Taking a Coursera.org Course in Historical Fiction

Anyone out there ever taken a free coursera.org course? I’m enjoying the adventure.  The course is called Plagues, Witches and War and is taught by Bruce Hollsinger of the University of Virginia.  It is a history of historical fiction.

There are 11,000 of us taking the course worldwide from New Zealand to northern Scotland to Egypt. It makes for lively discussion to get the points of view of so many people with experiences different from my own.

The lectures are good and the readings voluminous.  Here are some of the novels we are reading:

  • The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (Salem witch trials)
  • Fever by Mary Beth Keane (Typhoid Mary)
  • Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (plague in England)
  • The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo (ghosts and dreams in Malaysian culture, marriage to a ghost)

This will probably not be my last coursera.org course.  Free education! I’m in!



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