Doris Lessing's Early Rhodesian Novels

Ref: C2226749

In 1949 a young woman in a colony then known as Southern Rhodesia packed up her little son and the manuscript of her unpublished novel and left for London. Her name was Doris Lessing and she was born one hundred years ago. In this course we shall read some of her early fiction and consider how she set out on the path which was one day to lead to the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Additional information about this course

Half term 21/10/2019

Course aim

The formal purpose of this course is to introduce readers to the early life and work of Doris Lessing.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is founded in reading and discussion, but it has no formal requirements.

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

  • Describe the cultural climate in which Doris Lessing grew up.
  • Explain the path to the publication of The Grass is Singing.
  • Reflect and describe the importance of this early work to Doris Lessing's literary reputation.

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
  • Every week a reading will be suggested for the next week's class.

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
  • You may measure your progress in discussion with other members of the class and by means of the WEA's Individual Learning Record.

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.)
  • Nothing is essential. A notebook, a pen and access to the internet might be helpful to you.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Nothing is required, but a little reading in advance is always useful. If you were to read one thing before the first session, I would suggest that you read Doris Lessing's first novel, The Grass is Singing.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • This course is not assessed, nor is it part of any formal progression. Many students will already be members of the WEA. They will also be volunteers in groups and societies of all sorts.

Download full course information sheet

Doris Lessing's Early Rhodesian Novels


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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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