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?

march 2020

24mar4:00 pm6:00 pmThe Yellow Wallpaper Short Story : Donation onlyFULL-- new study announced for week of March 30th4:00 pm - 6:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One day

30mar5:00 pm7:00 pmThe Yellow Wallpaper Short Story : Donation onlyVirtual Salon in aid of local charities5:00 pm - 7:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One day

31mar4:00 pm6:00 pmWilliam Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily: Virtual Salon for older teens4:00 pm - 6:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One day

april 2020

02apr5:00 pm7:30 pmSonny's Blues by James Baldwin 27.3: STUDY FULL5:00 pm - 7:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:One day,Two weeks

06apr5:00 pm7:00 pmUlysses by James Joyce: Eight-Week IntensiveFirst Half of Ulysses in 8 weeks 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Eight weeks

07apr6:00 pm8:30 pmToni Morrison's A MercyVIRTUAL STUDY6:00 pm - 8:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Two weeks

09apr6:00 pm8:30 pmTroy: Myth, Legend and InspirationVIRTUAL STUDY6:00 pm - 8:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Eight weeks

10apr5:00 pm7:30 pmThe Essential Socrates: Four Dialogues of PlatoVIRTUAL STUDY5:00 pm - 7:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:PhilosophyFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six Weeks

13apr2:00 pm4:00 pmInvisible Man by Ralph EllisonVIRTUAL STUDY2:00 pm - 4:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Two months

21apr7:00 pm9:00 pmBeloved by Toni Morrison 4-week studyVIRTUAL STUDY7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Four weeks

27apr5:00 pm7:00 pmJane Austen's Best: Persuasion and EmmaVIRTUAL STUDY5:00 pm - 7:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Four weeks

may 2020

15may(may 15)5:00 pm17(may 17)2:00 pmHenry James in Rye: A Portrait of a Lady Weekend Retreat**STUDY FULL**5:00 pm - 2:00 pm (17) The Mermaid Inn Rye SussexType Of Study:Literature,TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:Weekend

31may11:00 amReading the Body: Salon and Yoga retreat in Umbria11:00 am Umbria, ItalyType Of Study:TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One Week

june 2020

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

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

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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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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Community Events

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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Opportunity: Chair at Proms for St Judes Literary Festival

Sue Fox, Salonista, is also one of the founders of the Proms at St Judes Literary Festival which is celebrating nine years in 2020. She writes to see if anyone in the Salon community might be interested in the volunteer role of Lit Fest Chair:  ” The St Judes Literary...

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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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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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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.
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