Revisiting the Classics: Dr Sharon Priestley

"How well do classic novels stand up to scrutiny by today's readers? Are the issues from the past still of interest? Can we truly relate to lives from other eras? On this discussion-based course, we will find out. Even if you may not have enjoyed reading the classics at school, you might find yourself enthralled by the four novels we shall discuss. Great Expectations (1860) by Charles Dickens is a classic work that continues to speak to modern readers.Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) by Thomas Hardy is an excellent novel that is so well-written that most superlatives seem inadequate. To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee is a stunning example of a classic novel that continues to be relevant. We end the course on a lighter and very British note with The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾ (1982), a 'contemporary classic' that is too much fun to overlook. "

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."