This course examines the role of London in the literary imagination of Great Britain from 1800 to 1914. A vibrant multiclass and multiethnic jigsaw puzzle, London was a world city at the center of the empire, the seat of crown and Parliament, and a place of both danger and opportunity. In addition to being the economic and political center of Great Britain, some authors viewed London as the nation's narrative center as well. Others saw the ugliness of the city, its poverty, and noisy, crowded streets as inimical to literature. As this tension between visions of London as the core of British culture and as its anathema suggests, literature about London meditated upon the relations between art and society, progress and poverty, and literature and social fact.