Literary history

Literary History Courses 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.

Many of our courses are delivered online. For more information about our live online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

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  1. America in the 60s: culture and society
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 12 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The 1960s was the decade that profoundly changed American culture. We explore the trajectory of a decade, including the presidential terms of Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, Vietnam, the civil rights movement, second wave feminism and radical changes in literature, art, music and film, all reflecting the historical turbulence of 1960s America.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  2. Machiavelli's 'The Prince': an introduction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 30 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    One of the most poignant ideas that emerged from the Italian Renaissance was the centrality of mankind. This new society, in which man could shape his own destiny, led to a new type of ruler, which is perfectly described in Machiavelli's work.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00
  3. Exploring Medieval Literature: Shakespeare and the Medieval Age
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 1 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Shakespeare is seen as the great writer of the Renaissance period in England, yet he was influenced by the literature and culture of preceding centuries. On this course we will consider several of Shakespeare’s plays, including Hamlet, King Lear, The Tempest, and various history plays, exploring various aspects of his writing to discover just how influential the medieval world was on his thought, language, and subject matter.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00
  4. Battles, Riddles and Spells: the Old English Tradition 900 -1100
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 4 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Great changes occurred in England between 900 and 1100. Viking invasions had turned to settlement, influencing the culture and language. Events in 1066 changed the ruling elite. The language used at court changed from Old English to Norman French. However, English was still the common tongue, and much of the great store of Old English poetry and prose was produced during this time. This course looks at the literature of 900-1100, as well as the turbulent events that affected and shaped English writing.



    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 £103.00 Concession £79.00
  5. A Century of Surrealist Literature
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Did the world need another ‘ism’ when André Breton published the Surrealist Manifesto in 1924? As a splinter movement from Dada, and borrowing its name from a term coined years before by Guillaume Apollinaire, was it even that original? We’ll explore how, despite its inauspicious origins, Surrealism grew to become one of the most influential artistic and literary styles of the 20th century.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00

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