A fascinating course run by Keele University is starting at Audlem Methodist Church on 31st October. Called 'On the Pleasures of Fear and Laughter', it runs for 20 Tuesdays from 2.15pm to 4.15pm.
The tutor is Bill Parkinson and this year's course will study a selection of 18th and 19th Century novels. Two Gothic novels; Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey; William Thakeray's Vanity Fair; Thomas Peacock's Nightmare Abbey and Samuel Butler's The Way Of All Flesh are the novels the course will discuss.
Questions posed include: Why were 18th Century readers keen to be scared? Have Jane Austen's witty insights into Bath society any relevance today? Does satire serve a social purpose? Should it have a moral foundation? And what can contemporary society learn from reading novels?
Bill Parkinson says: "We meet on Tuesday afternoons for two hours throughout the winter months between 2.15 and 4.15. We are a small group and need new members to ensure the course continues. We think these meetings are a worthwhile social and cultural activity, so please join us. You will be very welcome.
The standard course fee is £70 but concessionary fees are available. It's £41 if you are solely supported by State Pension or £12 if in receipt of Income Related Benefit.
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