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


In depth study –  12 May

Sylvia Plath’s poem Wintering is a tour de force evoking cold and despair but, ultimately, hope for the coming spring.

Over the course of two hours we will study Wintering in depth, look at its form and construction and, through repeated readings, unlock the secrets of this acclaimed poem.


In depth study – 3 June 

Birches is one of Robert Frost’s most widely admired and anthologised poems.  Over the course of two hours, we will work towards a deeper understanding of the poem through repeated readings, analysis and discussion.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Beginning 10 June – Morning or Evening sessions

“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”

Beloved is regarded by many as Morrison’s best work, and once you have spent some time in the text, it is easy to understand why. Morrison works to help the reader grasp the psychological devastation wreaked by the institution of slavery by close observation of a community of ex-slaves creating lives in Ohio in the second half of the 19th century.

Coming Travel Studies 2021

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

On-going Proust studies

In Search of Lost Time Vol. V & VI – The Captive and the Fugitive

“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.” 

Joyce's Ulysses - Online Study

For first timers – afternoon and evening options

“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.”

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?

july 2021

07jul6:00 pm8:00 pmSANDPIPER BY ELIZABETH BISHOP**This Study is Now Full**6:00 pm - 8:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One day

21jul5:00 pm8:00 pmJazz by Toni Morrison Two-night study5:00 pm - 8:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Two meetings

21jul6:00 pm8:00 pmTHE TYGER by William Blake6:00 pm - 8:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One day

august 2021

04aug2:00 pm4:00 pmGerard Manley Hopkins: The Windhover*NEW DATE*2:00 pm - 4:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One day

16aug1:00 pm3:30 pmThe Best of Shakespeare: A Session of Poetry from ‘the Bard of All Bards’Evening session full; NEW TIME available 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off Event

september 2021

08sep6:00 pm8:00 pmLong Ago and Far Away: Egil's Saga6:00 pm - 8:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:Literature,PhilosophyFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Ongoing

13sep3:00 pm5:00 pmThe Guermantes Way -- Volume III of Proust's In Search of Lost TimeVIRTUAL STUDY3:00 pm - 5:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Three months

14sep4:00 pm6:15 pmHomer's Odyssey4:00 pm - 6:15 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Eight weeks

14sep5:00 pm7:00 pmThe Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner*New Study! *5:00 pm - 7:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Five weeks

15sep5:00 pm7:00 pmTHE WINGS OF THE DOVE BY HENRY JAMES5:00 pm - 7:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Nine weeks

22sep5:00 pm9:30 pmTime Regained- Final Volume of Proust's SearchSTUDY FULL5:00 pm - 9:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Eleven weeks

29sep6:00 pm12:00 pmThe Years by Virginia Woolf Five-day study in St Ives *NEW DATES*STUDY FULL Immersive Study of Woolf's family saga in Cornwall6:00 pm - 12:00 pm St Ives, CornwallType Of Study:Literature,TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:Five days

october 2021

06oct1:30 pm3:31 pmFinnegans Wake- The Slow Read1:30 pm - 3:31 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Nine weeks

07oct2:00 pm7:00 pmMoby Dick by Herman MelvilleNEW STUDY!2:00 pm - 7:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Three months

11oct5:30 pm7:00 pmMrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf: Five weeksVIRTUAL STUDY 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Five weeks

november 2021

01nov6:00 pm8:00 pmTHE DUCHESS OF MALFI BY JOHN WEBSTER6:00 pm - 8:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Seven weeks

january 2022

11jan2:30 pm7:00 pmUlysses by James Joyce: First-timers Afternoon and Evening options*100 year Anniversary special*2:30 pm - 7:00 pm VIRTUALType 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.

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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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