Fact into Fiction

Ref: C3743840

Historical fiction takes many forms: the scholarly and literary of Hilary Mantel and Robert Harris; the detectives of C.J. Sansom and Lindsey Davis; the bodice rippers of Philippa Gregory. After a brief examination of the history of the form itself, the focus will be on two periods popular with writers, classical Rome and the Tudor court. We shall explore the very different ways in which writers represent the same characters and events and offer a reality check in the form of current historical scholarship.

Course aim

To explore how authors of historical fiction work with the known facts to represent them in very different forms for different audiences.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • Students need only an interest in history and historical fiction in any of its forms.

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

  • You will have a knowledge of the origins of the historical novel and its cultural contexts and be able to describe them.
  • You will be able to identify the variety of forms adopted by writers of the historical novel.
  • You will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the primary and secondary sources available to writers of historical fiction in discussion.
  • Building on the class discussions, you will be able to make informed evaluative judgements on the novels studied on the course.

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?

  • 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

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.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • The main texts will be: Hilary Mantel: "Bring up the Bodies" C.J. Sansom: 'Dissolution" Philippa Gregory: "The Other Boleyn Girl" Robert Harris: 'Imperium" LIndsey Davis: any Roman novel Robert Harris: "IMperium.

What can I do next?

Download full course information sheet

Fact into Fiction

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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