Yorkshire Literary Figures

Ref: C3671043

Looking at a range of poetry and prose from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century, this course will explore ways in which writers - mainly but not exclusively those born in Yorkshire - have been inspired or influenced by the landscape, people and history of Yorkshire and have themselves helped to shape the cultural identity of the region. We shall read poetry by Andrew Marvell, Ted Hughes and Philip Larkin; look at novels by Laurence Sterne, Emily Bronte, Winifred Holtby, Kate Atkinson and Barry Hines; and discuss prose by J. B. Priestley, Alan Bennett and John Godber. We shall consider the social, historical and literary context in which these writers worked or are working, the aim of the course being to understand not only how Yorkshire has inspired some of these great works of literature but also to appreciate the richness and diversity of the Yorkshire literary heritage.

Course aim

To read and explore a selection of poetry and prose written by writers whose work has been shaped by the people, landscape and historical and cultural heritage of Yorkshire.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Name six Yorkshire writers and describe some of the poems, novels and plays they have written.
  • Identify themes which place these works in a Yorkshire cultural context
  • Explain ways in which these writers have drawn upon a sense of place.

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
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Copies of the novels and plays to be studied in the course.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Private reading of more works by these authors and by other writers inspired by Yorkshire. Creative writing inspired by Yorkshire people, places and themes.

Download full Course information sheet

Yorkshire Literary Figures

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This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • 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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