Dead, Dead and Never called me Mother! Sensation Fiction and the Victorians

Ref: C3529099

The 1860s saw the rise of the sensation novel, a genre of fiction written to excite and thrill the reader. Themes such as adultery, bigamy, insanity, murder and forgery abounded in sensation novels. Their notoriety served only to increase their popularity. Hugely popular and now critically admired, sensation novels combined thrilling plots with reflections on social anxieties.

Additional information about this course

No fee waiver is available on this course No session on 15 Feb as its half term

Course aim

This course is designed to study a selection of sensation novels from the 1860s.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

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

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

  • Explore a range of sensation novels.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the genre of sensation fiction.
  • Understand the themes and features of classic sensation fiction.
  • Be conversant with formal aspects of fiction such as narrative structure, point of view.
  • Formulate my own response to a range of sensation fiction.

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.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • The following texts should be read for the course: ME Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret; Wilkie Collins 'Armadale'; Mrs Henry (Ellen) Wood's East Lynne.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full Course information sheet

Dead, Dead and Never called me Mother! Sensation Fiction and the Victorians


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  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • 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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