Famous Novels - What Happened Next?

Ref: C3741339

Samuel Richardson was forced to protect his virtuous heroine Pamela from the attacks by contemporary writers by extending his original novel. Jane Austen told her family what happened next in her novels, but she did not tell her readers. The course will consider examples of and later sequels, and at least one prequel - 'Wild Sargasso Sea' by Jean Rhys, prequel to 'Jane Eyre.'

Course aim

To consider the different reasons why authors wrote sequels to their own works, and why later writers took on the task of continuing famous novels, and with what degree of success.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Give opinions on how far writers may be justified in taking over characters and plot lines created by earlier authors, and whether a sequel necessarily enhances the original book.
  • List the elements in a novel which may make it a suitable subject for sequel.
  • Describe the work of authors such as Trollope, who created literary dynasties.

How will I be taught?

  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Jean Rhys - 'Wild Sargasso Sea.'

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

Download full Course information sheet

Famous Novels - What Happened Next?


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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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