This course examines the role of London in the literary imagination of 19th-century Britain. A vibrant multi-class and multi-ethnic 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. Together, we will explore how writers depicted the city, how they envisioned the relationship between urban living and modern life, how they understood London's inhabitants and their plots, and how they placed the city in networks of stories reaching around the world. Along the way, we will read works of literary and social theory from the 19th century to the present, and we will conduct our own investigations. This is a research seminar, and students will choose whether to undertake a single project culminating in a long paper (fulfilling the research requirement for honors thesis writers) or several smaller projects, which may also have a creative component.