Elizabeth Gaskell - "So many me's"

Ref: C3741341

We shall give close attention to 3 novels: ‘Mary Barton’, ‘Cranford’ and ‘North and South’, linking the subjects Elizabeth Gaskell chose to cover in her fiction with events in her life. We shall explore the realism of her subject matter, her ability to depict credible characters, and her skill in presenting to the reader a fully rounded plot with a satisfying conclusion.

Course aim

To enjoy reading 3 novels by Elizabeth Gaskell. We shall aim to discover her reasons for becoming a novelist, as well as exploring the success she achieved during her life time.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for improvers
  • • This course is for those with an interest in the work of nineteenth century novelists. You will need to be willing to read the three novels in your own time and also to discuss your views about some aspects of them with other members of the group.

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

  • Illustrate with examples the wide range of the author’s work
  • Recognise her ability to delineate a varied selection of character types
  • Learn to spot her sense of humour
  • Analyse the qualities which encapsulate the beauty of her written
  • Know more about the position of women in the 19th century.

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 achieve greater appreciation if you have read each novel before our discussions begin.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • 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
  • Your tutor will discuss assessment with the group early in the course

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • You will need to have a copy of each novel (try second hand book shops ), and to bring the relevant book to class each week.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Please aim to have read the 3 chosen novels

What can I do next?

Download full course outline

Elizabeth Gaskell - "So many me's" Course Outline


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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