The Victorian novel: Realism and early Modernism

Course Dates: 22/09/21 - 10/11/21
Time: 10:15 - 12:15
Location: Online
This is a chance to explore four Victorian texts from the point of view of context, style and the development of the novel through realism into early modernism. Texts will include Adam Bede (George Eliot), Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell), Dr jekyll and Mr Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson) and The Turn of the Screw (Henry James). There will be supplementary critical and biographical material supplied, and plenty of opportunities for discussion! This course will examine the debates which surrounded the development of Victorian fiction and the ways in which different writers sought to engage with these ideas.
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 £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00

This course has now started

Course Code: HLT42

Started Wed, day, 22 Sep - 10 Nov '21

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

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?

This course will look at the development of the Victorian novel from the 1850s to the end of the century.

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?

The course will look at the ways in which Victorian fiction shifted in focus and technique as the century progressed. The texts to be studied are as follows:

Adam Bede (George Eliot)
Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell)
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson)
The Turn of the Screw (Henry James).

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

• Read and discuss Victorian texts with confidence and in an informed manner
• Use critical terms and approaches to explore how literature works
• Interpret narrative voice, structure and symbolism in 19th century prose fiction
• Understand and analyse the effect of context, language and theme in 19th century fiction.

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

An interest in Victorian fiction is essential, though no prior knowledge is needed. The level of the course is introductory. However, learners will, ideally, have the following skills and attributes:
An enthusiasm for reading and discussing a range of texts in large and small groups.
A willingness and ability to do some reading and preparation outside the class.
An interest in, and ability to listen to, the responses of other students to the work discussed.
A commitment to acquiring and developing ways of understanding how the writer uses various techniques to achieve effects..

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

A variety of teaching methods will be used: large and small group discussions, dvds and readings.

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

Please buy or obtain copies of the following (any edition is acceptable, but you are advised to opt for one which has an introduction and notes. Some or all of the texts may be available online):

Adam Bede George Eliot
Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell)
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson)
The Turn of the Screw (Henry James).

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

Look up other fiction courses on the website under History, Culture and Writing/Literature at

Siv Jansson

Dr Siv Jansson has worked at a range of institutions in the UK and overseas, including Imperial College, The Open University, Royal Holloway (University of London), the University of Greenwich, and Middlesex University, and the University of Auckland. Siv's specialism is English literature, where she has extensive teaching, research and publication experience. She was Literary Advisor on the BBC drama, 'To Walk Invisible' (2016).

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.