By the Sword Divided; the North-East in the English Civil War

Ref: C3673507

We will look at the causes of the Civil War and how it proceeded but in outline only as the main thrust of the course is to examine how it affected lives on both sides. There are a number of diaries and letters in existence from the time written by those on both sides. We will examine the involvement of individuals, what motivated them to do as they did and what happened to them, including looking at how the war affected life on the domestic front, which could range from ladies defending their husbands' properties under siege to those giving us the first recipe to survive for icecream whilst in exile on the continent. We will also examine what happened after the war, how life settled down again and with what outcome for those who had lived through it. There were winners and losers - some lost their estates and were executed, others adapted to the new regime. What determined which group a person came within? We will look again at the same situation after Charles II returned.

Course aim

This course is for all levels of knowledge. It aims to show how the Civil War affected lives in the north by looking at diaries, letters etc.

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:

  • Students will have an overview of the reasons for the outbreak of the Civil War.
  • Students will understand at least in outline how the war progressed.
  • Students will develop an appreciation of how the war split families and communities.
  • Students will see examples of how the war affected named individuals through their own writings in the north of England.
  • Students will consider how after war there is the need to find a way forward towards peace and reconciliation.

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

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

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
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

By the Sword Divided; the North-East in the English Civil War


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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