Reading 1968, Spark, Hines and Taylor

Ref: C3128930

We begin by assuming the role of a judging panel for a book prize, in 1968. If our short list consists of: 'The Public Image', by Muriel Spark, 'A Kestrel for a Knave', by Barry Hines, and 'The Wedding Group', by Elizabeth Taylor, which novel should win, and why? Over the course of these six sessions we'll think about our reading experiences, look at key scenes and characterisation; consider why some novels endure, while others fade from notice, and whether we gain from taking the opportunity to revisit them. We'll ask ourselves how judges can compare and contrast works of fiction with a view to choosing one above the others, and in the final session, we will take an anonymous vote. By that time, we hope to have reached to some conclusions about what kinds of criteria should influence that choice. Please read up to the end of chapter 4 of Muriel Spark's novel, The Public Image, for discussion in the first session.

Course aim

To discuss novels by Muriel Spark, Barry Hines, and Elizabeth Taylor, and think about the criteria we would apply, if we were sitting on an award panel for a 1968 book-prize.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers
  • Please read up to the end of chapter 4 of Muriel Spark's novel, The Public Image, for discussion in the first session.

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

  • Discuss & assess our reading experiences.
  • Compare and contrast the three novels.
  • Identify and analyse key scenes in the texts.
  • Create a set of standards or criteria by which we might judge these novels if we were on a competition panel.
  • Consider the way each novel represents the era they were published in.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You will need unabridged copies of: 'The Public Image' by Muriel Spark 'A Kestrel for a Knave', by Barry Hines 'The Wedding Group', by Elizabeth Taylor. Please read up to the end of chapter 4 of Muriel Spark's novel, The Public Image, for discussion in the first session.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Reading 1968, Spark, Hines and Taylor

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

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  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • 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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