Jane Austen's Persuasion

Ref: C3671291

Why is Jane Austen considered to be one of the greatest writers in English? This course gives you an opportunity to find out by studying one of her finest novels, "Persuason", in detail. We will also learn about the social and historical context of her work. Penguin editions of the novel will be available for loan.

Course aim

To provide an opportunity to study Jane Austen's final novel "Persuasion" in depth.

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:

  • Analyse the style of Jane Austen's writing and be able to evaluate the different techniques she uses e.g. irony.
  • Appreciate the place of Jane Austen in literary tradition and culture, and understand something of the socio- economic and historical context in which her novels were created.
  • Be able to select sections, ideas or passages which are of particular interest and give your reasons for such selection, arguing your case as to why they are of interest or importance.
  • Do independent research and bring findings to the group, if this is of interest to you.
  • Be able to read chapters between sessions, and share your findings with the group, which may include reading passages out aloud.

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
  • You will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time
  • You will be expected to read 6 or 7 chapters of the novel between classes.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • There will be 10 copies of the 2012 Penguin English Library edition (ISBN 9780141198835) available for loan from Grimsby Library. If you want to bring your own, it would be helpful to have a Penguin edition so that page numbers match.

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
  • This is suitable for people who know nothing, or a lot about Jane Austen- all levels. If you read other works by Jane Austen you will be able to see a development in her work, but you do not need to do this if you don't want to.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full Course information sheet

Jane Austen's Persuasion


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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