A place for the meeting of minds . . .

“Thank you, thank you, thank you. I never would have read Ulysses but am very glad that I have. It was frustrating, moving, enigmatic, and uplifting – and that was just the first page. It – and the salon – were also a gift for me this year. Life has been challenging and the Salon was a pocket of time when everything else went away. It was a rare moment  in which I was truly immersed in the here and now. And that doesn’t seem to happen much these days.”  

Ulysses Salon participant 

Image credit: Jose Barba www.jajed.com
Great Ideas, Great Books

Our monthly study of foundational texts continues 17 December with the Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound

Coming Travel Studies 2019-2020

Literary adventures abound: Javier Marías in Valencia, The Odyssey and then The Iliad in Greece, Henry James and Dacia Maraini in Umbria with Yoga, Virginia Woolf in St Ives, Henry James in Rye

Dubliners - Two Meetings

“One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.”
James Joyce, Dubliners

Joyce's Ulysses

“Plenty to see and hear and feel yet. Feel live warm beings near you. They aren’t going to get me this innings. Warm beds: warm full blooded life.”

On-going Proust studies

“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader’s recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book’s truth.” 

Welcome to the London Literary Salon

The London Literary Salon creates community around the study of great literature and ideas.

In light of the global crisis facing us, all of the Salons are now offered virtually, using face-to-face video conferencing that recreates the live, interactive, small-group experience of our in-person Salons.  We will offer some donation-only studies alongside the regular-priced opportunities. In recognition of the extraordinary stress of the times and the need for connection that the Salon offers, if you are interested in a study but are unable to pay, please contact the facilitator. We will also offer free tutorials on the conference platform. 

The Salon offers unique discussion-based studies of outstanding works of fiction, philosophy, poetry and drama. We welcome all readers with a curiosity and openness to the insights of others—no academic preparation is necessary.

Our expert facilitators help to weave the ideas of participants with questions the books raise about what it is to be human. We visit realms imagined by writers and thinkers from ancient times to modern.

Studies range from one-meeting intensives to six-month and two-year odysseys, along with travel retreats to locations around the UK and Europe.

Click here to read more about the Salon experience or browse upcoming studies below.

What's coming up this year?

june 2020

20may(may 20)5:30 pm03jun(jun 3)7:30 pmThe Waste Land Salon: Three EveningsTHIS STUDY IS NOW FULL(may 20) 5:30 pm - (june 3) 7:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Three weeks

01jun5:00 pm7:00 pmUlysses by James Joyce: Second half Virtual IntensiveFirst Half of Ulysses in 8 weeks 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Three weeks

02jun(jun 2)5:00 pm16(jun 16)7:00 pmJazz by Toni Morrison Three-week study5:00 pm - 7:00 pm (16) Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Three weeks

10jun5:00 pm9:30 pmSodom & Gomorrah -- Volume IV of Proust's In Search of Lost Time5:00 pm - 9:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Three months

22jun4:00 pm6:00 pmInvisible Man by Ralph EllisonVIRTUAL STUDY4:00 pm - 6:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Two months

23jun4:00 pm6:00 pmHamlet by William Shakespeare4:00 pm - 6:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Four weeks

23jun7:00 pm9:30 pmToni Morrison's A Mercy7:00 pm - 9:30 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Two weeks

september 2020

05sep(sep 5)12:00 pm12(sep 12)12:00 pmHomer's Odyssey in Greece: One-week immersionNew Dates12:00 pm - 12:00 pm (12) Island of Agistri, GreeceType Of Study:TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:Eight Days

october 2020

09oct(oct 9)5:00 pm11(oct 11)2:00 pmHenry James in Rye: A Portrait of a Lady Weekend Retreat**STUDY FULL**5:00 pm - 2:00 pm (11) The Mermaid Inn Rye SussexType Of Study:Literature,TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:Weekend

14oct(oct 14)6:00 pm18(oct 18)12:00 pmThe Years by Virginia Woolf Five-day study in St Ives *NEW DATES*Immersive Study of Woolf's family saga in her beloved Cornwall6:00 pm - 12:00 pm (18) St Ives, CornwallType Of Study:Literature,TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:Five days

january 2021

12jan12:00 pm2:00 pmUlysses by James Joyce: First-timers Afternoon and Evening options12:00 pm - 2:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six months

12jan7:45 pm9:45 pmUlysses Second Tour: Evening Sessions January 20217:45 pm - 9:45 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six months

Can't find what you're looking for?

Would you like to study something else? Have a look at our past salons to see what events we have run previously.

Or do you have a suggestion for a salon? We'd love to hear your ideas. Please let us know.

“A place for the meeting of minds- to connect, to agree and disagree and to use books as a means through which to ponder the various aspects of human existence and experience in all of its messy glory.” — Ulysses Salonista 

 

Thank you to Jose Barba for the wonderful illustrations he has created for the London Literary Salon. Click on the images below to enlarge and scroll.

Latest Salon News

Nuala’s Wake

In honour of Nuala Flynn 1954-2019 A group of Salonista have been pursuing- dancing in-- traversing Finnegans Wake since September 2017. Nuala Flynn joined us part way in-- and brought with her a passion for dream scapes, Brigid, the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Rites of...

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Literary Delights for the New Year 

December 16th, 2019 After last week’s election… In recent Salon discussions and in several social conversations, we have re-visited the question as to why we read writers who present perspectives that we now find deeply problematic. This could be in reference to...

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Nicole describes the Ulysses Salon on Bookstoker

Spend the Winter tackling Ulysses with Toby Brothers and The London Literary Salon By Nicole Hubbard (published on Bookstoker) After a chance conversation with a friend about life after 50, she casually mentioned that each year she had taken on a new project outside...

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Seven Ways to Get the Most out of Proust by Marcy Kahan

Marcy Kahan is a member of the 3rd Proust cycle in the LLS; she will be facilitating a course on Nabokov later this autumn... Seven ways to get the most out of Proust Feeling excited at the prospect of Radio 4’s Proust Marathon – the new 10-hour dramatisation of...

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Community Events

Tribute to Dr. Toni Morrison

Tribute to Dr. Toni Morrison “What does it mean to be human? FOREIGNNESS IS THE REALM OF THE CURIOUS.The dream state is where you are most vulnerable.The final frontier of home is the human body. Home is where the memory of the self dwells...” --  From 'The...

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Bootleg Bloomsday in London June 16 2019

BOOTLEG BALLOONATICS PRESENT: BLOOMSDAY IN LONDON – 16THJUNE 2019 Journey through an imaginary Dublin on the streets of Tufnell Park   For anyone unable to make it to Dublin, this year the Balloonatics offer you the chance to celebrate Bloomsday here in London....

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Roll Red Roll Screening by Women’s Equality Party

Roll Red Roll   Co-leaders of the Camden branch of the Women’s Equality Party Emma Ko and Leah Royall are excited to host a rare UK screening of ROLL RED ROLL – a chilling documentary about high-school sexual assault in small-town America. Includes a post-show...

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I would recommend courses led by Toby to anyone who wants to look at a text in detail in a study group
I was certainly surprised at how much I was thrown off balance by these two astounding writers…I look forward to returning for more
We all came to the group with different backgrounds and interests but Mark has skillfully guided us through a stimulating programme of Greek literature.
I always leave the meetings with a much broader understanding of what we are reading than when I arrived
Everyone feels they get heard and therefore that each of us has a contribution to make
In all of the courses I have attended I have felt a bond within the group, and this contributes significantly to the quality of the discussions
Lovely, intimate groups with in-depth discussions, lots of learning, and friendships are made for life there
I’ve read things I’d never dared read before.  I’ve made new friends and met really interesting people.
On facilitation
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