Natasha Solomon's Novels: heritage to fiction

Ref: C2228671

The stories of people and places bring both family history and fiction to life. These two novels by Natasha Solomons - Mr. Rosenblum's List and The Novel in the Viola - are set mainly in Dorset and focus on the experiences of refugees to Britain before and during WW2, as they try to build new lives and learn to belong in a new and very British world. Our two sessions will introduce you to the characters and begin to explore how the novels weave together fact and fiction.

Course aim

This two session course will explore two of Natasha Solomon's novels which have their roots both in her family history and the heritage of the south Dorset village of Tyneham during WW2. We will discuss how her fiction brings both to life.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers
  • It would be helpful if you are able to have read one or both of the books prior to the sessions, but it is not compulsory.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • understand the plot and characters of both novels
  • appreciate how personal history informs and benefits fiction
  • appreciate the challenges that refugees have faced and still face when coming to a new country
  • appreciate Solomons' style and techniques

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

If you are able to have a copy of the books, it will be much easier for you to follow, although most relevant texts will be displayed onscreen.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Natasha Solomon's Novels: heritage to fiction

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This course is only available as part of this programme.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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