"Middlemarch", the great Victorian Novel, by George Eliot

Ref: C3676074

Join us as we read and explore one of the greatest novels in the English language: George Eliot's "Middlemarch" written between 1871 and 1872. The writer depicts life in a provincial town with insight and humanity rarely surpassed in English Literature. The Oxford World Classics edition will be used and copies will be available for loan, or buy your own copy.

Course aim

The aim of this course is to read and analyse one of the greatest novels of the Victorian era, "Middlemarch" written by George Eliot between 1871 and 1872

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Read and understand the plot and characters.
  • See the novel in the context of its time and understand more of the Victorian period as a result.
  • Be able to appreciate and analyse Eliot's style and writing technique.
  • Read aloud to aid understanding or enjoyment or listen to others read aloud and appreciate the power of reading great literature aloud.
  • Do independent research e.g on the role of women writers in this period, or any other topic of your choice, and share some of the findings with the group.

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
  • You will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time
  • You will need to read a number of chapters at home each week in order to prepare for the next session. Ideally you should have read at least half of the novel by the time the course begins, but if this is not possible you will still be able to enjoy the course. All levels of reading ability will be

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

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • We will use the Oxford World Classics edition so please buy your own copy or you are welcome to borrow a copy for the duration of the course.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Please try and make a start on the novel before the course begins. This is not compulsory.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • 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

Download full course information sheet

"Middlemarch", the great Victorian Novel, by George Eliot

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

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