Elizabeth Gaskell - North and South

Ref: C2341582

Elizabeth Gaskell's 1855 novel 'North and South' is more than a love story, raising issues of industrialisation, social class, religion and the position of women in mid-Victorian England. Her portrayal of geographical and political rifts in society is as relevant now as when it was first written. The course will cover Gaskell's life and ideas, the literary and social context of this and other Gaskell novels, and the writer's distinctive style. Expect an interactive course with plenty of lively discussion and a chance to follow any related interests you may have in nineteenth century literature and social history.

Course aim

This course enables students to study Elizabeth Gaskell's novel, 'North and South', both as literature and as social history.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Give an account of the biographical, literary, historical and economic contexts in which 'North and South' was written.
  • Discuss the appropriateness of the novel's title to its plot, theme and final resolution.
  • (Optional) Compare the novel with any other mid-Victorian work, fact or fiction, with which you are familiar.
  • (Optional) Devise a creative text - prose, poetry, drama or artwork - inspired by 'North and South'.

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

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

What else do I need to know?

  • Course booklets will be provided but you will need a copy of the text (any edition).

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • The tutor will assume that you have read the novel - not necessarily recently - or at least seen the television adaptation.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/

Download full course information sheet

Elizabeth Gaskell - North and South

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


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

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing