Back to the nineteenth century

For a few years I’ve been studying for a degree in English Literature with the Open University. I started studying in 2010 for no other reason than I love literature. I enrolled on one module, Approaching Literature, which I loved. That module led to another and then another and before I knew it I was working towards a degree. I’ve just completed my fourth module, The Arts Past and Present, a level one module. Before this, I studied Approaching Literature, Creative Writing and Advanced Writing. I have two more modules to go before I finish the full degree.

topuniversities.com

topuniversities.com

Most of you will know that I’m also doing an MA in Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. This has been my dream for many years, but I didn’t want to stop studying for my English Literature degree while I did it. In fact, the increase in fees meant I needed to carry on (it’s a long story). I’ve somehow managed to juggle the level one degree module (The Arts Past and Present) alongside the work for my MA degree.

Next year my plan was to do the same – take a level one module alongside my final taught module on the MA Writing. This morning I had an email from the Open University saying it was time to select my next module. This is always exciting. I love studying. I logged onto my account only to find that the module I had wanted to do as my final module is running for the last time this year. This is the nineteenth-century novel module which I’ve wanted to complete since I began my studies all those years ago.

So instead of taking a level one module as planned. I am now taking the nineteenth-century novel, which is level three. It’s going to be difficult, but it’s now or never as they say.

As a result my summer reading plans have changed. I will now be throwing myself into reading the set texts. And here they are:  19th century novel books

  • Flaubert, G. Madame Bovary Penguin
  • Chopin, K. The Awakening Oxford University Press
  • Dickens, C. Dombey and Son Oxford University Press
  • Hardy, T. Far from the Madding Crowd Oxford University Press
  • Zola, E. Germinal Oxford University Press
  • Bronte, C. Jane Eyre Oxford World’s Classics
  • Eliot, G. Middlemarch Oxford University Press
  • Collins, W. The Woman in White Oxford University Press
  • Regan, S. (ed) The Nineteenth-Century Novel: A Critical Reader Routledge
  • Austen, J. Northanger Abbey Oxford University Press
  • James, H. The Portrait of a Lady Oxford University Press

Working on a level three degree module and my MA module on the short story is not going to be easy. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to challenge me, but it’s not impossible. And with a bit of planning and preparation this summer, I can hopefully get ahead with the reading. A quick look on my shelves and I’ve already got a lot of the books on the reading list. Best get started!

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