Enter the Age of Reason, when all was right with the world and everything was in its place. Explore the Romantics and their love of nature and the Victorians and the facade of correctness. Follow the world wars and their impact on the individual, the culture, and society. Learn how we arrived at the present diversity in defining "good" literature. It's not a Silas Marner world anymore.
Read Keats' "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" (the beautiful woman without mercy) and investigate this pre-Raphaelite rendition.