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The Great Fall: The effect on the arts

The Great Fall: The effect on the arts Copyrighted image Credit: Alexander Vasilyev | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 03 Nov 2014
The fall of the Berlin Wall had a great impact, especially in the world of the arts. 

Download free eBooks

Featuring: ActivityActivity
Download free eBooks Copyrighted image Credit: © Enzodebe | Dreamstime.com - Ebook Reader Photo
Updated 29 Oct 2014
Inspired by the BBC Four series The Secret Life of Books, we have produced a collection of free eBooks for you to download and enjoy.

Outside the book

Featuring: VideoVideo
Outside the book Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 28 Oct 2014
Delve into the surprising world of literary theory with these five quirky animations, narrated by comedian Josie Long. 

Outside the book: The book

Featuring: VideoVideo
Outside the book: The book Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 28 Oct 2014
What is a book? From scrolls and paperbacks to e-books, this video portrays the history and future of books. 

Outside the book: The author

Featuring: VideoVideo
Outside the book: The author Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 28 Oct 2014
Drawing on the cases of Byron, George Eliot and others, the concept of the author is outlined in this video. 

Outside the book: Two styles of love

Featuring: VideoVideo
Outside the book: Two styles of love Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 28 Oct 2014
This video conveys how love expressed in Petrarchan and Libertine poetry says a lot about renaissance patriarchy.

Outside the book: Tragedy

Featuring: VideoVideo
Outside the book: Tragedy Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 28 Oct 2014
Discover how renaissance tragedies such as Hamlet and The Duchess of Malfi emit strong moral and political messages.

Ten top tips for writing a novel

Ten top tips for writing a novel Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 28 Oct 2014
Got a novel bursting to get out? These tips from novelist and lecturer Sally O'Reilly may surprise you...

Outside the book: Comedy

Featuring: VideoVideo
Outside the book: Comedy Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 28 Oct 2014
Find out how making fun of society and social mishaps allowed writers like Shakespeare to produce great comedy. 

Writing tips series

Writing tips series Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Introductory level Duration 30 mins Updated 21 Oct 2014
Break the back of that novel you're writing with these top tips from the author of Start writing: A practical introduction to creative writing....

Free OpenLearn courses.
Free extracts from OU course materials

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Approaching poetry

Free CourseFree Course
Approaching poetry Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 20 hours Updated 11 Dec 2013
Do you want to get more out of your reading of poetry? This unit is designed to develop the analytical skills you need for a more in-depth study of...

What is poetry?

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
What is poetry? Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
Have you always wanted to try to write poetry but never quite managed to start? This unit is designed to illustrate the techniques behind both the...

Approaching plays

Free CourseFree Course
Approaching plays Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 15 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
Do you want to get more out of drama? This unit is designed to develop the analytical skills you need for a more in-depth study of literary plays....

Approaching prose fiction

Free CourseFree Course
Approaching prose fiction Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 20 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
Do you want to get more out of your reading? This unit is designed to develop the analytical skills you need for a more in-depth study of literary...

Approaching literature: Reading Great Expectations

Free CourseFree Course
Approaching literature: Reading Great Expectations Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 15 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
This unit considers some of the different ways of reading Great Expectations, based on the type of genre the book belongs to. This is one of the...

Helen Langdon's ‘Caravaggio’

Free CourseFree Course
Helen Langdon's ‘Caravaggio’ Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 04 Jul 2013
Accounts of Caravaggio's life are filled with suggestions of murder and intrigue. But does knowing more about this dark artist's experiences help...

Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners

Free CourseFree Course
Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 10 hours Updated 02 Feb 2012
This unit concentrates on Sam Selvon’s twentieth-century novel, The Lonely Londoners. It considers the depiction of migration in the text as well...

John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi

Free CourseFree Course
John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 12 hours Updated 01 Nov 2011
This unit concentrates on Acts 1 and 2 of John Webster’s Renaissance tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi. It focuses on the representation of marriage...

The poetry of Sorley MacLean

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
The poetry of Sorley MacLean Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 10 hours Updated 24 Jun 2011
Sorley Maclean (1911-1996) is regarded as one of the greatest Scottish poets of the twentieth century. This unit will introduce you to his poetry...

Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus

Free CourseFree Course
Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 15 hours Updated 22 Jun 2011
What does Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus tell us about the author and the time at which the play was written? This unit will help you to...