Elaine Jackson

Elaine pic

My teaching at the University of Birmingham and UCE (now Birmingham City University) ranged from Victorian to contemporary literature including gender and critical practice. From 2007-2010 I taught a two-hour weekly course for the University of Warwick’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, on ‘Books & Readers’, which combined the study of the history of the book with a close reading of novels in their historical context.  I also teach literature and book history at Erdington Library as a founder member of Erdington Lunar Society/Friends of Erdington Library.  If anyone is interested in attending a class in the Erdington area, then please contact me using the information below.

I have a BA (Hons) in English and a PhD from the University of Birmingham. My thesis was on women writers of popular romance between the wars, which analysed the writing and publishing experiences of specific authors. I am particularly interested in book history and bibliography and have contributed to the Virginia Woolf Bulletin, the Encyclopaedia of British Women’s Writing 1900-1950 (Palgrave, 2005) and Book Trade Connections from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries, edited by John Hinks and Catherine Armstrong (British Library, 2008). I have also written book reviews for the Journal of the Printing Historical Society.

Spring 2020

Rotters, Tricks & Being Respectable: Reading Birmingham


This term we are concentrating on books written by Midlands authors with a Birmingham setting:  Jonathan Coe’s The Rotters’ Club (2001) and Kit de Waal’s The Trick to Time (2018).  Breaking away from our usual discussion on fiction, we will also read Lynsey Hanley’s autobiographical/social science book Respectable: Crossing the Class Divide (2017) and discuss the value of such texts in our consideration of literary novels and book history.

Please join us for a close reading and lively discussion.

This is an established and friendly tutor-led discussion group where students are encouraged to come along and share their own ideas and understanding of the texts.

Recommended Texts:

Jonathan Coe: The Rotters’ Club (2001), Penguin (2014 edn),        ISBN-13: 978-0241967768

Kit de Waal: The Trick to Time (2018), Penguin (2019 edn),              ISBN-13: 978-0241973417

Linsey Hanley: Respectable: Crossing the Class Divide (2017), Penguin, ISBN-13: 978-0141040615

Secondary reading:  This is not compulsory but the novel has been covered in other courses run by Warwickshire Leisure Studies and may come up in discussion.

Jonathan Coe: Middle England (2019), Penguin, ISBN-13: 978-0241983683

Day & Time:

Fridays – 10.00 – 12.00

Start Date:

Friday, 24th January, 2020


The Women’s Institute, 745 Warwick Road, Solihull, B91 3DG


£85.00 for ten weeks (please note that there will be no break for half-term)

Course Structure:

Week 1             Introduction to the course and an overview of  the                                           texts. The Rotters’ Club

Weeks 1-3       The Rotters’ Club

Weeks 4-6       The Trick to Time

Weeks 7-10     Respectable: Crossing the Class Divide


Coffee and biscuits are offered at a cost of 50p per students. This is collected weekly.

If you have any queries about the above course you may contact me by typing your message in the box below and clicking ‘submit’:

Please enter your contact details and a short message below and I will try to answer your query as soon as possible.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: