Take a journey through the literature of English country houses from the time of Thomas More to Oscar Wilde.
Trace the history and context of country house literature
For over 450 years, country houses have attracted the attention of celebrated writers like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. On this course, we’ll trace this history with experts from the University of Sheffield’s School of English who will share with us the approaches that they take in their own research.
Through the course, you will investigate and discuss the role and representation of the English country house in literature, and learn how to build your own authoritative interpretation of these texts.
What topics will you cover?
- Extracts from novels, manuscripts, poetry and drama.
- Selected works from Thomas More, Margaret Cavendish, Jane Austen, Ann Radcliffe, Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde.
- Lesser-known forms of texts and less familiar authors.
- Literary research approaches of experts from the University of Sheffield School of English.
- The material conditions in which country house literature originally appeared.
- The contexts within which literature was originally produced.
- The history of country house literature, from the sixteenth to the twentieth century.
- View the stunning country house locations which inspired works of literature throughout the centuries.
When would you like to start?
Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts.
- Available now
- 3 August 2020
- 9 November 2020
- 8 February 2021
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:
- Demonstrate 'close reading' skills as the basis for your own literary interpretation.
- Discuss the wide variety of ways country house literature has been composed, consumed and received over the centuries.
- Engage with extracts from novels, poetry and drama from well-known authors as well as lesser-known forms of writing from less familiar authors.
- Investigate the role and representation of the English country house in literature.
- Build your own literary interpretation of literature.
- Explore literature in its original form and the context within which it was first written.
Who is the course for?
This course is suitable for anyone who enjoys reading and discussing literary texts in English. It may also help those who are preparing for further study in English Literature, as it gives a good foundation in analysing texts. If you are already at the degree level in English or another subject, this course could be a good supplement to your studies. Ultimately though, this course is suitable for anyone who loves country houses and great literature.
Who will you learn with?
Susan Fitzmaurice, Amber Regis and Adam J Smith
Working in the School of English at the University of Sheffield, we all have a fascination with English country houses, a love of great literature and a desire to share our knowledge with you.
Who developed the course?
The University of Sheffield
The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities with a reputation for teaching and research excellence.
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