Bright Young Things
From Thursday the 7th of January until the morning of Monday the 11th of January 2021
This course will cover everything from key works of literature to popular music and cultural icons. We shall hear about the decadent party-life (and death) of the millionaire Harry Crosby, the mysterious Inverness-to-London night-journey of the Prince of Wales in connection with a notorious murder, the activities of Al Capone, and the music and dance of the cocktail set (including some classic original revue recordings).
The course will include scenes from plays by the course-leader (about the so-called murder at the Ritz and the tragic Edith Thompson case) and will include DVD excerpts, one being a showing of the classic Jazz Age movie, Some Like It Hot. We shall also consider the downside of the ‘age of pleasure’, exemplified in texts such as Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies and A Handful of Dust and we shall end with a quiz to Jazz Age musical accompaniment. Dancing the Charleston is optional!
From Sunday the 14th of February until the morning of Friday the 19th of February 2021
This course will take a comprehensive look at Jane Austen’s life and work but will also put her in context. Jane, after all, lived mainly through a time of war, a relation by marriage was guillotined in the French Revolution, the British Prime Minister was assassinated, there were bread riots, and the country indulged an outpouring of grief at the death of Princess Charlotte equally only by the Princess Diana phenomenon. Other aspects included the grisly Ratcliffe Highway murders (Jane was interested!), the killing of Martha Ray (opera-singer and mistress to the Earl of Sandwich), the notorious Cult of Sentiment, and marvellous developments in the theatre, of which Jane was an avid follower. All this and more will come your way in a course suited both for those with no specialist knowledge and those who know and love Jane already. We shall even have excerpts from a play by our course-leader (about the Prime Minister’s assassination). The course will be supplemented by relevant DVD’s and we shall end with the usual wonderful quiz where the booby prizes are as good as those for the winners
There is no supplementary charge for single accommodation on any of our activity breaks, and as normal, we can arrange free transport (on arrival and departure) between the hotel and the bus and railway stations.
Details about all of our activity breaks are readily available - either download a copy from this section, ask for them during you stay, or just telephone the hotel and ask us to forward a programme for whatever activity you are interested in.