A Tale of Four Cities - Part 2

Ref: C2420807

So much literature emanates from and concerns our capital city, London. However, a great deal of writing of real quality has been produced in, or by writers who came from , other cities in the United Kingdom. On this course we will explore writings from four other major cities, namely Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast. There will be a consideration of a variety of novels, short stories and poetry, looking at what makes these works , and their authors distinctive and relevant to the cities in which they were written , or in which the writers lived. For example, concerning Edinburgh, we will explore the poetry of Norman MacCaig, short stories by Elspeth Davie, and a novel by Muriel Spark.

Course aim

The course aims to look at a range of writings , in prose and poetry from four British cities, other than London. The writings, which will cover the last hundred years or so, will come from Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • have a greater awareness of the variety of literature from cities in the UK , oher than London
  • have an understanding of the relationship between writings and their place of origin
  • look at writings with an enhanced critical awareness
  • express oinions about writings with increased confidence

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?

  • 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?

  • Students will need to acquire copies of the novels being studied. Poems and shot stories wil be provided as handouts by the tutor.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • 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

Download full course information sheet

A Tale of Four Cities - Part 2

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


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 courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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