Literature of the English Country House: Exit Through the Gift shop with Oscar Wilde

And so begins the final week of Literature of the English Country House — but what a final week we have planned! Trust us, it is going to be Wilde!

Chatsworth House, a central location throughout the course.

Chatsworth House, a central location throughout the course.

Oscar Wilde and the country house tradition

We’ll be joined by Dr Andy Smith, Reader in 19th-Century Literature at the University of Sheffield, to examine the English country house in the late 19th century. During this time of great social and economic upheaval, the ownership and purpose of many country houses were changing considerably. Andy will explore how these transformations were represented by Oscar Wilde in The Canterville Ghost and The Importance of Being Earnest.

The Tour Continues

On this six week course we have only been able to tell the story of country house literature from Thomas More to Oscar Wilde. However, as we approach the end of the course, we’ll be asking you to recommend any texts that we haven’t looked at from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Adam filming in the gift shop at Chatsworth House, just one of the gift shops to feature in the course.

Adam filming in the gift shop at Chatsworth House, just one of the gift shops to feature in the course.

Finding Authors, Finding Houses

We’ve also designed an activity that will encourage you to make your own connections between country houses and literature. We’ll be asking you to recommend a country house for other learners to visit and to suggest a piece of literature for other learners to read before visiting their chosen house.

Andy Smith filming in the gift shop at Hardwick Hall.

Andy Smith filming in the gift shop at Hardwick Hall.

To find out more about the course, or to sign up whilst it is still live, click here!

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