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

Wintering

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.

Birches

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?

june 2021

03jun6:00 pm8:00 pmBIRCHES BY ROBERT FROST6:00 pm - 8:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One day

10jun10:00 am12:30 pmBeloved by Toni Morrison 4-week study: MorningsVIRTUAL STUDY: 10:00 am - 12:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Four weeks

10jun5:00 pm7:30 pmBeloved by Toni Morrison 4-week studyVIRTUAL STUDY5:00 pm - 7:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Four weeks

11jun7:00 pm9:15 pmWomen of Greek DramaSIX-MEETING VIRTUAL STUDY7:00 pm - 9:15 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six Weeks

15jun2:00 pm3:15 pmFree Sample Discussion: The Iliad Unhurried2:00 pm - 3:15 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off Event

16jun6:00 pm8:00 pmAN ARUNDEL TOMB BY PHILIP LARKIN6:00 pm - 8:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One day

22jun4:00 pm6:00 pmTrees and Us:  A Reading and Writing Workshop for WellbeingNEW: *The Salon's first creative writing workshop*4:00 pm - 6:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:Creative writingFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Four weeks

23jun2:00 pm3:15 pmThe Iliad UnhurriedA slow reading of Homer’s tragic poem of the Trojan War2:00 pm - 3:15 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Twelve weeks

23jun6:00 pm8:00 pmLong Ago and Far Away: Egil's SagaOngoing virtual study6:00 pm - 8:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:Literature,PhilosophyFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Ongoing

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

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

16aug5:00 pm7:30 pmThe Best of Shakespeare: An Evening of Poetry from ‘the Bard of All Bards’5:00 pm - 7:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off Event

september 2021

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

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

22sep(sep 22)5:00 pm08dec(dec 8)9:30 pmTime Regained- Final Volume of Proust's SearchSTUDY FULL5:00 pm - (december 8) 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

22sep(sep 22)5:00 pm08dec(dec 8)9:30 pmTime Regained- Final Volume of Proust's SearchSTUDY FULL(september 22) 5:00 pm - (december 8) 9:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Eleven weeks

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

november 2021

22sep(sep 22)5:00 pm08dec(dec 8)9:30 pmTime Regained- Final Volume of Proust's SearchSTUDY FULL(september 22) 5:00 pm - (december 8) 9:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Eleven weeks

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

december 2021

22sep(sep 22)5:00 pm08dec(dec 8)9:30 pmTime Regained- Final Volume of Proust's SearchSTUDY FULL(september 22) 5:00 pm - (december 8) 9:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Eleven weeks

january 2022

10jan2:30 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.

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

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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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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I would recommend courses led by Toby to anyone who wants to look at a text in detail in a study group
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