saz elizabeth
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I’m going to York this September to study English BA. I haven’t been sent a reading list per se, but i have been on the course website and got a list of around 16 recommended books. I was just wondering if anyone else here studying English knows of any good critical texts or some standard reading? Not specifically just at York, just generally. Thanks!
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Parker Tracy
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First off, many congratulations. I can't think of anything better than reading for three years. Dredging the memory, my undergraduate degree was a combination of specialist modules according to period and subject (eg victorians, moderns, romantics and "the novel", "american literature" etc) which you could self-select and a compulsory course which was essentially a run through of literature from the bible onwards.

Every course is different, but bear in mind it is only April , so be patient in receiving your reading list. It is likely that the academics in your department are still finalising what this should be. That said - I would argue that no reading is wasted reading, and as a student of English literature you should be reading everything you possibly can. There are some big landmark books that will give you a sense of a particular period - eg if you want to get a sense of modernism, read "to the lighthouse" and "Ulysses" (I am over simplifying). If you want to get a sense of the Victorian period, read "Vanity Fair" and Dickens. I took a year out between school and university and read everything I could get my hands on in that period. A lot of these texts were not on the syllabus, but when I got to university I really had a breadth of reading knowledge that most of my peers lacked.

I live in Edinburgh, and I know that Blackwell's bookshop has a whole section dedicated to the set texts of the undergraduate English degree. I'm sure this will be the case for the book shop in York also. So, if you want to find out what first years read last year, ask the book sellers. But bear in mind, that last year's reading list may not be this year's. Enjoy your course. You will have the time of your life!
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saz elizabeth
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Thank you so much for your reply! I’m so excited to start my degree, I’m on a gap year so maybe that’s why i’ve jumped the gun a bit with the reading list because I have little else to focus on. I’m going to head to a book shop in York this week and do just that. Thanks so much for your help, it’s thoroughly appreciated😊
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