Where Can I Learn More About Literature?

Posted September 24, 2016 by Ely in Other / 7 Comments


Not everyone can afford, or has the time, for formal education, so I wanted to share a couple of resources today about where you can learn more about literature. This is a part of my serious Lit discussions I started in July, and then completely forgot about. Anyway, let’s pretend I’m better organized than that, and move on!

Online courses

Some of you might be aware of how much of a nerd I am. I am addicted to learning, whether that be via my University or online. One of my favourite websites in existence is Future Learn—I should clarify that I’m not sponsored (unfortunately), I just really bloody love this website. All the courses are free and are put together by Universities around the world. For some courses, you can purchase certificates to prove you’ve completed it, but it’s not necessary. They have courses for every subject under the sun, and I may or may not be obsessed.

In a similar strain, there is this post by Open Culture, which is just a list of online free Literature courses. These are on different websites, and on whole range of topics so it’s worth a search through.

Companions and Critical Editions

If you have a particular author, genre or book, you might be able to find a companion or critical edition to go with it. These are great if you want a really intense look at a particular subject.

Cambridge Companions

The ones I’ve personally seen around the most online are the Cambridge Companions to Literature and Classics. They have companions for basically everything—Children’s Literature, Latina/o American Literature, French Literature, Shakespeare etc.

Oxford and Routledge Companions

These two also do companions to texts and ideas. They have most of the same ones as Cambridge, but these seem to be less available online.

Norton Critical Editions

Also known as, the books that single-handedly got me through University. These are a little different to the companions in that they focus solely on one text. Each edition has the original text, plus a collection of critical essays and contemporary reviews. They are honestly life-saving if you need to write an essay on a particular book.


If you’re looking for some YouTube videos, the most popular choice is probably the Green brothers Crash Course Literature series. These are definitely fun, but I desperately wish there were more of these.

Another channel is The School of Life. They do videos about all sorts of things, but they have a series on Literature too. There aren’t too many out at the moment, but they’re still great.

So there it is, a few resources on where to learn more about Literature if you so desire. This is by no means an extensive list, but I might consider continuing on with this as I find new things. Of course, the best way to learn is just to keep reading!

Please let me know if you do use any of these websites, and what you think of them!


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7 responses to “Where Can I Learn More About Literature?

  1. Great list! I have an English BA and currently in grad school, so lots of lit classes for me. I think an online class when I’m out of school could be fun, though, and I love a lot of the books you mention.

    • I’m just about to finish my BA in Literature, but I’m still obsessed with learning more. I like it because we don’t get to study the sorts of things these online courses provide. I just love learning.

  2. Check out EdX for online courses! Ooh, and you can get a couple of free literary guides here and a list of free ebooks compiled by Cambridge Uni here

    Yes, I too am a nerd.

  3. THANKYOU! As someone who actually kind of enjoys reading literature, this was such an amazing post to stumble across! I don’t want to study literature intensely, like at university, but I like doing it casually in my free time, without pressuring myself, so this was PERFECT!
    Thank you!!
    Geraldine @ Corralling Books

    • I’m so glad it was helpful to you, Geraldine! I was worried this might not go down well, so it really means a lot that you enjoyed it 🙂 I hope you find some fun things to try.