Testament to Friendships: Classic English Writers

10 writers, 5 friendships, 200 years – let’s look at some of the friendships that have existed between great writers over time, how they have supported each other, and helped bring forth great literature.
From Shelley and Byron’s shared love of poetry and freedom, to gregarious Elizabeth Gaskell shepherding shy Charlotte Bronte around Society; Charles Dickens mentoring Wilkie Collins, and collaborating in theatre productions; C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien amidst the Inklings of Oxford, debating theology and fantasy; and, perhaps the most emotionally transforming of all, Winifred Holtby and Vera Brittain, who wrote her memoir, Testament of Friendship.

This class will be delivered online via the online platform Zoom. Enrolling students need to ensure they have an email, a reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer.

SUGGESTED READING

  • Don Juan, Byron
  • Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Byron
  • Selected Poems and Prose, Percy Shelley
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
  • The Life of Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  • The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
  • The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis
  • The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Testament of Youth, Vera Brittain
  • Testament of Friendship, Vera Brittain
  • South Riding, Winifred Holtby

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Bryon and Shelley: Life and writing careers, Their shared household, Works resulting from their friendship, Deaths and legacy
  • Bronte and Gaskell: Life and writing careers, Their friendship, Gaskell’s biography of Bronte, Their legacies
  • Dickens and Collins: Life and writing careers, Impact of Dickens’s friendship on Collins’s writing, Works resulting from their friendship, Family connections, Challenges to their friendship, Deaths and legacy
  • Lewis and Tolkien: Life and writing careers, The Inklings, Works resulting from their friendship, Challenges to their friendship, Deaths and legacy
  • Brittain and Holtby: Life and War, University meeting, Their shared household, Works resulting from their friendship, Deaths and legacy

PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this talk students should be able to

  1. Describe the life story of each of these writers and what they gave to each other professionally and personally.
  2. Evaluate the quality of each writer’s work and to what extent their influence was positive on their friend.
  3. Evaluate their success in negotiating the demands of relationship, career and their significance as writers, and as contributors to their times.
  4. Want to read their books.
$39 Limited

<p>10 writers, 5 friendships, 200 years – let’s look at some of the friendships that have existed between great writers over time, how they have supported each other, and helped bring forth great

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13 Feb

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