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?

july 2020

22jul5:00 pm9:30 pmTheir Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston5:00 pm - 9:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One day

september 2020

14sep7:00 pm9:30 pmToni Morrison's A Mercy7:00 pm - 9:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Two weeks

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

may 2021

02may(may 2)12:00 pm09(may 9)12:00 pmHomer's Odyssey in Greece: One-week immersionNew Dates12:00 pm - 12:00 pm (9) Island of Agistri, GreeceType Of Study:TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:Eight Days

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

LLS Press Release

  MEDIA RELEASE – 8 APRIL 2020 (for immediate release) KEEP CALM, READ ULYSSES AND CARRY ON . . . The impact of COVID-19, which initially threatened disaster, has resulted in one London business going global almost overnight. The Kentish Town-based London...

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In a Dark Time

March 16, 2020 From Toby-- We are entering into a crisis that is unknowable. There are so many difficulties in this moment-- it feels easy to get lost in the anxiety and uncertainty. My go-to coping mechanism is to DO SOMETHING-- and not just hoard toilet paper...

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March 2020: Coming studies and new postings

Courses coming with spaces remaining: Beloved four weeks starting mid-April The Years—Five-day intensive study in St Ives April (two spaces available) Yoga and Literary Retreat in Umbria early June of Henry James: The Portrait of a Lady –one space available A Mercy...

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Community Events

Rejoice in Joyce: Toby’s article in the Camden New Journal

Toby wrote an article for the Camden New Journal advocating for (what else?) the joy of Big Reads: Full article may be found here: http://camdennewjournal.com/article/review-book-club-take-time-to-rejoice-in-joyce "Does it help to know that others before us have felt...

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Life After Hummus: Community Support

Since the Corona Virus crisis began, we have all been looking for ways to reach out to those in need. The LLS has been supporting LifeAfterhummus with Salons that are donation-only-- the Salon can be joined for as little as a pound-- and the donations go to local...

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Why Read Ulysses??

Than there is the writing: to grapple with the words and linguistic pyrotechnics of James Joyce—to enter into his exploration of the body, mind and street-life, to sit in awe of his allusions, musicality, interweaving structures and thematic developments is to expand...

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Concert in Paris 15 November

The wonderful Hélène Larisch-- Paris Salonista and organiser for the Tout en Parlant association --offers this fabulous concert to raise money to support the great work of providing cultural offerings and connections for people with limited sight. 

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Outspoken Sex Ed Panel Discussion

Outspoken Sex Ed presents a panel discussion… Doing It Like The Dutch: tips for parents from Holland’s world-class sex ed Why are Dutch teenagers the happiest in the world? How do the Dutch talk to their children about sex and relationships? And what happened when...

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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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