British Literature

  • Beowulf
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • The Canterbury Tales
  • Paradise Lost
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Jane Eyre
  • Out of the Silent Planet
  • Hamlet
  • Macbeth

It almost sounds like bragging when you say you’ve not only read that entire list but you understood all the stories as well.  This is the list of a well read and well rounded scholar.  It’s no coincidence that that it is also a portion of our reading list.   

Good literature does more for the mind than practically anything else.  It broadens horizons, deepens understanding, enhances one’s sense of empathy, and increase contextual understanding of events both historical and fictional.  It can transport the read to another time and place exposing him or her to a past that is gone, but none the less influential, and therefore relevant. 

Why British Literature?  I think Words Aptly Spoken sums it up quite nicely:

In British literature, you will find a subtle, often dry sense of humor, a deep interest in politics and social issues, and an equally strong appreciation for the romantic, the absurd, and the mysterious. Each of the works included in [our course] has influenced popular culture and and the literature to come after it. 

Using Words Aptly Spoken, multiple literary guides by Memoria Press, and reliable internet sources, students will dive into the world of British literature with eyes wide open.  In class, students will review and discuss assigned reading to deepen understanding and gain context.  Together they will analyze assigned readings with a critical eye and draw upon their existing knowledge to deepen their understanding of stories which might otherwise be rendered unintelligible.

Class homework requirements: weekly assignments will be posted on Schoology and may include reading, comprehension and review questions, vocabulary and short essays.  Tests and quizzes will be similar in nature and will involve essays / written components. 

Students will need internet access and should bring the current text and a binder for note taking and handouts to class. 

Students of advanced ability but younger grade may join the class. 


   Time: 10:45-12:15
Grade:  10-12
Class Fees: $375
Supply fee: $85 (includes most texts – others at library or free online)
Tutor: Candace Fortino

COVID-19 Contingency Plan:
In the event that the COVID-19 pandemic affects our ability to meet in person in a classroom for the 2020-21 school year, I will make the following adjustments to this class. Tutor and students will meet at the scheduled class time via a video chat service. Assignments can be submitted electronically, and feedback will be provided electronically.  Group projects and group collaboration will be encouraged via online methods, but adjustments will be made as needed.  Our goal is to meet in person as soon as it is feasible. We may begin classroom meetings at any point during the school year as the COVID-19 situation resolves.