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Welcome to English at Warwick

More reading!

We know you're excited to start your new degree and discover a whole world of new writers and writing. Below are a few texts easily accessible online in case getting to a library or bookshop is difficult at the moment. You definitely don't need to read everything here! You might choose a few to get on with before you join us at Warwick in September. We're really looking forward to meeting you then.

English Literature

Below are some recommendations for those starting on our English Literature degree this September.


If you want to read some plays, or find out more about studying them, we recommend these:

Novels and essays

You might want to read Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness , Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or Natsume Sōseki's Kokoro. Or maybe tackle Middlemarch by Warwickshire Victorian writer George Eliot or Ngugi wa Thiongo's A Grain of Wheat.

We think you'll also like:


We recommend reading the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Other poems and readings we think you might like:

Book cover of novel Kokoro

English and History

We recommend the following to those starting our English and History degree this year:

Novels and short stories
  • Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities – core text for History & Textuality (first-year core module)
  • Alison Bechdel, Fun Home – core text for History & Textuality
  • Octavia Butler, Kindred
  • Herman Melville, ‘Benito Cereno’ – core text for Writing History (second-year core module)
Online materials

English and Theatre

If you're coming to join our English and Theatre degree, you might want to have a look at John Osborne's 1956 play Look Back in Anger, and Dominic Shellard's critical work British Theatre since the War (Yale University Press, 2000).

You might also enjoy:

  • Cyprus Avenue. A dark comedy about the legacy of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, filmed at the Royal Court Theatre in London. This is a play that we cover on the second-year core module, Drama and Democracy.
  • The Complete Plays of Oscar Wilde: we recommend The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, Lady Windermere’s Fan, and Salomé.

Cyprus Avenue on screen, Royal Court Theatre

Cyprus Avenue on screen, Royal Court Theatre