Literature: Barchester Chronicles

Ref: C3528628

The fictitious cathedral town of Barchester is the setting for the six novels which make up the Chronicles of Barsetshire. Considered by many as Trollope’s finest work, this course will consider the novels in this series and the social and political context in which they were written.

Course aim

This course will look at the six novels which make up the 'Chronicles of Barsetshire' by Anthony Trollope.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No prior knowledge of the writer or his works is needed.

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

  • Demonstrate an understanding of this novelist with the context of Victorian fiction.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of this series of novels within the wider context of fiction from the period.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the intrigues of ambition and love as represented by Trollope in these novels.
  • Be conversant with formal aspects of fiction such as narrative structure, point of view, omniscient and unreliable narrator.
  • Formulate a response to the studied novels and other novels by this writer.

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

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Students will need to have a copy of the appropriate text available to them on the appropriate week. The text can be in the form of hard copy or on an electronic device. Pens and paper for note taking would also be useful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • The following novels will be studied: The Warden, Barchester Towers, Dr Thorne, Framley Parsonage, The Small House at Allington, The Last Chronicle of Barset. Obviously it is helpful if students can read them in advance of the relevant class.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course outline

Literature: Barchester Chronicles Course Outline


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  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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