Writing in The Shadows: The Work of Mark Rutherford with Dr Mark Crees

Ref: C3533280

It is a strange, almost unlikely story, but it happens to be true. 1881 saw the publication of a very short but moving autobiography, written by a man who had recently passed away. His name was Mark Rutherford. He died completely unknown and forgotten, but left behind him a series of deeply moving books, all of which, in their own quiet way, changed the course of English Literature. Dr Crees has been researching Rutherford for over thirty years and during this talk he will be sharing his own investigations into the life and work of this curious, missing writer. All of Rutherford’s novels are about ordinary people who face a sudden turning point in their lives. They touch upon matters of religious faith and personal discovery. They also force us to acknowledge that our literary heritage has been shaped not only by a few famous writers, but by those whose names have all but vanished from living memory and who rest in unvisited tombs.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to Mark Rutherford, a little known but vital Victorian autobiographical writer.

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:

  • understand the value of reading and studying a psychological novelist.
  • explore how lesser-known writers can shape our culture, albeit from the shadows.
  • explore something of the historical context in which Rutherford was writing
  • recognise the range of Rutherford;s output, as novelist, essayist, poet and translator.
  • understand something of the role of autobiographical writing in our culture.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Nothing else needed.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Writing in The Shadows: The Work of Mark Rutherford with Dr Mark Crees

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This course is only available as part of this programme.


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  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
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