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Explorations in Literature: An Historical Approach

AH 11-034-43-01 (41)

Start Date: 13-09-2014

Course Description

In order to study any literary product, it is always necessary to consider it within its historical and cultural background.

This 25-hour course aims to emphasize the changes that have taken place in Europe and especially Britain over the last 3,000 years with particular reference to the area’s political, sociological and cultural background as reflected in some of the major literary works of the period. The selection of literary works consists of those prescribed for the first year of the revised BA English course from the University of London.

Course Outline

  1. Introduction: The Classical World of the Greeks (Homer and Sophocles) and the Romans (Ovid)
  2. Mediaeval Poetry (Chaucer and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) and the early European Renaissance (Dante)
  3. English theatre and drama until the death of Shakespeare
  4. 17th century poetry with particular reference to the Stuart kings, the English Civil War and the Restoration (the Metaphysical poets and Milton)
  5. 18th century poetry (Pope) and the birth of the novel (Fielding): from The Glorious Revolution (1788) to The French Revolution (1789)
  6. English poetry (Coleridge) and the novel (Jane Austen) between the French Revolution (1789) and the accession of Queen Victoria (1837)
  7. The English novel during the reign of Queen Victoria (Dickens, Hardy, Joyce) and developments in European drama (Strindberg) and their influence on English theatre
  8. The Moderns and their poetry (T.S. Eliot), theatre (Samuel Beckett) and the novel (Atwood and Carrington) 



For more comprehensive information about Literature in English courses at SPACE, please visit us at: http://hkuspace.hku.hk/programme/search?q=englit_A14.

Days / Time

  • Saturday 2:30 - 5:30 pm (Last 2 meetings: 2:30 - 6:00 pm) (No class on 4 & 11 Oct 2014)


  • 8 meetings, 25 hours
    (6 meetings x 3 hours per meeting and 2 meetings x 3.5 hours per meeting)


  • Dr. Norman Bird, BA, BS, MPhil, PhD, PGCE, DipEd London

Medium of Instruction

  • English

Entry Requirements

Applicants are required to have reached the age of 18.

Application Deadline

21 Aug 14

Course Fee

  • HK$5,380
  • HK$4,304 (For Third Age Learners only. Applicants are required to provide proof of age at the time they submit applications. Online enrolment service is not available.)

Enrolment Method

Payment Method

Third Age
Third Age
The course gives discount on the regular fee for anyone aged 50 and above.
Enrol Online
Enrol Online
The course provides online enrolment and payment service for continuing enrolment in the same award-bearing programme.