Literature: Evelyn Waugh - his life and works

Ref: C3530112

Evelyn Waugh was a writer that was highly regarded in his life time and his books have grown in statue even more since his death. Witness numerous films and radio adaptions of many of his works. Yet his work is often seen as outside the usual world of books: Catholic, conservative (some might say reactionary), snobbish (something that fans and he denied) and a controversialist. Nearly all critics would agree, however, on the strength of his writing and his ability for plotting and engaging his reader. He was never a dull read! His books cover satire, travel, war, the British class system and religion. He even wrote a very honest account of a mental breakdown! To look at his writing technique - plotting, dialogue and character

Course aim

To provide information and discussion about one of Britain's most highly regarded and controversial modern writers. The course will look at how Waugh's life influenced his writing. .

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • To give a full account of Evelyn Waugh's life
  • To relate Evelyn Waugh's life to his writing and how this developed over time
  • To look at key events in Evelyn Waugh's life: divorce, second marriage, family life, war, travel and politics and how they influenced his writing.
  • To evaluate Evelyn Waugh's writing technique - strengths and weaknesses
  • To evaluate Evelyn Waugh's place in English literature - during his life and afterwards. Will he be read in 100 years time? Waugh in other English speaking nations, especially America.

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 be asked to purchase three books by Evelyn Waugh. These are in Penguin paperback. This will be negotiated with the group at the first meeting.

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
  • 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
  • You will be asked to review one book and lead discussion with the group.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you

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
  • Any preliminary reading/researc would be helpful but is not essential

What can I do next?

Download full course information sheet

Literature: Evelyn Waugh - his life and works

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This course has been cancelled.


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  • 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
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