I’m Dr James Alsop, your friendly neighbourhood English teacher! I’ve taught GCSE and A-Level English for the last decade, helping hundreds of students to achieve great grades and embrace a love of learning (and dreadful jokes).
I’ve presented guest lectures at schools and universities, and have published articles on student wellbeing, drama, and literary history.
Explore the links at the top of the page for free commentaries and analyses of GCSE and A-Level texts, as well as occasional literature reviews.
There’s also plenty of support for teachers, including suggestions for quick and effective classroom strategies designed to free up time and improve learning. I’ve made just about every mistake imaginable over the years; hopefully I can help you to avoid doing the same!
All of the content on Writus Andronicus is 100% free, but if you’re enjoying reading my stuff and fancy buying me a coffee then hit the tip button below! I can’t promise that it’ll help me churn out content any more quickly, but, speaking as a new dad, I need all the caffeine I can get right now…!
Lungs ~ a poem for Felix
While drying the last of the evening dishes,I heard your cry from an upstairs room,And then once more, not quite in stereo,This time from the hall: the monitorWith a half-second delay. As your voice rose in chorus with itself,For the briefest moment I was drawn to you bothLike air rushing to fill eager lungs.For you,…
Why does Mr Birling “clearly relax” when Edna leaves the room? (#LivesIntertwined pt. 6)
Why does Mr Birling only relax when Edna leaves the room? It’s the first of several such moments during the play where we’re given the distinct impression that Arthur feels uncomfortable around his staff. Let’s explore why this may be the case.
The port before the storm… (#LivesIntertwined pt. 5)
These first lines of dialogue in AIC – and the drink choice! – reveal so much about the personalities of the key players, and about relationships between characters.
60 Seconds(ish) Video Review: Manga Shakespeare – ‘Romeo and Juliet’, illustrated by Sonia Leong
Sonia Leong’s gorgeous art style and keen eye for the theatrical make this the perfect introduction to one of Shakespeare’s greatest love stories!
“Heavily comfortable” in the Birling residence (#LivesIntertwined pt. 4)
Priestley’s opening stage directions are a terrific introduction to the play. There’s such a lot here to unpack here, and every individual component contributes to a sense of palpable unease…
60 Seconds(ish) Video Review: “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”, by Charlie Mackesy
Enjoy this video review of a book that came into my life at exactly the right time, Charlie Mackesy’s ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’ (2019). Find out what makes this book so special and so powerful!
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Free English Literature content for students and teachers, covering GCSE and A-Level texts and much more!
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