Appreciating English Literature

Learning about great works of prose, poetry and drama

Last updated 3/2023 English

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This is a course that looks at over 1000 years of English Literature.

This course is aimed at people who want to know more about great works of literature. It is likely to appeal to both students and teachers, as well as being of interest to anyone wishing to extend their literary knowledge and horizons. We start with Beowulf - the first known example of creative writing in England and proceed to look at the work of Chaucer, Shakespeare, the Romantic Poets and finish with an overview of the English Novel.

Who this course is for

Anyoine who wants to now more about great writers.


  1. It was wonderful to listen to Paul talk about the history of Literature. I was actually sad when it ended. Very informative! ~ Bianca L
  2. Great overview of the Romantics! ~ Anna L
  3. As a teacher of Literature and English at Senior School and University levels, I loved this reminder of why I have continued to feel so passionately about Literature all these years. Paul Rogers reminded me of some of the wonderful works of Literature that I've been reading all my life since I first started deciphering those hieroglyphics on the page, and some that I haven't yet read. I'll be ordering some of these today - though finding a home for them on my shelves will be difficult. Like so many of us who love books, it's hard to get rid of 'our children' even if we've taught them for 10 to 20 years. I could no more think of discarding my Children of the New Forest (the book I was given one Christmas when I was seven or eight and re-read at every opportunity for at least a decade), Handmaid's Tale, the four versions of Othello or Hamlet, To the Lighthouse, War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Seamus Heaney's Selected Poems, A View from the Bridge, Blake's and TS Eliot's anthologies, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close or Cloudstreet than ridding myself of any one of my human children! Thank you Paul, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey ~ Cecilia S

What you'll learn

How to appreciate great works of literature.


A reasonable knowledge of English and a love of reading.

Course Content

6 Sections 12 Lectures 1h 23m total length

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