Just Teach One

Doliscus, the Faithless Briton

Keri Holt
Utah State University

I taught Amelia, or The Faithless Briton in a senior seminar titled “Literature, Politics, and Society.” Broadly, the course focused on the relationship between novels and the politics of nationalism and revolution from the 1770s through the 1820s. Since I regularly teach Charlotte Temple and The Coquette in my “Introduction to American Literature” course, I was excited to have a different sentimental novel to focus on for this senior seminar. Since most of my current students had also taken the earlier introductory course, I expected that Amelia would prompt some spirited comparisons about the role and representation of women in these novels. With these expectations in mind, as I prepared for class, my notes focused primarily on the character of Amelia—her actions, motives, characteristics, relationships, etc. I’d also asked my students to write their own short responses to get our discussion started, and as we worked our way through those responses, it quickly became clear that my students were much more interested in the other title character for this novel—Doliscus, the Faithless Briton.

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