Wells, Forster and Orwell

Ref: C3744243

H G Wells, E M Forster and George Orwell are three of the most important authors of the 20th century. Spanning the end of the nineteenth century, the Edwardian era and the years leading up to and following two world wars, their works document the social and literary concerns of their times. This course looks at a selection of novels by these three writers: The War of the Worlds, Ann Veronica and The History of Mr Polly by H G Wells; A Room with a View, Maurice and A Passage to India by E M Forster and Burmese Days and Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. As well as being popular novelists these three writers are notable as social thinkers and reformers, so our consideration of their novels will be supported through a selection of their essays and other non-fiction (provided as handouts). Texts will be studied chronologically to enable students to trace the development of their ideas. A full reading list can be obtained from southernbranches@wea.org.uk .

Course aim

This course looks at a selection of works by H G Wells, E M Forster and George Orwell, considering the concerns and ideas common to these three key writers of the 20th century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Approach literary texts in a critical way and discuss my findings with fellow students.
  • Understand and engage with the literary concerns of the early 20th century.
  • View the selected texts in their socio-historical context.
  • Relate the selected novels to non-fictional writings by the same authors to trace the development of their thought processes.
  • Make connections between the works of these three important 20th century writers.

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?

  • Please bring copies of the core texts to class.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • H G Wells: The War of the Worlds E M Forster: A Room With A View H G Wells: Ann Veronica H G Wells: The History of Mr Polly E M Forster: Maurice E M Forster: A Passage to India George Orwell: Burmese Days George Orwell: The Road to Wigan Pier George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four

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
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full course information sheet

Wells, Forster and Orwell


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

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing