Novels set in Scotland: Dr Sharon Priestley

"The diversity of life in Scotland is very special - from the thriving cities to the seemingly quiet life of the Highlands and Islands. On this discussion-based course, we read some fascinating novels set in Scotland and analyse setting, plot, characterisation and message. John Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915) was first published as a serial adventure novel; it still retains its original sense of excitement. Sunset Song is a 1932 novel about Aberdeenshire in World War I and is widely regarded as one of the most important Scottish novels of the 20th century. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) features a school teacher and her elite 'Brodie set' in a perceptive portrayal of various characters. M.C. Beaton's Death of A Gossip (1985) features Hamish Macbeth, the unassuming and clever policeman who solves murders in a remote Highland village that is populated by fascinating individuals. Readers on this course may well wish to visit Scotland!"

Tutor: Dr Sharon Priestley

"Dr Sharon Priestley has presented literature courses for the University of Cambridge's Institute of Continuing Education, The Letchworth Settlement, the REC and elsewhere. The topics of her courses range from the novels of Jane Austen to novels that have won the Man Booker Prize, classic and contemporary short stories, poetry, women's writings and children's literature. She also lectures on James Boswell and Samuel Johnson and has given papers focused on those fascinating individuals at the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conferences and Literary London conferences."