'The Waste Land' is a long poem by the American writer T.S Eliot. Read an overview and view additional resources such as articles, collection items, and teacher resources.
'Their Lonely Betters' is a short, four-stanza lyric poem by W.H. Auden. Read an overview and view additional resources such as articles, collection items, and teacher resources.
Written by Caryl Churchill in 1982, "Top Girls" was one of the first plays to engage directly with Thatcherism. Read an overview of "Top Girls" and view additional resources such as articles, collection items, and videos.
Part of the British Library's On-line Gallery series. This section explores, in comprehensive detail, the American Revolution. The Gallery includes an introduction, a timeline of events and lots of documentary and pictorial evidence. There is also a PDF download for older students: 'The American Revolution, a historiographical introduction.'
Professor John Bowen explores truth, fiction, repression, and freedom in George Orwell's iconic 1949 novel, "Nineteen Eighty-Four". The film is shot at Senate House in London, formerly the Ministry of Information, and the building on which Orwell based the Ministry of Truth. [13:12]
"Oh What a Lovely War" changed the landscape of British theatre and had a major impact on perceptions of the First World War. Here actor Murray Melvin discusses his memories of the original Theatre Workshop production and describes Joan Littlewood's radically experimental working methods. [13:28]
Read a summary on Virginia Woolf's impact on 20th Century literature and view additional resources such as related articles, collection items, and teacher resources.
Professor Elaine Showalter explores modernity, consciousness, gender, and time in Virginia Woolf's ground-breaking work, "Mrs. Dalloway". The film is shot around the streets of London, as well as at the British Library and at Gordon Square in Bloomsbury where Virginia and her siblings lived in the early 20th century. The film offers rare glimpses into the manuscript draft of the novel. [18:48]
Dr. Santanu Das explores the manuscript for Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum Est', revealing new insights into the composition of one of World War One's most well-known poems. [9:34]
Read an overview of "To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Wolff and view additional resources such as articles, collection items, and teacher resources.
Read an overview of the play "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett and view additional resources such as articles, collection items, and teacher resources.
Actor Murray Melvin talks about how he went from being the tea boy at Theatre Royal Stratford East to playing the role of Geof in the original production of Shelagh Delaney's "A Taste of Honey" in 1958. He sheds light on the challenges of playing a gay character at a time when homosexuality was illegal, and the collaborative process of bringing the play to the stage under the directorship of Joan Littlewood. [18:38]
Students will consider the two elements of fantasy and realism that combine to create the compelling narrative in Wuthering Heights (1847). In this activity, students will explore the significance of nature within the narrative, its Gothic elements, and the backdrop of Northern industrialization. [PDF]
Learn about plantation life during the 18th and 19th centuries by viewing images, maps, and text material in this virtual exhibition from the British Library. Writer Mike Phillips gives his personal interpretation of this exhibit on sugar, slavery, and the making of the West Indies.
Professor John Bowen and Ann Dinsdale discuss the childhood writings and experiences of the Bronte sisters, exploring how these shaped their later writing in novels such as Jane Eyre. [7:15]
Oliver Goldsmith published several critiques of audiences and playwrights before writing a laughing comedy that was the triumph of its season and that continues to be performed today. This article introduces "She Stoops to Conquer", which uses satire to explore divisions between city and countryside, men and women, and rich and poor.