English Literature (Pre-U)
We study English to foster creativity, to learn to love writing and to read what has been best written by those who have come before us. We read to understand the world and how human beings live in it. The study of literature helps us to become more articulate and more analytical; it helps us to think with greater clarity and to empathize with others from different cultures and places.
‘"And what are you reading, Miss-?" "Oh, it is only a novel!" replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference or momentary shame.-"It is only Cecilia or Camilla or Belinda"; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.’
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1818)
Students of English Literature are privileged to explore some of the ‘greatest powers of the mind’ through a varied and challenging course. Students will study a range of texts from Chaucer to the present day, covering prose, poetry and drama. The course demands debate, critical reading and an inexhaustible passion for literature in all forms!
At HWSF, the Department of English offers a wide-ranging syllabus and plenty of opportunities for extra-curricular pursuits. Theatre trips and book groups enjoy great popularity, as does English Society – a lively forum and place for students to share, discuss and broaden their literary passions. The English Literature course will follow the Cambridge Pre-U syllabus (Literature in English).