What is the course about?
Two sessions exploring East London history via some of the vividly realised fiction written about its various districts in the years between 1820 and 1920. We will think about how imaginative fiction and historical fact intertwine to create local legend.
Extracts will be sent out in advance.
Teaching will be by lecture and seminar/group discussion.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
Among the authors we will take as our tour guides are Dickens, GWM Reynolds (author of the best-selling ‘Mysteries of London’), Walter Besant, Margaret Harkness, George Gissing, Israel Zangwill, Henry Wood Nevinson, Arthur Morrison, LT Meade and Thomas Burke.
We will read extracts from these works and set their artistic visions of the East End alongside the historical processes that were taking place across a tumultuous 100 years of change.
Using maps and images, we’ll explore areas including Stepney, Poplar, Shoreditch, Limehouse, Wapping and Bethnal Green.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Detail the key authors and works associated with the East End
• Analyse how works of fiction have contributed to the image of the East End over time.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is for anyone with an interest in the history of the East End or in London literary history more generally, although no prior knowledge of these areas is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Teaching will be online by lecture and seminar/group discussion. Extracts will be sent out in advance, though reading these in advance is optional.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
None. Just bring a pen/pencil and paper for taking notes, and printouts of the extracts if you prefer to make notes alongside the texts.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Other courses in London's social and cultural history. Please see the City Lit website.