Nineteenth Century Authors: Contexts and Themes

Ref: C2225543

On this course we will journey through the pressing issues of this fruitful century by reading extracts from the works of some of its great authors. We will explore a diverse range of topics. These will include: the genre of the social novel; the Victorian conception of the human-animal boundary and the animal welfare movement; Empire, with a brief look at postcolonial responses; and the novelistic modes of romanticism and realism. In our discussions we will consider, among others: Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton (1848) and Charles Dickens’s Hard Times (1854), Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty (1877), Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899), Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847), George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1871), and The Time Machine (1895) by H. G. Wells. We will also draw on some of the writings produced by Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882).

Course aim

On this course we will journey through the pressing issues of this fruitful century by reading extracts from the works of some of its great authors.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Discuss some of the issues pertinent to the Victorian Age.
  • Analyse the ways in which certain authors respond to these issues.
  • Identify romantic and realistic fictional modes.
  • Formulate and argue considered opinions, and listen to and take into account alternative viewpoints.
  • Apply the interpretive skills developed in the course to other literary subjects and works

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Materials to write with (i.e. pen and notebook)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Although it is not essential to have read all the novels on this course, since extracts will be provided, it is recommended that participants read the novels indicated in the course description.

What can I do next?

  • Pursue any course related to the nineteenth century or to literature in general

Download full course information sheet

Nineteenth Century Authors: Contexts and Themes

Enrolment Conditions

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

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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