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About this Course
About the Course
In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores the fifteen poems that make up the ‘Love and Relationships’ cluster for GCSE English Literature (AQA). Each poem is read in full, with a short commentary highlighting aspects of language, style, themes, motif, and so on. In the case of Browning’s ‘Porphyria’s Lover’, for example, we think about the genre of dramatic monologue and the themes of possession and domination. When we come to ‘The Farmer’s Bride’, we focus on the literary heritage of wives who have been trapped/imprisoned by their husbands, and the wife’s relationship with nature. And so on for the whole collection.
The poems discussed in this course are:
1. Lord Byron, When We Two Parted (1816)
2. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Love’s Philosophy (1820)
3. Robert Browning, Porphyria’s Lover (1836)
4. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet 29 (‘I think of thee’) (1845-46)
5. Thomas Hardy, Neutral Tones (1898)
6. Charlotte Mew, The Farmer’s Bride (1912)
7. Cecil Day-Lewis, Walking Away (1962)
8. Maura Dooley, Letters from Yorkshire (2002)
9. Charles Causley, Eden Rock (1988)
10. Seamus Heaney, Follower (1966)
11. Simon Armitage, Mother, Any Distance (1993)
12. Carol Ann Duffy, Before You Were Mine (1993)
13. Owen Sheers, Winter Swans (2005)
14. Daljit Nagra, Singh Song! (2007)
15. Andrew Waterhouse, Climbing My Grandfather (2000)
About the Lecturer
John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.