The rise and fall of Oscar Wilde

Course Dates: 08/06/21 - 13/07/21
Time: 10:15 - 12:15
Location: Online
Oscar Wilde was perhaps the most controversial writer of late Victorian Britain. He was famed for his wit, extravagant lifestyle, and sexual adventures. His plays and his sensational novel The Picture of Dorian Gray were celebrated and admired. But his scandalous trial and conviction “for gross indecency with men” ruined him, and he ended his life in Paris, destitute and alone.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00

This course has now started

Course Code: HLT54

Full Tue, day, 08 Jun - 13 Jul '21

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Call us to check if you can still join the course 020 7492 2652 (depart num)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

We’ll be studying the extraordinary life and work of Oscar Wilde in the context of Victorian culture and morality.

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.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

We’ll read and discuss two texts that epitomise Wilde at his brilliant height and at his lowest ebb: his novel of secrecy and immorality The Picture of Dorian Gray, and his moving open letter from prison, De Profundis. We’ll also look at poems, stories and extracts from his plays.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

-Relate what we have read to other works of late Victorian literature
-Feel confident to read more widely in this area.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

For those who enjoy reading and discussing literature and are interested in sharing ideas and listening to the views of others.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Short lecture, whole group and small group work, reading in class. You will be asked to read the selected texts in the week or two before the class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Students should buy or borrow the following texts:
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Penguin)
Additional materials will be provided through online links.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Have a look at other literature courses at, culture & writing/literature.

Julian Birkett

Julian Birkett is a teacher and writer specialising in modern literature. He previously worked in the Arts department at the BBC as a producer of series such as The Late Show, Modern Poets in their Own Words, The Victorians and The Culture Show. He has taught in London and at the University of Mumbai.He aims to create a friendly but thoughtful atmosphere in his City Lit classes and to provide a stimulating variety of activities from tutor input to discussion to group work and video clips.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.