Fiction: Music Hath Charms

Ref: C3675328

The first novel is "Love is Blind" by William Boyd (pubd. 2018). Set at the end of the 19th Century in Scotland, Paris and St. Petersburg, the story follows the life of a young Scottish piano tuner who goes in pursuit of a beautiful Russian opera singer. The second novel, "An Equal Music" by Vikram Seth (pubd. 1999) is set in London. A professional violinist meets a long, lost love whom he knew 10 years before in Vienna, Austria.

Course aim

To read, analyse and discuss two noted works of fiction, set in different countries and different times in history. Music, passion and intrigue are themes of both novels.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • All students interested in discussing literature are welcome.

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

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the social and cultural backgrounds of the two novels.
  • Identify the variety of narrative techniques used by writers of prose fiction.
  • Compare the use of setting and plot development in the two novels.
  • Examine and compare the techniques used to create fictional characters.
  • Compare and contrast the styles of writing of prose 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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Students are encouraged to research background information, which they may present to the class if they wish.

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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

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.)
  • Students should purchase or borrow copies of the two novels. "Love is Blind" by William Boyd (Pubd. 2018) "An Equal Music" by Vikram Seth (Pubd. 1999)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • - Pre-reading is helpful, but each novel will be divided into sections. Each section is then discussed separately, following a schedule provided by the tutor.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • 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
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

Fiction: Music Hath Charms


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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