The Victorian Age in Literature - Significant years through a literary lens

Ref: C3533082

This course will look at five novels, each of which were published in a key year during the nineteenth-century. We will read the novel and consider it within the framework of its precise historical context. This in turn will allow us to consider key moments in nineteenth-century history through a literary lens. Whilst there are many years across a century that could have been chosen we will be considering the following: 1848 - a year of revolution and protest; 1859 - publication of Darwin's The Origin of Species; 1861 - death of Prince Albert; 1870 - Forster Education Act/1st Married Women's Property Act; 1897 - Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

Course aim

This course aims to explore a number of novels that were each published at key moments in the Victorian year and to then consider the novel in their specific historical context.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

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

  • consider aspects of the Victorian period through a literary lens
  • make connections between the literature studied and aspects of nineteenth-century history
  • understand the novels studied within the wider context of nineteenth-century literature
  • understand narrative techniques such as narratorial voice, focalisation, free indirect speech, imagery, characterisation
  • join in group discussion

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

The novels to be studied are: Charles Dickens's Dombey and Son (1848); George Eliot's The Lifted Veil (1859); Mrs Henry Wood's East Lynne (1861); Jules Verne Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870); Richard Marsh's The Beetle (1897)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

The Victorian Age in Literature - Significant years through a literary lens

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:

  • 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 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

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