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Shiver with terror in a dark graveyard; fit your gas mask in an ecstasy of fumbling; press down slivers of rusty meat at Lowood School; discover Lady Audley’s dreadful secret; spend a day in turn-of-the-century Dublin. Reading – the world in your hands.

Reading is more readily and easily available now than ever: browse a library; go into a bookshop; click on an internet site… The treasury of literature opens to you. But do you see a sweet-shop window before your, or a minefield? Are the choices exciting, or daunting? Would you like some help in finding and choosing and in getting the most from literary texts? Studying English literature in a short online course will help you to do just that. These courses can help you to acquire skills of close critical analysis and the knowledge and understanding of context that will enable you to study, write about, appreciate, and above all enjoy literary texts.

Ancestral Voices: the Earliest English Literature (Online)

This course aims to dispel the myth that Old English literature is either dreary, difficult, or only about drinking and fighting, and will introduce participants to the range of Old English literature, from stirring tales of heroism, courage, and fellowship, to poignant elegies of love and loss; from passionately devout to earthily humorous.
Students completing this course will be invited to join our online book group.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Brontes (Online)

How did three sisters living an apparently secluded and eventless life write some of the most original, passionate and dramatic novels and poetry in the English language? Who were the Brontës, what fed their imaginations, and what makes their writing so haunting, intense, and important?
Listen to Dr Sandie Byrne talking about the course
Students completing this course will be invited to join our online book group.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Contemporary British Fiction (Online)

This course is for you if: you enjoy reading and discussing novels; you belong to a book club or reading group; you read reviews of fiction, you have opinions and ideas about novels; if you have ever thought ‘so many books, so little time’, and wondered how to decide which authors to try; if you have ever been daunted by terms such as ‘modernism’, ‘magic realism’ or ‘postmodern’ - and if you would like to: take your enjoyment and appreciation of fiction to the next stage; develop your ideas into coherent, backed-up analytical arguments; have technical terms demystified.
Listen to Dr Jennifer Dunn talking about the course
Students completing this course will be invited to join our online book group.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Critical Reading (Online)

This course is for anyone wanting to learn to read critically, and explore texts that are regarded as ‘critical’, or essential, reading.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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English Poetry of the First World War (Online)

Some of the most powerful and moving English poetry of the modern period was written during or about the First World War. This course examines the context of that poetry and issues involved in studying it by exploring the life and writing of three major war poets: Owen, Rosenberg and Sassoon, amongst others.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Jane Austen (Online)

Many readers enjoy Austen’s novels but cannot define the qualities that make them so special and enduring. This course will help you to analyse Austen’s style and techniques, and give you a greater knowledge of the novels’ context, which will enhance your understanding and enjoyment of reading them.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Literary Theory: An Introduction (Online)

Literary theory has changed the way we think about literature, language, identity, and society. Although theory might sometimes seem intimidating, it can be very accessible and exciting. This course aims to demystify literary theory, showing how it illuminates literary texts and enriches our understanding and enjoyment of literature.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Middle English Literature (Online)

Middle English Literature is not all prayer and piety and men in armour. Discover a rich cultural heritage in Middle English poems, plays and prose (modern translations); stories of high- and low-born, horribly good and gleefully bad, men and women; and the language and culture from which they sprang.
Listen to Dr Sandie Byrne talking about the course
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Nineteenth Century European Literature (Online)

Nineteenth- century literature was diverse, exciting and mobile; literary movements were not restricted to single countries, but developed through crossing linguistic and geographic boundaries. This course is for anyone who is interested in nineteenth-century literature and society, and will also appeal to anyone who would like to gain a greater sense of how literature transformed throughout the nineteenth century.
Listen to Dr Madeleine Wood talking about the course

Students completing this course will be invited to join our online book group.

For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Shakespeare (Online)

This course focuses on five Shakespeare plays, covering a range of genres and periods of his writing. There is an emphasis on both page and stage (or film), and on enriching enjoyment and appreciation of Shakespeare’s work in the context of his own time and of ours.
Listen to Dr Emma Smith talking about the course
Students completing this course will be invited to join our online book group.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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The Modern American Novel: an introduction (Online)

Some of the most wonderful fiction in English is by American writers. In this course we shall study five key novels of the twentieth century – by Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Silko, Morrison and Roth – that constitute contrasting interpretations of American experience in the modern age.
Listen to Tessa Roynon talking about the course
Students completing this course will be invited to join our online book group.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Trollope, Eliot, Dickens and Hardy: Reading Victorian Fiction (Online)

Madness, hilarity, doubt and devotion are just some of the many aspects of life explored in the huge wealth of Victorian fiction. This course makes the great creative energy present in nineteenth-century writers accessible through reading a mixture of popular and less well-known works by the century’s greatest authors. [NB: This course was previously called ‘Victorian Fiction: an Introduction’]
Students completing this course will be invited to join our online book group.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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