Course overview

This course will consider and analyse the following authors and their texts. These are: Magnus - George Mackay Brown. Border Country - Raymond Williams. They - Kay Dick. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - John Le Carre. Waterland - Graham Swift. These texts will provide a window into the different regions of Britain during two decades of major change in the social fabric and political nature of Britain, though several of our texts will trace these changes back to the earlier part of the twentieth century, and in doing so, we will encounter themes of identity, class and the decline of Empire. There will be much to prompt discussion and challenge our assumptions.

Course description

"Our first text Magnus by the late Orcadian poet and novelist

George Mackay Brown will introduce us to a voice of urgent

lyricism, which shifts between the early Middle Ages in

Orkney and the Nazi regime. It is a text about faith,

community and the need for storytelling as a means to

confront life through myth. This saga will flow naturally into

Raymond Williams’ novel Border Country, which traces the

changes in class affiliations in a Welsh working class

community. Again it is about the need to relate history.

When we encounter Kay Dick’s They, a rediscovered minor

classic, we will be confronted by a vision of a very English

dystopia, centred about issues of censorship and control,

which is a vision of modern iconoclasm.

Le Carre’s work, Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy will introduce us

to Britain in decline, set against the backdrop of espionage,

but it is more than this, being a true condition of England

novel. We will evaluate Le Carre’s position as a major

novelist of the second part of the century.

We will conclude by picking up theme of storytelling again in

Graham Swift’s Waterland, a haunting meditation on the

nature of history itself."

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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