Summer Task - ENGLISH - Overview of course, reading list, holiday work
AQA ENGLISH LITERATURE AS
VICTORIAN LITERATURE OVERVIEW
Today you will receive two important bits of paper
1. This pack, which contains an overview of the course, a reading list and your
2. Letter to your parents explaining the texts you will need.
All the information you have been given today can be found on the blog,
There are TWO modules, one tested by exam and one tested by coursework.
COURSEWORK = 40% EXAM = 60%
TWO ESSAYS ONE TWO-HOUR EXAM.
- first essay compares two plays, A TWO QUESTIONS
Woman of No Importance by Oscar - first question is a response to an
Wilde and A Doll’s House by Henrik unseen non-fiction extract. This
Ibsen. This is due in Jan 2011 and is question tests your wider
approx 1500 words. understanding of Victorian literature
- Second essay analyses one novel, and culture.
Hard Times by Charles Dickens. This is - Second question is an analytical essay
due in Easter 2011 and is approx 1000 on the poetry of Thomas Hardy. This
words. questions tests your detailed
understanding of the set author,
Hardy. You will be given a copy of the
Thomas Hardy poetry anthology, and
we have asked you to buy and read a
biography of Thomas Hardy (A Time
Torn Man by Claire Tomalin) in order
to increase your understanding of his
TEXTS FOR WIDER READING IN UNIT ONE
The following list has been given to us by the exam board as a suggestion of what your
wider reading could include. You will not be expected to read all of these! We will also
read plenty of extracts from these texts in class. It would be a good idea if you
familiarized yourself with the names of these authors and selected one text to read in
advance of the course. Most of these texts are written by Victorians, but those with
asterisks (*) are modern works that deal with the Victorians. As well as this, many of the
plays have been made into films and are available on DVD.
Peter Ackroyd The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde* (1983)
Beryl Bainbridge Master Georgie * (1998)
Arnold Bennett Anna of the Five Towns (1902)
Andrew Drummond An Abridged History * (2004)
Elizabeth Gaskell Mary Barton (1848)
G. & W. Grossmith The Diary of a Nobody (1892)
Andrew Martin The Necropolis Railway * (2002)
Herman Melville Redburn (1849)
William Morris News from Nowhere (1891)
Robert Louis Stevenson The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)
Matthew Arnold Culture and Anarchy (1869)
Thomas Carlyle Selected Writings (Penguin)
John Clare Selected Letters (OUP)
Elizabeth Gaskell The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857)
Edmund Gosse Father and Son (1907)
Marx and Engels The Communist Manifesto (1848)
John Ruskin Selected Writings (Penguin)
The Brontës A Life in Letters (ed. Barker)
Henry Thoreau Walden (1854)
Oscar Wilde De Profundis (1905)
Peter Ackroyd Dickens * (1990)
Juliet Barker The Brontës * (1994)
Jonathan Bate John Clare * (2003)
Quentin Bell A Life in Letters (ed. Barker)
Barbara Dennis The Victorian Novel * (2000)
Terry Eagleton Heathcliff and the Great Hunger * (1996)
Richard Ellman Oscar Wilde (1988)
Lytton Strachey Eminent Victorians (1918)
Jenkins and John Re-reading Victorian Fiction * (2002)
Claire Tomalin Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man * (2006)
Anonymous Maria Marten, or Murder in the Red Barn (1840)
J.M. Barrie The Admirable Crichton (1902)
Dion Boucicault The Streets of London (1864)
Terry Eagleton Saint Oscar (1989)
Brian Friel The Home Place * (2005)
Patrick Hamilton Gaslight (1939)
David Hare The Judas Kiss * (1998)
Arthur Wing Pinero The Second Mrs Tanqueray (1893)
Harold Pinter The French Lieutenant’s Woman (screenplay) (1981)
George Bernard Shaw Mrs Warren’s Profession (1894
George Bernard Shaw Arms and the Man (1898)
Tom Stoppard The Invention of Love * (1997)
Tom Taylor The Ticket-of-Leave Man (1863)
Oscar Wilde Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892)
Oscar Wilde An Ideal Husband (1895)
Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Gerald Manley Hopkins
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
TEXTS IN TRANSLATION
Anton Chekhov Crime and Punishment (1866)
Feodor Dostoevsky Uncle Vanya (1897)
Gustave Flaubert Madame Bovary (1857)
Gustave Flaubert Sentimental Education (1869)
Nikolai Gogol The Government Inspector (1836)
Henrik Ibsen An Enemy of the People (1882)
August Strindberg Miss Julie (1888)
Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina (1875)
Emile Zola Germinal (1885)
Emile Zola La Bête Humaine (1890)
Year 11 into 12 holiday work
You have THREE tasks to do over the holidays.
1. Buy and read A Doll’s House and A Woman of No Importance. It is
VERY important you read these by the start of next term because we
will start the piece of coursework on them straight away
2. Complete the writing task on this sheet.
3. Complete the writing task overleaf.
You should also buy A Time Torn Man and Hard Times, (see the letter to
your parents for the details of these) but you don’t have to start reading
Read this extract carefully. This is the first paragraph of Bleak House, a novel by Charles
Dickens. In it, he describes London on a cold and wet November day.
London. Michaelmas term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn
Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had
but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a
Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill.
Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of
soot in it as big as full-grown snowflakes—gone into mourning, one might imagine, for
the death of the sun. Dogs, undistinguishable in mire. Horses, scarcely better; splashed
to their very blinkers. Foot passengers, jostling one another's umbrellas in a general
infection of ill temper, and losing their foot-hold at street-corners, where tens of
thousands of other foot passengers have been slipping and sliding since the day broke
(if this day ever broke), adding new deposits to the crust upon crust of mud, sticking at
those points tenaciously to the pavement, and accumulating at compound interest.
Write a 500 word analysis of this extract’s presentation of London in Victorian times.
• The writer’s presentation of London and the weather
• The writer’s choice of words and phrases, in particular the use of extended
• Any other texts you feel this can be compared to.
Read the following extract carefully. It is by Ada Nield Chew, a young woman who taken from worked as
a tailoress in a factory in Crewe. She wrote a series of anonymous letters to the Crewe Chronicle about
working conditions in the factory. When her identity was discovered, an uproar ensued and she was fired.
This extract is from the second letter.
Sir, — In your issue of 5 May you were good enough to publish a letter of mine on the
above subject, and also to invite me to write you further on our wages, hours of work,
and conditions of employment.
To take an average of a year's wage of the 'average ordinary hand', which was
the class I mentioned in my first letter, and being that which is in a majority may be
taken as fairly representative. The wages of such a 'hand', sir, will barely average — but
by exercise of the imagination — 8 shillings a week. I ought to say, too, that there is a
minority, which is also considerable, whose wages will not average above 5 shillings a
week. What do you think of it, Mr. Editor, for a 'living' wage?
I wish some of those, whoever they may be who mete it out to us, would try to
'live' on it for a few weeks, as the factory girl has to do 52 weeks in a year. To pay board
and lodging, to provide herself decent boots and clothes to stand all weathers, to pay an
occasional doctor's bill, literature, and a holiday away from the scope of her daily
drudging, for which even the factory girl has the audacity to long sometimes — but has
quite as often to do without. Not to speak of provision for old age, when eyes have
grown too dim to thread the everlasting needle, and to guide the worn fingers over the
accustomed task. Yet this is a question which some of us, at least, ought to face, ignore
it as we may, and are compelled to do.
I have myself, repeatedly, five nights a week, besides Saturday afternoons, for
weeks at a time, regularly taken four hours, at least, work home with me, and have
done it. It will be unnecessary to point out how fearfully exhausting and tedious it is to
sit boring at the same thing for 14 or 15 hours at a stretch.
But we are not asking for pity, sir, we ask for justice. Surely it would not be more
than just to pay us at such a rate, that we could realise a living wage — in the true sense
of the words — in a reasonable time, say one present working day of from 9 to 10 hours
— till the eight hour day becomes general, and reaches even factory girls. Our work is
necessary (presumably) to our employers. Were we not employed others would have to
be, and if of the opposite sex, I venture to say, sir, would have to be paid on a very
different scale. Why, because we are weak women, without pluck and grit enough to
stand up for our rights, should we be ground down to this miserable wage ?
Write a 500 word analysis of this letter’s presentation of life in Victorian times.
• The writer’s presentation of factory work
• The writer’s choice of words and phrases
• Any other texts you feel this can be compared to.