More classic insights

30th October 1998 at 00:00
HODDER ENGLISH 4
Literature Study Books
Edited by Sue Hackman, Alan Howe and Patrick Scott.

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
by Thomas Hardy
Edited by Chris Marshall.

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
By William Shakespeare
Edited by Jo Shackleton

AN INSPECTOR CALLS
By J B Priestley.
Edited by Jean Moore and John Catron
Hodder #163;1.99 each

Hodder English has established itself deservedly as a major language resource in secondary schools and its range of literature study books, aimed at GCSE, marks out a significant difference from its rivals. The books seek to provide a full range of activities and insights into a growing corpus of frequently selected texts.

They have a lot of good competition: there is a strong consensus now on what constitutes worthwhile literary study at key stage 4. Are there intrinsic virtues in these books which make them worth having.

I think there is. For a start, they are beautifully produced: sturdily made, finely printed and illustrated, with clear,inviting and highly practical layout. There is an editorial team behind them with a track record known to many teachers, inspiring confidence and producing consistency.

There is care not just for the integrity of the text being studied, but for the methodology used. Pupils respond to the texts with reading, writing, speaking and listening: the indivisibility of English as a subject is never lost sight of.

But what makes the books most worth having is the understanding of the texts themselves: not only in their historical and social contexts, but also as aesthetic objects obeying laws and structures of their own. I recommend them strongly.

Dennis Hamley is a former English adviser for Hertfordshire

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now