Off the Rails - the Railways in History, Literature, Film and Song

Ref: C2339012

Trains revolutionized travel and brougth a new human experience into the world. Some great writers (including Dickens, Thackeray, Larkin and Betjeman) wrote illuminatingly about the experience of such travel. And movies (eg. Murder on the Orient Express) have frequently used train travel as a subject and setting. Learn about such work and enhance your experience of rail travel and the works it has inspired.

Course aim

Rail travel, right from the start, has been reflected in prose, poetry and film. We will explore how a number of artists (known and obscure) have made rail travel their subject..

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Discuss how different artists have understood and imaginatively responded to rail travel.
  • Be able to discuss why crime writers especially have been drawn to trains as a setting.
  • Discuss the differing ways in which early writers saw the advent of the railways.
  • Appreciate the qualities of the railways poetry of Hardy, Betjeman and Larklin in some detail.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full Course information sheet

Off the Rails - the Railways in History, Literature, Film and Song


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  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
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