Becoming Modern: Literature of Fin de Siècle and Modernism

153 TUTOR: Anna Clarke

What does it mean to be 'modern'? This course will explore the literature of 19th century fin de siècle and Modernism in the early 20th century. You will consider how, and why, the literature of the late 19th century was different from some of the more familiar forms of writing in the novels of Dickens, Brontë or Austen. You will reflect on how, and why, the early 20th century Modernist authors consciously attempted to be 'modern' and whether they succeeded. This course will also explore the questions involved with studying and discussing the use of language, genre and themes in Kate Chopin's The Awakening, Bram Stoker's Dracula, James Joyce's Dubliners and Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway and Kew Gardens. This course is open to all. However, it would be helpful if you could read the texts beforehand and bring your copies along.

3 PM
PM course

Course Notes


Kate Chopin The Awakening


Bram Stoker Dracula


Virginia Woolf "Kew Gardens”


Virginia Woolf Mrs Dalloway


James Joyce Dubliners

The course is open to all and students would be expected to have read the texts before the course; please bring your copies of the texts with you to each session. As "Kew Gardens” is a very short story, and Joyce's Dubliners is a collection of short stories, please read "Kew Gardens” and as many of the short stories from Dubliners as you can. During our discussions we will also refer to some critical writings from early 20thc, to help illuminate points about Modernism and Modernity, and these extracts will be supplied to students at the sessions.

Course Tutor

Anna Clarke

About Anna

Dr Anna Clarke lectures in Literature at the Open University and the University of Essex. She is a Fellow of Higher Education Academy and a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at The University of Essex. She has also shared her passion for literature as an experienced and popular tutor of Adult Education courses at Dillington House, Urchfont Manor and Layer Marney Towers, amongst other venues across the country. Her specialisms include 19th and 20th century novel, Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature, Critical Theory and Postcolonial studies.

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 11 Jul - 15 Jul

WK 2 18 Jul - 22 Jul

WK 3 25 Jul - 29 Jul

WK 4 1 Aug - 5 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM