School cover sheet (available from the corridor outside the School Office, Taylor A13) certifying that the essay is your own work.

Essay Submission

There will be no meetings of the course in week 7. Instead, this week will be devoted to essay writing. The deadline for submission of the essay is 3pm on Thursday of Week 7 (Thursday 13th November). You must submit BOTH 2 printed copies to the English Department Office and an electronic copy via TURN-IT-IN. For details on TURN-IT-IN submission see Appendix D below. You may opt to write an essay under examination conditions during the seminar slot 3-5 pm on Thursday. If you wish to take this option you must notify me in advance. Topics for the essay can be found in Appendix A of this course guide.

Late Submission

Three marks will be deducted for late submission (up to a week late) without supportive medical evidence. Essays submitted after this date will receive a NIL mark.

Extensions can be granted by tutors for up to one week on medical grounds or other good reasons. Further extensions beyond one week can be granted only by the Head of School.

For further information refer to the late submission guidelines contained within the Guide to Honours and Level 3 English Studies section on Assessment and Written Work.


Students who have been granted an extension on the grounds of disability must submit within one week of the normal submission deadline. Further extensions beyond one week can be granted only by the Head of School.

Medical Certification and other supportive documentation:

The university regulations state that students who believe that illness and/other personal circumstances may have affected their performance in an element of assessment must submit written details to the Head of School no later than one week after the due date of the assessment. Self–certification is not valid.

Students will be required to familiarise themselves with the contents of the School handout Guidance on Avoiding Plagiarism, which is available from the School Office. Level 3/honours students should also refer to the plagiarism guidelines contained within the Guide to Honours and Level Three English/ section on Written Work and Assessment.
The definition of Plagiarism is the use, without adequate acknowledgement, of the intellectual work of another person in work submitted for assessment. A student cannot be found to have committed plagiarism where it can be shown that the student has taken all reasonable care to avoid representing the work of others as his or her own.

Academic Appeals

The University’s Guidance Note on Academic Appeals can be obtained from the Senate Office in the Registry or can be accessed at:

It indicates that appeals committees will limit their consideration to matters of procedure, competency and/or prejudice. Those involved in considering academic appeals will not review matters of academic judgement, which are solely for the person or committee that has made the academic judgement to determine. For an appeal to be upheld, a student must have suffered material disadvantage.

Your attention is drawn to the following paragraph of the University’s Policy on Academic Appeals:

“Details of illness and/or other personal circumstance which either has prevented students from taking an assessment or from meeting a deadline for the submission of assessed work, or which students believe may have affected their performance in an assessment that contributes towards the result of a course or programme, will be accepted as grounds for appeal only if the Head of the relevant School has received written notification of them no later than one week after the date on which a student submitted, or was due to submit, an assessment or on which a student appeared, or was due to appear, for the assessment concerned. Where good reasons have prevented a student from notifying the Head of School within this period, the student should write to the Head of the School as soon as is practicable and give details both of the illness and/or other personal circumstances and of the reasons why the Head of the School was not notified of the circumstances within the prescribed period. Details reported after notification of the result will be accepted as grounds for appeal only in limited circumstances.”

The Vice-President (Advice & Support) in the Students' Association is available to help students considering submitting an appeal (tel: +44(0)1224 272965).

Student Complaints

The University aims to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for its undergraduate students. However, occasionally students will encounter problems and difficulties. Complaints should be addressed in the first instance to the person who is in charge of the University activity concerned, e.g. the Head of the relevant School about academic matters; the Head of the relevant administrative section about the service that you receive; a Warden about residential matters. Your Adviser of Studies or the Students’ Association will assist you if you are unsure how to pursue a complaint. The University's Policy on Student Complaints available at:

The Vice-President (Advice & Support) in the Students' Association is available to help students wishing to make a complaint (tel: +44(0)1224 272965).

Appendix A: Essay Questions:

The deadline for submission of the essay is 3pm on Thursday of Week 7 (Thursday 13th November). You must submit BOTH a printed copy to the English Department Office and an electronic copy via TURN-IT-IN.

  1. According to John Stow, “the world runs on wheels with many whose parents were glad to go on foot”. Examine Stow’s comparison of past and present in the Survey of London.

  1. With detailed reference to the text explore the way in which any civic ceremony (Lord Mayor’s Pageant or Royal Entry) represents the relationship between ruler and populace.

  1. ‘The royal entry maps an ideal royal city onto the urban reality of early modern London’ Examine the entry of either James or Elizabeth in the light of this comment.

  1. Plague literature reveals latent anxieties about the breakdown of urban community. Discuss.

  1. Discuss the use of authorial personae in one or more of the ‘Underworld’ pamphlets studied on the course.

  1. ‘A horn-book have I invented because I would have you well schooled’ (Gull’s Hornebooke) Examine Dekker’s use of the theme of instruction in the Gull’s Hornebook .

  1. Examine the treatment of urban manners in the satirical poetry of the 1590s.



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