1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Romance Long List

The PhD Oral Examination in


Part I: Core List
(the student must offer all of these texts)

  1. Classical
    • Homer, The Odyssey
    • Heliodorus, Ethiopica
  2. Medieval
    • Marie de France, Lais
    • Chretien de Troyes, Yvain; Lancelot; Erec et Enide; Perceval
    • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    • Chaucer, The Knight's Tale; Troilus and Criseyde
    • Queste del Saint Graal
    • Malory, Works
  3. Renaissance
    • Ariosto, Orlando Furioso
    • Cervantes, Don Quixote
    • Spenser, The Faerie Queene
    • Sidney, Arcadia (either Old or New)
    • Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale; The Tempest
  4. Gothic and Romantic
    • Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
    • Shelley, "Alastor"
    • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
    • Keats, "Eave of Saint Agnes"; "La Belle Dame Sans Merci"
    • Byron, "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
    • Coleridge, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
    • Sir Walter Scott, Waverley
  5. Nineteenth Century
    • Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
    • Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance or The Scarlet Letter
    • Melville, Moby Dick
    • Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
    • Robert Browning, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"
    • Tennyson, Idylls of the King
    • Dickens, Great Expectations
  6. Twentieth Century
    • Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim
    • James Joyce, "Araby"
    • Ursula le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
    • John Fowles, The Ebony Tower
    • Garcia Marquez, 100 Years of Solitude

Part 2: Supplementary List

Candidates must offer at least twenty literary works in addition to those on their core list. They are not obliged to take all their works from this list (which proffers, however, a range of possibilities), but they must be prepared to defend their own selections to the committee. Candidates may organize the supplementary list in any way they choose (e.g., through particular historical or thematic concentrations).

  1. Classical/Post-Classical
    • Virgil, The Aeneid
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses
    • Longus, Daphnis and Chloe
    • Apuleius, The Golden Ass
  2. Medieval
    • Roman D'Eneas
    • Beroul, Tristan
    • Gottfried von Strasburg, Tristan
    • Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival
    • Mort Artu
    • Boccaccio, Il Filostrato
    • King Horn
    • Chaucer, The Franklin's Tale; The Squire's Tale; The Wife of Bath's Tale; The Merchant's Tale
    • John Gower, Apollonius of Tyre (from Confessio Amantis )
    • Stanzaic, Morte d'Arthur
    • Thomas Chestre, Sir Launfal
    • Sir Orfeo
    • The Squire of Low Degree
  3. l6th/17th Century
    • Shakespeare, As You Like It; Twelfth Night; Cymbeline; Pericles
    • Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered
    • Beaumont, Knight of the Burning Pestle
    • Aphra Behn, Oroonoko
    • Lodge, Rosalynde
    • Greene, Pandosto or The Triumph of Time
    • Montemayor, Diana
    • Sannazaro, Arcadia
    • Lady Mary Wroth, Urania
    • Milton, Comus
  4. 18th Century/Gothic/Romantic
    • Voltaire, Candide
    • Samuel Johnson, Rasselas
    • Richardson, Pamela
    • Fielding, Joseph Andrews
    • Godwin, Caleb Williams
    • Clara Reeve, The Old English Baron
    • William Beckford, Vathek
    • Mrs. Radclyffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho
    • Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland
    • Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
    • Charlotte Lennox, The Female Quixote
    • Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
    • Keats, Lamia
    • Byron, Don Juan
    • Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer
  5. 19th Century
    • Poe, The Voyage of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
    • Hawthorne, House of the Seven Gables ; "The Minister's Black Veil"; "Rappacini's Daughter"; "Young Goodman Brown"
    • Melville, Omoo; Typee
    • Fenimore Cooper, Last of the Mohicans
    • Henry James, The American; The Turn of the Screw
    • Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King Arthur
    • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
    • J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Uncle Silas
    • William Morris, The Wood Beyond the World; News From Nowhere
    • George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind
    • Christina Rossetti, "Goblin Market"
    • Tennyson, "Mariana"
    • Rudyard Kipling, "The Man Who Would Be King"
    • Bram Stoker, Dracula
    • Samuel Butler, Erewhon
  6. 20th Century:
    • H. G. Wells, The Time Machine
    • Virginia Woolf, Orlando
    • T. H. White, The Once and Future King
    • Robert Frost, "Directive"
    • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
    • Alain-Fournier, Le Grand Meaulnes
    • Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
    • Toni Morrison, Beloved
    • J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
    • C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces
    • T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land
    • James Joyce, "The Dead"
    • Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
    • Iris Murdoch, The Unicorn
    • Thomas Pynchon, V
    • William Golding, Lord of the Flies
    • Joseph Conrad, The Shadow Line; Romance; Heart of Darkness
    • Eudora Welty, The Robber Bridegroom

Part 3: Critical and Theoretical Readings

Candidates should select at least six of the following texts. At least two of these works should have a fairly broad focus (for example, your list may not only consist of works on medieval and Renaissance romance). Candidates may propose supplementary readings if they so choose.

  1. M. M. Bakhtin, "Forms of Time and Chronotype in the Novel" (in particular the sections on "The Greek Romance" and "Chivalric Romance") from The Dialogic Imagination
  2. Gillian Beer, The Romance
  3. Harold Bloom, "The Internalization of Quest Romance" (from The Ringers in the Tower)
  4. Derek Brewer, "The Nature of Romance," Poetica (Tokyo) 9 (1978)
  5. Howard Felperin, Shakespearian Romance
  6. Northrop Frye, The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
  7. Pamela Gradon, "The Romance Mode," chapter IV of Form and Style in Early English Literature
  8. Fredric Jameson, "Magical Narrative: Romance as Genre," NLH , 7 ( 1975), pp. 135-63
  9. C. S. Lewis, The Allegory of Love
  10. G. Logan and Gordon Teskey (eds.), Unfolded Tales: Essays on Renaissance Romance
  11. Michael McKeon, The Origins of the English Novel 1600-1740 , chapters 1 and 4
  12. Michael Nerlich, Ideology of Adventure , vol. I, chapter 1
  13. Patricia Parker, Inescapable Romance: Studies in the Poetics of a Mode
  14. Robert Scholes and Robert Kellogg, The Nature of Narrative
  15. John Stevens, Medieval Romance: Themes and Approaches
  16. Eugène Vinaver, The Rise of Romance