The Beginnings of University English: Extramural Study, 1885-1910 draws on previously unseen archival material to explore the innovative and scholarly ways in which English literature was taught to extramural students in England during the fin de siècle. It begins by tracing the development of the subject from 1650 onwards, before looking at the impassioned debates surrounding the introduction of English as an honours degree at Oxford and Cambridge in the 1880s and '90s. The book then examines exactly how the subject was taught in various non-university settings such as novel-reading unions, the University Extension Movement, and informal literary advice columns written by Arnold Bennett for a popular Edwardian newspaper. At a time when the future of the humanities feels increasingly uncertain, this book sheds new light on the modern roots of tertiary-level English teaching.
- extramural studies
- fin de siecle