Victorian fiction 1840 -1880: the rise of Realism

Course Dates: 06/11/21 - 27/11/21
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online
The course will consider the Victorian novel over a period of 40 years from the perspective of realism and its importance in the development of the novel’s form, style and significance.
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 £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00

This course has now finished

Course Code: HLT189

Finished Sat, day, 06 Nov - 27 Nov '21

Duration: 2 sessions

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 novel during the ‘high’ Victorian period, 1840-1880. This saw the increased emphasis on realism as the desired approach to novel writing, though other generic forms still persisted. The course will explore the nature and meaning of 19th century realism through essays from the period as well as novels.

Course tutor: Siv Jansson.

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?

Two novels will be discussed, as follows:
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
The Small House at Allington (Anthony Trollope)
Readings from the 19th century on realism will also be provided.

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

1. Understand the nature of Victorian realism, the different ways realism can be presented in novels, and its importance in the development of the novel;
2. Develop a sense of the debates around the purpose of the novel during this period;
3. Engage with the ways in which different novelists deployed realism in their writing.

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

An interest in Victorian fiction is essential, although prior knowledge is not necessary.
An enthusiasm for reading and discussing a range of texts in large and small groups.
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 writers use language to achieve effect.

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 (or viewing film extracts), etc.
It is recommended that you read and/or familiarise yourself with some of the novels prior to the class to get the most out of the sessions, but this is not mandatory.

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

If you have them, please bring any editions of the following:
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
The Small House at Allington (Anthony Trollope).

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

Look for other fiction courses 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.