Summer School Week Two – Crime, Social History and Literature with Diane Janes


Summer school

Residential course

Diane Janes

16 August 2020 to 22 August 2020

From £56 per day non-resident

Book now


A week of real-life murder cases, compelling storytelling and baffling mysteries! Diane Janes spins an overarching theme that embraces the world of crime, social history and literature. Attend all week or by the day, whatever you do you’ll be gripped and entertained.

Residential Fees From: £868.   Non Residential: £280 (There is no Patrons discount for this course)

Monday 17th – You the Jury
Become part of a jury and consider two contrasting, real-life cases of alleged murder, which came before the British courts in the 1920s. In each case you will listen to the evidence, considering a variety of material, including contemporary maps and plans, before discussing the cases with your fellow jury members, then delivering your verdicts. Both cases have been personally researched by the tutor and have not been presented at Dillington previously. No distressing crime scene photographs will be shown. Participants will find a pen, a notebook and an open mind useful.

Tuesday 18th – The Story of Detection
Solving crime is generally perceived as being at the heart of policing, but this has not always been the case. This day will explore how the British police force grew from its Anglo-Saxon Watch and Ward roots to become a world leader in modern policing methods, looking at the development of investigative police work from its early days right up to modern times. We will look at some landmark cases, ‘forensic firsts’ and probably shatter a few myths along the way.

Wednesday 19th – You the Jury
Another chance for you to serve on the Dillington Summer School jury. Two more cases will be presented for your consideration, this time dating from the 1960s and 1970s. As on Monday, the group will consider the evidence including maps, plans and photographs (no material of a distressing nature will be shown) discuss what you have learned about each case, then deliver your verdicts. Both cases have been personally researched by the tutor and neither has been presented at Dillington previously.

Thursday 20th – The History of Crime Writing
Why is crime writing, both factual and fictional, so popular? And where did it all begin? Certainly not with Wilkie Collins’s ‘The Moonstone’ in spite of anything T S Elliott may have had to say on the subject! Today we will be looking at the origins and development of both genres, considering the crossover between the two and exploring why mayhem and murder have proved enduringly popular with the reading public.

Friday 21st – A Day of Mystery and Imagination
From the depths of Loch Ness to the summit of Mount Everest, via the Bermuda Triangle, there has always been an appetite for a good mystery. Today we will undertake a whistle-stop tour of various mysteries, including unsolved murders, alleged hauntings, infamous disappearances and one or two notorious tall tales, exploring the crossover from fact to fiction and back again, considering the relationship between traditional storytelling and urban legends, and attempting to get to the bottom of our own fascination with the unsolved and the unknown. As a famous TV show once had it ‘The truth is out there’ – the question is, do we really want to find it?

Tutor information

Diane Janes is an award-winning author, who has written five highly regarded crime novels and four respected factual books on real life historical murders. She is regularly invited to lecture on crime and social history to a wide variety of audiences, in locations as diverse as cruise ships and village halls, and her first work of non-fiction, Edwardian Murder: Ightham & the Morpeth Train Robbery is now referenced in academic text books on the history of policing. She has personally researched each of the cases chosen for the Dillington jury’s consideration.

Her published work includes the novels:
The Magic Chair Murder
The Poisoned Chalice Murder
Stick or Twist
Swimming in the Shadows
Why Don’t You Come For Me?
The Pull of the Moon

Death at Wolf’s Nick
The Case of the Poisoned Partridge
Poisonous Lies – The Croydon Arsenic Mystery
Edwardian Murder – Ightham & the Morpeth Train Robbery