Modern Literature Live

Modern Literature Live 2024-2025


In this live class, read and discuss great books. In weekly Zoom meetings, you will march from the end of Christendom to the modern day, from chivalric romances to the Cold War. Learn how to write and talk about literature and deal with literary criticism. Pair with Dave Raymond’s Modernity to add history credit, or take the course as an introduction to high school literature.

Enrollment Limited


Modern Literature Live traces literature from the late Middle Ages to the Cold War. Students will read around fourteen books and short stories as well as write essays containing personal opinion and outside criticism.

The class will meet once per week over Zoom. Because our teacher is continuing her education for the next few months, the exact day and time is TBD. If you register for the class, you will ensure a spot for your student. If the day and time of the class doesn’t fit your schedule when it is announced, you will be eligible for a refund of the class cost.

The format will be discussion-based with short lectures focused on historical context. Diagnosing particular literary elements through plot, character, and point of view is an essential aspect of this class. Students will leave the class with a well rounded view of literature, a solid foundation in writing, and a love of books. The course can be used alongside Dave Raymond’s Modernity course but is also structured to stand alone.

List of Readings

Bold items need to be purchased separately. Any unabridged editions will do for all except Don Quixote.

  1. Don Quixote (selections), Miguel de Cervantes [Ideally the Ormsby translation.]
  2. Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
  3. The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan
  4. The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Orczy
  5. Emma, Jane Austen
  6. Sherlock Holmes (selections), Arthur Conan Doyle
  7. Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman
  8. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
  9. All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  11. “In Flanders Field” by John McCrae & “Memorial for 1940” by John Gould Fletcher
  12. The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom
  13. Animal Farm, George Orwell
  14. Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

Schedule of Class Meetings

Because our teacher is continuing her education for the next few months, the exact day and time is TBD.

Mary Pierson Purifoy has completed a history degree and was homeschooled until college. An avid reader and writer, she hopes to teach students to love books, writing, and history as well as a solid understanding of these subjects. Film is another passion as is exploring history through film and literature.

Additional information





1 HS

Credit Amount


31 (planned)


– Zoom meetings
– Moderated discussion group on

1 review for Modern Literature Live 2024-2025

  1. Robin

    We actually dropped a local literature class to take this and it is the best homeschooling lit class we have ever taken so far. None other had given us so many interesting historical backgrounds to make the books come alive. This was the second literature class my daughter has ever taken so we really appreciate the pace, the easy-going nature and the encouragement you are to the students in the discussions and the writing assignments. Thank you again for teaching! We so appreciate your tutelage.

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