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The English Country House in English Literature 5/5 Lectures may be taken individually

In this series, you will explore the way in which the English country house has been portrayed in English literature. By studying various authors, the architecture and household roles of the country house underline characterization, scene and mood and how this in turn shaped our view of the country house in English visual culture.

The authors’ personal experiences will be examined and considered for the value of the country house in terms of plot. Used as a vehicle for gathering a group of characters together under one roof for a defined space of time, the country house has long provided a convenient setting in which, as Blake Morrison has commented, tensions can develop, love affairs begin and catastrophes unfold.

The Country House in Moden Novels and Films

While the depiction of the country house in post war novels stands in marked departure from the pre-war world, such houses have not disappeared and continue to be used as literary settings. There are contemporary evocations in the novels of P. D. James, as well as historic, such as the Victorian house in Ian McEwan’s Atonement. Other notable examples appear in Allan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty and Michael Frayn’s Headlong. This lecture will also consider the changes in the architecture and household life of the country house in both film and television (Brideshead Revisited, Downton Abbey, Remains of the Day, The Shooting Party, Gosford Park). The era of television and film has redefined the place of the country house in English visual identity and culture.


Mr Jeremy Mussom | talks


Date and Time:

19 October 2016 at 10:45 am


2 hours



The University Women's Club
2 Audley Square

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