Restoration Poetry

Ref: C3126169

Restoration poetry is often associated with witty political satire and the bawdiness of writers such as Rochester and Behn, but there is much more! Poised between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment at a time of intellectual ferment, much of it deals with the competing scientific, philosophical and religious ideas of the time. And amongst the many writers are some fine women poets, whose talents have only recently been recognised. We shall look at a range of what some would describe as the first truly modern English poetry.

Course aim

To provide an overview of Restoration poetry (approximately 1660 to 1700), setting it in its social and political context.

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:

  • understand more about the Restoration period;
  • read with better understanding;
  • enjoy the wit and the cut and thrust of debate in a period not unlike our own.

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
  • There will be tutor-led introductions to poems on a range of different topics, the reading of these poems, and group discussions.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • Informal discussion over coffee and at the end of sessions.

What else do I need to know?

  • All students will need to have their own copy of 'Restoration Literature: an Anthology' edited by Paul Hammond ( Oxford World Classics, available in paperback). All other material will be provided.

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

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

Download full course information sheet

Restoration Poetry


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  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
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