Mary Ward Book Club

Novels, biographies, histories, autobiographies, short stories and poetry. You will read and discuss extracts from both well-known and off-beat texts regarding London. You will learn to write concise reviews and present your views to the group.

Who is this course for

Readers with an interest in London and its inhabitants through the ages - in fact and fiction. For those wishing to broaden their knowledge of London writing and improve their critical skills. For those wishing to develop skills in writing a review. Budding authors will also be able study technique and style.

What does this course cover

Over three terms, we will look at London in novel fiction, in biographies and autobiographies, in poetry and experimental writing. The books chosen will cover a wide range of material. From classics to less-known works. The female, gay, black, working class and outsider experience will all be included. We will look at how reviewers have received the books and throughout the term will write reviews of our own to illustrate our understanding of the books.

Term 1 will focus on novels written about London, from Victorian social commentaries through the run-down post-war years, the 'swinging sixties', right up to the multi-cultural present.

Term 2 will look at biographies and autobiographies of London life, ranging from those about famous figures to personal recollections by unknown but equally interesting figures.

Term 3 will be an opportunity to look other written forms used to tell the story of London: poetry, short stories, experimental and other unusual ways people have told their stories.

What will it be like

Book extracts will be circulated by the tutor to be read by students at home and discussed at the meeting. Cultural factors and background to the books will be analysed, as will the author's approach and technique. We will look at how reviewers have received the books and write short reviews of our own. Students will be expected to fully read at least one of the books during the course of the term.

What else do you need to buy or do

Students will be supplied with extracts from the books and with copies of relevant reviews and articles. Also, information on the writing of reviews. Students will be expected to do additional research online or elsewhere about the books and their authors. Students wishing to read complete books on the course are expected to obtain them themselves from bookshops, second-hand sources or through libraries.

What this course could lead to

Will led to improved critical skills, confidence in formulating and presenting ideas to a group and the ability to use these skills on other courses. Analysis by students will lead to a developed appreciation of the writers' art and may assist in any writing of their own that they might be considering.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’