Literary history

Literary History
Courses Online & in London

From Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to commedia dell’arte to the ‘modern medieval’, revisit or discover the writers that shaped English language and literature, through expert tuition and lively classroom discussion.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you.

5 Items

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  1. From Nonsense to the Surreal: Edward Lear to Angela Carter
    Course start date:  Wed 25 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    Surrealism is one of the great developments of 20th century literature. It’s different from the fantasies of previous centuries (fairy and folk tales, imaginative stories set in remote parts of the world, satires, science fiction) because it expresses complex bizarre experiences that many people recognise as possibly part of themselves. It may reflect desires which are difficult to admit but are sometimes expressed with wit and humour. We explore how surrealism developed from the apparent nonsense of three 19th century English writers.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £162.00
  2. Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales
    Course start date:  Mon 30 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rachel Buglass
    The Canterbury Tales is Chaucer’s most popular work and one of the most famous examples of Medieval literature. This course selects some of Chaucer’s most carefully crafted representations of individuals and explores the society they come from. We will enjoy intricate plots, comedy and poignant moments with these loveable and unforgettable characters! Students will be carefully guided through the texts to a fuller appreciation of Middle English verse narrative and Chaucer’s witty and energetic composition.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £110.00
  3. Chaucer's Love Visions
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Feb 2025

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rachel Buglass
    Much less famous than The Canterbury Tales, with its quotidian concerns, Chaucer’s Love Visions are the dreams of poets. We will read The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Parliament of Birds, The Legend of Good Women and extracts fromThe Romaunt of the Rose. Through these allegorical tales, we will examine the conventions of medieval courtly love and life through the lens of Chaucer's humour, sharp observation and self-deprecation.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £110.00
  4. 19th Century Movements in Italian Literature: Manzoni, Verga, Boito
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 15 Mar 2025

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Francesco Bucciol
    Discover some key literary movements and novels that influenced the Italian cultural scene in the 19th century, through the study of three writers: Alessandro Manzoni, Giovanni Verga and Arrigo Boito.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
  5. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    Course start date:  Mon 2 Jun 2025

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rachel Buglass
    Join us for an exploration of the 14th century Medieval poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Using Simon



    Armitage’s 2007 translation, we will investigate the poem’s poetic and narrative structure, its verse form, imagery and symbolism, and will consider aspects of medieval life and culture, including knighthood, romance and courtly and religious values.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £84.00
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