This series of classes will take participants on a journey through some of the key texts of English Literature. The classes will cover poetry, prose, drama, and will consider how English authors have told their stories, and our own, from the epic tales of Anglo-Saxon England, through Shakespeare’s portrayal of what it means to be human, to the more experimental texts in modern and contemporary fiction. We will look in some detail at the artistic, historical and political context which shaped literary creativity; we shall consider how literature in English gave this country a sense of national identity, we will look at its debt and at its contribution to the European tradition, and will consider to what extent these authors’ works have been understood, often misjudged, or at times underestimated.
Every session will be a mixture of lectures, close text analysis and group discussions. The course will be running over eight sessions, of one hour and a half each, and will be suitable for prospective university students who want to broaden their knowledge of English beyond the curriculum, mature students who would like to refresh their understanding and knowledge of literature, and those who are simply intellectually curious and keen to discover new texts.
We don’t read books; they read us. The course is a chance to engage with ideas through language, and discover old and new stories which are ultimately everybody’s.
Participants can join for the whole course or join on a session-by-session basis. When joining any paid class participants will receive access to a video recording of previous sessions in the series.
- Class Introduction: Words, words, words: the challenge of reading
- Class 1: Listen to me: Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon epics
- Class 2: Going on a Pilgrymage: Chaucer and the first English Cartoon
- Class 3: March A piece of work: how Shakespeare tells our stories
- Class 4: Poetry for Cats and Lilliputian adventures: 18 Century Satire
- Class 5: Looking for Self: why we are all Romantics
- Class 6: The shattered Glass: 20th Century Modernist Fiction
- Class 7: What now? What next? Considering the present and future of literature
- Class 8: Authors who changed my life: Each participant to present on an author of their choice
Dr Marco Liviero is a native of Padua, Italy. He has studied and taught at universities in Italy, England and Ireland. He has written extensively on a number of literary topics, specifically Elizabethan drama and its links with the Italian commedia dell’arte, and Anglo-Irish poetry. He is a regular contributor to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, and has directed over fifty plays, most of them at Eton College, where he has been teaching in the English Department since 2001. He has lectured extensively in the USA, Australia and Asia. In 2019 the President of Italy appointed him Cavaliere della Stella d’Italia for cultural merits.
- Format: Live online group classes
- Maximum Class Size: Class sizes are kept deliberately small, ensuring participants have the opportunity to interact with the course teacher through Q&A discussions within each session
- Platform: Lessons will take place on Zoom. All sessions are recorded and made available to participants, allowing you to review material or catch up on any missed sessions.