Teaching 19th-Century Literature

Imaginative approaches to texts and context.
Sat 25 Mar 2017, 09:45 - 15:30

From Romantic poetry to Gothic horror, from depictions of poverty and industrialisation to portrayals of the middle classes, and from crime fiction to fin de siècle decadence: the literary works of the Romantic and Victorian periods, and the contexts in which they were written, offer a wealth of topics to explore. This conference for English teachers is designed to support and invigorate teaching at both GCSE and A Level and revitalise approaches to 19th-century texts. The day includes a range of inspiring talks, with an opening keynote from Professor John Bowen, University of York unravelling elements of the Gothic, and a closing session from acclaimed writer Tracy Chevalier reflecting on the enduring influence of Jane Eyre. As well as an engaging introduction to the Library’s in-depth online resources to support teaching and learning, delegates will have a choice of practical workshop sessions exploring a range of texts, themes and ideas of the period.

This event draws on the riches of our Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians website and will offer opportunities throughout the day for you to develop ways of incorporating the site into your teaching. Lunch is included, as are opportunities for networking with contributors, delegates and supporting organisations.

Outline agenda:

09.45 Registration and coffee
10.15 Welcome: British Library Schools Programme Manager
10.20 Opening keynote: John Bowen, University of York
11.05 Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians - Dr Andrea Varney, British Library
11.35 Coffee
11.50 Workshop 1: choice of sessions
12.50 Lunch
1.30 Workshop 2: choice of sessions
2.30 Coffee, cake and networking
2.50 Closing keynote: Tracy Chevalier
3.25 Closing remarks
3.30 Finish


More about Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians

Discovering Literature uses manuscript and printed sources to shed light on the historical, political and cultural contexts in which key literary works were written. Explore some of the Library's most treasured literary collection items, including manuscripts by William Blake, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot and Oscar Wilde, as well as a rich range of contextual material including letters, diaries, notebooks, illustrations, newspapers, photographs and more.


When: Sat 25 Mar 2017, 09:45 - 15:30
Prince: £180 (concessions available)
Enquiries: +44 (0)20 7412 7797