Witness Statements: Letters in Fiction, Letters in Life

When a writer takes pen to paper they are creating a testimony to their thoughts and feelings at that time, limited and liberated by their own perspective. With classical education relying on letters from the ancient world, it makes sense that the first English novel Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister should be in the epistolary form. We will look at epistolary novels and letter collections from around the world, particularly at how some writers used letters in their fiction and in their own lives. And perhaps we’ll work out why letters don’t feature more prominently in Australian literature.

This course will be delivered both face-to-face at WEA Sydney and online via the online platform Zoom simultaneously. Enrolling students need to ensure they have an email, a reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer if they are attending via Zoom or have read the current COVID-19 Safety Guidance that WEA Sydney has put in place before enrolling into the face-to-face class.

SUGGESTED READING

  • Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister
  • Pamela/Samuel Richardson
  • Clarissa/Samuel Richardson
  • Lady Susan/Jane Austen
  • The Moonstone/Wilkie Collins
  • The Documents in the Case/ Dorothy Sayers
  • Pepita Jimenez/Juan Valera
  • Les Liaisons Dangereuses/ Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  • Poor Folk/ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Daddy Long Legs/Jean Webster
  • The White Tiger/ Aravind Adiga
  • Jaclyn Moriarty’s Ashbury/Brookfield Series (YA)
  • Letter collections of:
    • Cicero
    • Jane Austen
    • Anthony Trollope
    • Vera Brittain
    • St Teresa of Avila
    • Voltaire
    • Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • Mark Twain
  • Letters from a Father to his Daughter
  • Illalong Letters/Rose Paterson

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Letters from long ago: Pliny and Cicero
  • England: Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister, Samuel Richardson, Jane Austen, The Moonstone, Anthony Trollope, Vera Brittain, Dorothy Sayers The Documents in the Case
  • Europe: Pepita Jimenez and the letters of St Teresa of Avila, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Voltaire’s letters, Dostoyevsky's Poor Folk
  • Post colonial: Daddy Long Legs and the letters of Mark Twain, The White Tiger and Letters from a Father to his Daughter, Jaclyn Moriarty’s Ashbury/Brookfield Series (YA) and Rose Paterson's Illalong Letters

PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Know the history of the epistolary novel form.
  2. Discover some key texts and writers of letters in England, France, Spain, Russia, America, India, Australia, and Ancient Rome.
  3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the epistolary form within narrative fiction.
  4. Assess the selection criteria for letter collections.
  5. Compare letter writing in fiction and in life by Austen, Trollope, Sayers, and Dostoyevsky.
  6. Compare letter writing in fiction from England, France, Spain, Russia, India, and Australia.
  7. Discuss the use of letters in contemporary fiction.
  8. Discover new epistolary novels, and their context within literary history.
$39 Limited

<p>When a writer takes pen to paper they are creating a testimony to their thoughts and feelings at that time, limited and liberated by their own perspective. With classical education relying on

...
23 Apr
$39 Limited

<p>When a writer takes pen to paper they are creating a testimony to their thoughts and feelings at that time, limited and liberated by their own perspective. With classical education relying on

...
23 Apr

Interested in this course but can't attend? Please join the waiting list by clicking .