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Guest Post from Jana Harrison: Life as an English Major at Harlaxton College

Posted by on February 5, 2014
Photo Credit: Naomi Dreissnack –

Photo Credit: Naomi Dreissnack –

Harlaxton College is located in Lincolnshire, England and is a popular study abroad choice for WKU students as the university holds a partnership with the University of Evansville who is the owner of Harlaxton Manor.

I spent the fall semester of my junior year studying within these great halls and traveling throughout Europe on the weekends. As an English literature major, this is the perfect study abroad opportunity.

Harlaxton Manor looks and feels like Hogwarts. That’s all I need to say about that. It’s so British, and it’s just so good.

 Literature Electives

I took two – Special Topics: Jane Austen and Shakespeare. You can’t take those courses in a more fitting location.

Jane Austen

harlaxton_austenWe read five of her works, watched some of the BBC film versions, and went on a few field trips. On a Saturday, our class traveled to Chawton – the small town she spent the final eight years of her life.

We also spent an afternoon touring the grounds, gardens, and interiors of Burghley House in Stamford, Lincolnshire. This is the site that represents Rosings, Lady Catherine de harlaxton2Bourgh’s home, in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley.

Also, Mr. Darcy’s home was just a short train ride away. I did not end up visiting Chatsworth House which is the site for Pemberley in the 2005 film version, but its close proximity is another example of why Harlaxton is the ideal place for this literature course.


harlaxton3This was my favorite course. It was instructed by a British professor, and we ended up making it through about 20 of his works. With Stratford-upon-Avon only a coach ride away, we of course spent a day there walking on the same streets that William Shakespeare walked upon over 400 years ago.

Photo Credit: Naomi Dreissnack –

Photo Credit: Naomi Dreissnack –

Though the town is a bit too touristy for me, I would still go back for the opportunity to see another performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. After reading and analyzing one his earliest comedies The Comedy of Errors, we were able to watch an excellent rendition in Shakespeare’s birthplace. There was just nothing like it.


If you’re an English literature major or just a person who likes adventures, go to Harlaxton. Really.

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