Three Country House Novels

Ref: C2420764

In this course we will read and discuss three contemporary works inspired or partly inspired by the English Country House: Ian McEwan's novel of tragic deceptions 'Atonement' which begins in the home of the Tallis family before the outbreak of WW2 and includes a dramatic account of Dunkirk; Sarah Waters' post-war psychological thriller 'The Little Stranger' set in a crumbling mansion called Hundreds Hall; Alan Hollinghurst's 'The Stranger's Child' featuring the grand estate of Corley Court and a century of change in the intertwined families of the poet Cecil Valance and his Cambridge friend, George Sawle.

Course aim

To explore three contemporary novels inspired or partly inspired by the English Country House.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Students need a level 2 qualification in English to join this course

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

  • Contribute to discussion.
  • Compare and contrast some of the themes in these 'country house' novels.
  • Analyse literary texts in a critical way, illustrating arguments with specific examples.

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?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • pen and paper for note-taking if desired

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • The texts to be read will be: Ian McEwan 'Atonement' Sarah Waters 'The Little Stranger' Alan Hollinghurst 'The Stranger's Child'

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
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

Three Country House Novels

Enrolment Conditions

This course is funded by the Greater London Combined Authority but is also open to residents of other areas.

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

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