Explore literature through the ages.

We've hand-picked a variety of English literature courses for you to choose from. Whether you are interested in twenty-first-century literature and culture, the tales of Babylon, or historical topics such as race and gender, we have a broad selection of literature that’s sure to suit a wide variety of tastes and interests.  

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You might be a newcomer to the world of literature and the great works of authors past and present, or perhaps you consider yourself somewhat of an expert. Whichever group you fall into, our friendly classes are the perfect environment to develop your skills and knowledge. Building on a curiosity or passion is what we do best! 

Enrol on a literature class near you  

Whether you prefer online learning from the comfort of your own home, or you want to attend an in-person class in your local community, we have a huge amount of flexibility to suit how you learn best. This means that you can pick the environment that’s right for you, giving you that piece of mind that you can learn in a place that you feel comfortable with. 

The support you’ll receive 

Our dedicated tutors will guide you through the different genres and time periods in English literature, helping you to develop your critical reading and analysis skills - perfect if you're a beginner.   

Our learning experience is one of the things that sets us apart, with many of our learners going on to achieve incredible things. You’ll learn at a pace that’s comfortable for you, with a friendly supportive tutor on hand to answer any questions you might have.  

Start your journey today and learn all about the works of Agatha Christie, Shakespeare and many, many more.  

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Literature: Stella Gibbons' 'Cold Comfort Farm'

Our chance to enjoy a novel that is set in the future, pays homage to Hardy and Lawrence, features the bossiest heroine in literature and the gloomiest rural family! It has been described as the funniest book ever written. Stella Gibbons' 'Cold Comfort Farm' is a rarity, a feel-good novel about gloom and misery. 'Something nasty in the woodshed' results only in the sunniest of happy endings, brought about by Flora Poste, an incorrigibly efficient heroine. Join this short course for the long, lovely days of midsummer.

Course Information

Dates:
Mon 03/06/2024 -
Mon 24/06/2024
Times:
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Duration:
4 sessions
Location:
The Grange Community Centre (Radcliffe-o
Vicarage Lane
Radcliffe-on-Trent
NG12 2FB
Tutor:
Judith Hedley
Course code:
Q00014832
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
9 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £33.60

Literature: Ancient Greek tragedy: Sophocles’ Theban plays

Ancient Greek tragedies have held an enduring interest for audiences and readers since their first performances in Athens in the 5th century BCE. Performed with both ancient and modern settings, revised and adapted, they retain their relevance to human action and understanding. In this course we will study three linked plays by Sophocles that focus on the story of Oedipus, king of Thebes, and his efforts to avoid fate: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone. We will consider plots, themes, characters and their continuing popularity with audiences. All texts will be studied in English translations: no previous knowledge is assumed.

Course Information

Dates:
Tue 04/06/2024 -
Tue 09/07/2024
Times:
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Kim Shahabudin
Course code:
Q00013754
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
1 place remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £44.40

Literature: A Short Introduction to Feminist Writing

Take up an opportunity to sign up for a short course on a general introduction to feminist literature. Sessions will look in detail at female authors. We will examine what is feminist writing, and its seminal characteristics, through discussion and lecture. And also examine and learn about its contribution to literature and the relevance of their work today.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 05/06/2024 -
Wed 19/06/2024
Times:
10:30am - 12:30pm
Duration:
3 sessions
Location:
Enfield Baptist Church (Enfield) (Enfiel
Cecil Road
Enfield
EN2 6TG
Tutor:
Kate Delamere
Course code:
Q00015274
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £34.50

Literature: Rediscovering Women Authors: Two comic novels by Stella Gibbons

In this course we will read and discuss two books by Stella Gibbons, an author whose reputation as a comic writer rests on one well-known satire of popular novels about rural life: Cold Comfort Farm (1932). In fact she wrote more than 30 novels, though most have been out of print until recently. We will be focusing on two of Gibbons’ comic novels with contrasting settings: rural Sussex in Cold Comfort Farm and suburban Hampstead in Westwood (1946). Through friendly and accessible discussions of both texts, we will learn more about their stories, characters and themes, and consider the nature of their author’s distinctive comic voice.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 06/06/2024 -
Thu 11/07/2024
Times:
11:00am - 1:00pm
Duration:
6 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Kim Shahabudin
Course code:
Q00013753
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
2 places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £44.40

WEA Membership

For just £15 a year, you can:

  • Join our popular, award-winning weekly lecture series,
  • Access an archive of over 100 past lectures,
  • Get priority online and phone booking for autumn courses (England only),
  • Receive our Highway magazine and access back issues,
  • Attend our members’ annual conference.

Just add us to your basket to sign up today!

Membership Information

Duration:
12 months
Fee:
WEA Membership

Literature: Nature Writers

In this one-day session, we'll delve into the captivating realm of nature writing, exploring the works of various poets and prose writers who have beautifully depicted the natural world. Through a selection of diverse examples, participants will uncover the intricate tapestry of human-nature connections, from tranquil landscapes to the sublime forces of wilderness. Engaging discussions and analyses will highlight the unique perspectives and styles of writers who have sought to capture the essence of nature through their craft. Whether you're an avid nature enthusiast or simply curious about the power of literary expression, join us for a day of inspiration and discovery amidst the wonders of the natural world

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 19/06/2024 -
Wed 19/06/2024
Times:
10:00am - 4:00pm
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
Norwich Millennium Library (Norwich)
Millennium Library
The Forum, Millennium Plain
Norwich
NR2 1AW
Tutor:
James Clarke
Course code:
Q00015037
How you'll learn:
In venue
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee range
Free to £30.00

Care 2: Find Out About Bram Stoker and Dracula

This course is for carers, former carers and the cared for, join us to learn about Dracula, one of the most well known gothic villains of all time, find out about what was behind Bram Stoker’s creation of this character? This session will explore aspects of Bram Stoker’s life including his time spent in Whitby, in order to think about what inspired him to create this infamous and long lasting vampire. This session will be a great way to learn something new and an opportunity to join with others in discussing this novel. This course is for carers, former carers and the cared for and you do not need to have previous experience of studying literature.

Course Information

Dates:
Thu 27/06/2024 -
Thu 27/06/2024
Times:
10:00am - 11:30am
Duration:
1 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Denise Hanrahan-Wells
Course code:
Q00014606
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
Available
Fee:
Free



The courses below have already started, but are still available to book.

Reading Poetry: Lyric Poetry and Form

In this online, 10-week course you will read, explore and enjoy some key works by a selection of significant contemporary and historical poets in the English language, you will look at and consider a key example of a poetic form each week with scope to include a variety of notable poems that articulate this. In doing so, you will create some links between form, idea and writer. Alongside close reading of chosen poems we will engage with literary criticism on each poet, as well as poetry, form and poetics generally, exploring the backgrounds of each writer, their lives and their unique approach to the art of poetry, which should set the poems in context of time and the poet's life. Through this we will also look to understand how a particular sense of identity and voice has been created within the work we encounter.

Course Information

Dates:
Wed 17/04/2024 -
Wed 26/06/2024
Times:
2:45pm - 4:45pm
Duration:
10 sessions
Location:
Online
Tutor:
Simon Haworth
Course code:
Q00013313
How you'll learn:
Online
Availability:
10+ places remaining
Status:
In progress
Fee range
Free to £74.00