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

On-going Proust studies

Beginning 27 January

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.” 

Hamlet

Beginning 8 February

How does one introduce a play that is so deeply imbedded in our cultural history? For this Salon, we come to study Hamlet afresh, not worrying about whether we see it as Shakespeare’s greatest play ever or whether we stand breathless at the language – but finding within the play what has so riveted audiences and readers for centuries.

The Portrait of a Lady

Beginning 15 February

“It’s just as when one has been trying to spell out a book in the twilight, and suddenly the lamp comes in. I had been putting out my eyes over the book of life, and finding nothing to reward me for my pains; but now that I can read it properly I see that it’s a delightful story.”

                                                                                      ― Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

Homer's Iliad

Beginning 16 February with Mark Cwik

“Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls. . .”

New Kid - Online Study

Beginning 23 February

Barb Turk leads this study of the 2020 Newbury Medal winner New Kid by Jerry Craft, examining the experience of a Black student starting out in a predominantly white secondary school in the Bronx.  

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

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?

january 2021

05jan4:00 pm7:00 pmThe Dead by James Joyce Salon IntensiveVirtual Salon4:00 pm - 7:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One day

11jan12:30 pm2:30 pmMarcel Proust: In Search of Lost Time Vol. I The Way by Swann's***SALON FULL***12:30 pm - 2:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Nine weeks

11jan3:00 pm5:00 pmUlysses by James Joyce: First-timers Afternoon and Evening options**BOTH STUDIES NOW FULL**3:00 pm - 5:00 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

14jan4:00 pm6:00 pmMrs Dalloway by Virginia WoolfVIRTUAL STUDY 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Four weeks

27jan7:30 pm9:30 pmThe Captive & The Fugitive -- Volumes V & IV of Proust's In Search of Lost Time7:30 pm - 9:30 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Three months

february 2021

08feb6:00 pm8:00 pmHamlet by William Shakespeare with Jane Wymark6:00 pm - 8:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six Weeks

15feb6:00 pm8:00 pmHenry James: The Portrait of a Lady Seven-week Virtual study** New Study**6:00 pm - 8:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Seven weeks

16feb2:00 pm4:15 pmHomer's IliadEIGHT-MEETING VIRTUAL STUDY2:00 pm - 4:15 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Eight weeks

23feb4:30 pm5:30 pmNew Kid by Jerry Craft - *Virtual Study*Winner of the 2020 Newbery Medal for Excellence in Children's Literature4:30 pm - 5:30 pm GMT VIRTUALType Of Study:Middle Grades LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Five weeks

24feb6:00 pm8:00 pmThe Sonnet - Creativity and Constraint6:00 pm - 8:00 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Two weeks

25feb1:00 pm3:04 pmSanctuary by William FaulknerNEW study! 1:00 pm - 3:04 pm VIRTUALType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:Weekly

april 2021

14apr(apr 14)6:00 pm18(apr 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

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

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

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

Literary Delights for the New Year 

December 16th, 2019 After last week’s election… In recent Salon discussions and in several social conversations, we have re-visited the question as to why we read writers who present perspectives that we now find deeply problematic. This could be in reference to...

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Nicole describes the Ulysses Salon on Bookstoker

Spend the Winter tackling Ulysses with Toby Brothers and The London Literary Salon By Nicole Hubbard (published on Bookstoker) After a chance conversation with a friend about life after 50, she casually mentioned that each year she had taken on a new project outside...

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Seven Ways to Get the Most out of Proust by Marcy Kahan

Marcy Kahan is a member of the 3rd Proust cycle in the LLS; she will be facilitating a course on Nabokov later this autumn... Seven ways to get the most out of Proust Feeling excited at the prospect of Radio 4’s Proust Marathon – the new 10-hour dramatisation of...

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Proposed Salons from Toby– Weekly studies, Retreats

Late Summer-Autumn 2019 thru Spring 2020 Having just returned from another magical St Ives weekend immersed in Virginia Woolf, I am inspired anew by the rare luxury of being in a beautiful place with a group of wonderful minds encountering a work of literature...

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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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