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Toby Brothers

Director of the Paris and London Literary Salons

Toby Brothers (MA Education, Literature, Counseling Psychology) conceived of, developed and leads the Literary Salon in London and Paris.

Her experience includes teaching literary seminars in areas that range from creative writing to women’s literature and film, world religions and wisdom traditions, African American Literature to Shakespeare for adults, secondary and primary school students.

She has worked as a master teacher and a mentor teacher and has over 25 years of innovative teaching and seminar experience in France, the USA, Japan and beyond.

Her post-graduate studies include advanced degrees in education, literature and psychology and a broad expanse of humanities and world religions course work.

Jane Wymark

Jane Wymark (BA Hons Drama Birmingham University) has worked extensively as an actor on stage and screen. Her early career included seasons at various provincial repertory theatres playing a variety of roles – from Bianca in Taming of the Shrew to Irina in Three Sisters and a version of Lucrezia Borgia in David Hare and Howard Brenton’s resetting of the Borgia dynasty in 1970s Nottingham. She played Morwenna in the original Poldark series on BBC; and Ophelia to Derek Jacobi’s Hamlet at the Old Vic and on a world tour which included Denmark and Shanghai.

After a five-year break living abroad (Dhaka and Copenhagen) Jane returned to acting and amongst a number of roles is probably best known for playing Joyce Barnaby in Midsomer Murders. She has also run drama workshops in schools for the National Theatre education department, worked as a continuity announcer for BBC television and Radio 4, and as a tutor at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Caroline Hammond

Caroline Donnelly was born and grew up in Toronto.  After reading I Capture The Castle when she was twelve she vowed to live one day in the United Kingdom and 10 years after that left Canada for London.  She has lived there ever since, working in various fields including HR and Learning and Development.

Caroline began writing poetry ten years ago and under her pen name, Caroline Hammond, her poems have appeared in Under the Radar, Finished Creatures and the Adriatic Magazines and the Ink Sweat and Tears Twelve Days of Christmas Feature. She has contributed to The Emma Press Anthology of Contemporary Gothic Verse and the Black Bough Poetry Christmas and Winter Edition. 

She helped facilitate the Literary Salon’s Odyssey Study in Agistri, Greece in 2019 where she focused on poetic meter and modern poetry written in response to the Odyssey.  Caroline believes that everyone has more space in their lives for contemporary poetry than they realise.

Mark Cwik

Mark Cwik has been leading discussions that introduce adults of all backgrounds to the world’s greatest books for over twenty years in Chicago, Toronto and London. He was trained as a discussion facilitator while at the Great Books Foundation in Chicago and has been a passionate advocate for lifelong liberal learning since attending St. John’s College, Santa Fe and the University of Chicago’s Basic Program in Liberal Education.

Mark offers Salon studies on works across the Western intellectual tradition, with special strength in texts from Classical Greece and Rome, and Biblical and religious texts. He is equally comfortable with classic and modern novels, short stories, drama, and works of political science, philosophy and natural science.

In addition to his work with the London Literary Salon, Mark leads seminars for Toronto-based Classical Pursuits, where he is also the Education Manager, and for OnlineGreatBooks.com.

He is also an accomplished woodworker and was for 15 years in Chicago a self-employed designer and maker of bespoke, contemporary furniture.

Basil Lawrence

Basil Lawrence (BA Hons English Literature, MA Creative Writing) is the author of two novels including At the Edge of the Desert to be published by Penguin in 2021. He’s run a series of short story discussions with Jungian psychoanalysts at Waterstones, Piccadilly; and chaired an examination of Antoine Watteau’s Fête Galante in a Wooded Landscape at the Wallace Collection. He studied at the Nabokov Museum’s International Summer School under Profs Julian Connolly and Alexander Dolinin in the old Nabokov family home in Saint Petersburg.

When not working, he enjoys reading and discovering London on foot.

Geoff Brown

Geoff Brown was born on the South coast of England, in Bournemouth. He spent an early part of his childhood in Malta, and has lived in Hertfordshire since the mid-1970s. His interests range across literature, languages, cinema and music. His doctoral thesis on the work of the French director Claire Denis explored issues of relationality as mediated through the use of music in film.

He is a particular admirer of Henry James and Marcel Proust, and also counts Anthony Trollope, Don DeLillo, Henri de Balzac, Marie NDiaye and Joyce Carol Oates among his favourite authors. His facilitation style combines humour with carefully curated knowledge to challenge assumptions and illuminate the literature.

Geoff has played an active part in London salons – including trailblazing studies of Faulkner, Joyce and Woolf. Geoff’s research and resource-distillation work has also contributed to studies on Javier Marìas and Proust. He is co-facilitator of the studies of Toni Morrrison’s Jazz, and is developing a study on transgressional issues which would bring into conversation Faulkner’s novel Sanctuary and Denis’ film Les salauds (The Bastards).

Barb Turk

Barb Turk (BA Northwestern, MA National Louis) has taught primary and early secondary students in and out of the traditional classroom for more than 25 years. Originally from Montreal, she was raised in the American south before moving to Chicago and Seattle, settling in London with her family in 2007.

Barb is currently working on her dissertation for her MA in Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, as her greatest enthusiasm is reading with kids.  Her love of children’s books led her to design and teach a story-based children’s yoga curriculum for seven years prior to returning to the KS2 classroom in 2017.

Barb’s favourite children’s books vary from classics from her childhood to current titles, and she has a newfound abundant enthusiasm for graphic novels and their ability to grab the attention of even the most reluctant readers.  She thinks of herself as someone who helps kids find the keen reader they already have inside, even if they don’t yet know it.

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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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What’s coming up?

january 2021

05jan4:00 pmThe Dead by James Joyce Salon IntensiveVirtual Salon4:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One day

11jan12:30 pmMarcel Proust: In Search of Lost Time Vol. I The Way by Swann's***SALON FULL***12:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Nine weeks

11jan3:00 pmUlysses by James Joyce: First-timers Afternoon and Evening options**BOTH STUDIES NOW FULL**3:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six months

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

14jan4:00 pmMrs Dalloway by Virginia WoolfVIRTUAL STUDY 4:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Four weeks

27jan7:30 pmThe Captive & The Fugitive -- Volumes V & IV of Proust's In Search of Lost Time7:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Three months

february 2021

08feb6:00 pmHamlet by William Shakespeare with Jane Wymark6:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six Weeks

15feb6:00 pmHenry James: The Portrait of a Lady Seven-week Virtual study** New Study**6:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Seven weeks

16feb2:00 pmHomer's IliadEIGHT-MEETING VIRTUAL STUDY2:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Eight weeks

23feb4:30 pmNew Kid by Jerry Craft - *Virtual Study*Winner of the 2020 Newbery Medal for Excellence in Children's Literature4:30 pm GMT VIRTUALType Of Study:Middle Grades LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Five weeks

24feb6:00 pmThe Sonnet - Creativity and Constraint6:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Two weeks

25feb1:00 pmSanctuary by William FaulknerNEW study! 1:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:Weekly

april 2021

14apr(apr 14)6:00 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 St Ives, CornwallType Of Study:Literature,TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:Five days

may 2021

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

29may11:00 amReading the Body: Salon and Yoga retreat in Umbria DATE CHANGE11:00 am Umbria, ItalyType Of Study:TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One Week