Read the entire “Don’t Go to Art School” series:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

* * *

Welcome back! For Year Two of our Nearly-Free English Degree, we’ll be covering the Old English through Renaissance times. Each “course” below is worth one credit.

schoolYou’ll need to pick three of them, for at least two of the groups, and then pick three electives. One of these other electives can be another literature class from any of the categories for any year, but two of them should be non-English courses from the selections that I’ll give you once we’ve covered the English ones.

For each course, you’ll follow the same work pattern: consult Wikipedia for the “lecture” before you read each book, and then do the reading, using the study techniques you developed in Year One. (Quiller-Couch’s methods or the highly recommended notebook-based self-study techniques used in the recommended but non-free Bauer title.)

Ready? Pick three classes:

* * *


Option 1 | Old English: The Tale of Beowulf

 Beowulf: An Introduction to the Study of the Poem

 The Translations of Beowulf by C. Tinker

 The Tale of Beowulf by W. Morris and A. Wyatt (prose translation)

 Beowulf by F. Gummere (verse translation)

 Beowulf: The Fight at Finssburh (original Old English)


Option 2 | Middle English: Legends of Arthurian Times

 The Age of Chivalry by T. Bullfinch

 The Handbook to English Heraldry by C. Boutell

 The Legends of King Arthur and his Knights by T. Malory and J. Knowles

 Le More D’Arthur by T. Malory

 Idylls of the Kings by A. Lord Tennyson

 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by M. Twainschool


Note: Project Gutenberg has a Complete Works of Shakespeare available here, as well as individual titles of the works listed. You may prefer to purchase an inexpensive Complete Works edition by another publisher at the store of your choosing; many of them contain images, linked table of contents and other goodies.

Option 3 | The Renaissance: Studies in Shakespeare 1 (Selected Comedies)

 As You Like It

 The Merchant of Veniceschool

 A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 The Taming of the Shrew

 The Tempest

 Twelfth Night

Option 4 | Studies in Shakespeare 2 (Selected Tragedies)

• Romeo and Juliet

 Julius Caesar



 King Lear


Option 5 | Studies in Shakespeare 3 (Selected Histories)

 Henry IV, Part 1

 Henry IV, Part 2

 Henry V

 Richard II

 Richard II

 Henry VIII

Option 6 | Shakespeare’s Contemporaries

 The Spanish Curate by F. Beaumont and J. Fletcher

 The Noble Spanish Soldier by T. Dekker

 The Alchemist by B. Jonson

 Arden of Feversham by T. Kyd

 Hero and Leander by C. Marlowe

 The White Devil by J. Webster


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail