Thomas Hardy: From Wessex to the World

Ref: C3127086

Thomas Hardy fictionalised Dorset as Wessex. He was a keen observer of the changes in English life and in his work reflects on the intellectual, social and agricultural upheavals of the times. In his own words, he wrote about 'the strange, lively and commonplace'. Works to be studied include 'The Mayor of Casterbridge', some stories from 'Wessex Tales' and some poetry. Wordsworth Classics offer inexpensive editions of these. In group discussions we will analyse the major themes in Hardy's work and relate these to the social and cultural life of the nineteenth century.

Course aim

The course will focus on the work of Thomas Hardy set in the contexts of his life and major developments of the late nineteenth century through study of 'The Mayor of Casterbridge', some poetry and short stories.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • The course is suitable for anyone with an interest in Hardy's work, the relationship of landscape to narrative or the late nineteenth century. If you have not yet read the books you can enjoy them as the class proceeds.

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

  • read a nineteenth century novel with skill and confidence
  • recognise and name some of the main critical terminology used to analyse prose and poetry
  • engage in both small group and large group discussion of text and context
  • demonstrate some basic research skills
  • evaluate your progress in understanding the subject

How will I be taught?

  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • In class you will discuss the set texts and suggestions will be made for further research or reading

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
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress

What else do I need to know?

  • a copy of 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' and a copy of 'Wessex Tales' will be required Wordsworth Cassics offer inexpensive editions of these. A copy of Hardy's poetry would also be useful

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Hardy's stories, poems and novels are enjoyable to read and although we are studying 'The Mayor of Casterbridge', please enjoy as much printed and film material as possible.

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

Download full course information sheet

Thomas Hardy: From Wessex to the World

Enrolment Conditions

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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