Modern Literature Live

Modern Literature Live 2023-2024


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 science fiction. 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 weekly over Zoom on Tuesdays, from 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Central Standard Time, according to the schedule below. 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. Missionary story (selection TBD)
  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. The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom
  12. Animal Farm, George Orwell
  13. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, John le Carré
  14. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card

Schedule of Class Meetings

All Tuesdays, all scheduled from 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Central Standard Time.

  • Aug 29 — Don Quixote (selections)
  • Sep 5 — Don Quixote (selections) (cont.)
  • Sep 12 — Don Quixote (selections) (cont.)
  • Sep 19 — Robinson Crusoe
  • Sep 26 — Robinson Crusoe (cont.)
  • Oct 3 — Pilgrim’s Progress (selections)
  • Oct 10 — The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Oct 17 — Fall Break
  • Oct 24 — The Scarlet Pimpernel (cont.)
  • Oct 31 — Emma
  • Nov 7 — Emma (cont.)
  • Nov 14 — Emma (cont.)
  • Nov 21 — Thanksgiving Break
  • Nov 28 — Emma (cont.)
  • Dec 5 — Sherlock Holmes (selections)
  • Dec 11 – Jan 7 — Christmas Break
  • Jan 9 — Missionary story (TBD)
  • Jan 16 — Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Jan 23 — All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Jan 30 — All Quiet on the Western Front (cont.)
  • Feb 6 — All Quiet on the Western Front (cont.)
  • Feb 13 — Writing Assignment
  • Feb 20 — To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Feb 27 — To Kill a Mockingbird (cont.)
  • Mar 5 — Spring Break
  • Mar 12 — The Hiding Place
  • Mar 19 — The Hiding Place (cont.)
  • Mar 26 — Easter Break
  • Apr 2 — Animal Farm
  • Apr 9 — The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
  • Apr 16 — The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (cont.)
  • Apr 23 — The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (cont.)
  • Apr 30 — Ender’s Game
  • May 7 — Ender’s Game (cont.)
  • May 14 — Ender’s Game (cont.)

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


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