British and Irish Literature 1880 - 1940

Ref: C2420821

Over two terms we will explore novels by Henry James, Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, E. M. Forster, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell and Graham Greene, as well as plays by G. B. Shaw and Oscar Wilde, and the poetry of W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden, as well as the First World War Poets. We will consider women's and workers' rights, the end of the imperial era, the First World War in relation to representation, the emergence of modernism, its fragmentation as a response to war and its aim to represent a deeper perspective, vers libre, and the relation of the personal and the political in the literature of this period.

Course aim

This is the first of two 11-week terms studying the literature of the period 1880-1940.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • 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:

  • analyse the complexities of the literature of this period.
  • discuss the writers' personal and political themes.
  • share with others views on literary topics.
  • understand more about the historical background to this period.
  • have increased wellbeing as a result of participation.

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 will be expected to read set texts in your own time and to participate in class discussion.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning and to give you feedback, including an essay each term, presentations, quizzes and small group and class discussion.

What else do I need to know?

  • You will need to have read the set text for each week after the introductory one.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • A reading list of weekly set texts will be given at the start of the course.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • This course could lead to a range of job opportunities. Follow link to National Careers Service for more details
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • 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

British and Irish Literature 1880 - 1940

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


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

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