History, culture & writing - Keeley Street

Explore History, Culture & Writing

Explore our extraordinary range of History, Culture and Writing courses and lectures. We offer both introductory and specialist in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, from ‘How to read a film’ and World literature, to Creative non-fiction writing courses and American history and Politics courses.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many have published, teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion through presentations, readings, interactive discussion and exercises, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit Learning community.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place now.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you.

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  1. Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre and Villette
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Thu 2 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    This Literature course focuses on two novels by Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre and Villette. We will develop an appreciation of Brontë’s narrative methods and concerns through close analysis of her language, alongside engaging with the literary, historical and critical contexts of these novels, and the Brontë ‘mythology’ itself.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Get together and read
    Course start date:  Thu 2 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Enjoy talking with other people about the things you have read? Want to share great stories, poems and drama? Come along and join the conversation. The group is led by a shared reading practitioner trained by The Reader Organisation.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £50.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  3. Struggle to be heard: Rimbaud, Cavafy, Tsvetaeva, Binta Breeze
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 2 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    We look at four poets who struggled to be heard or accepted because their work was so different from what their society expected. What were the barriers they had to overcome and how did they win through to become admired and highly regarded? What made one of the poets stop writing at the age of 21 and the other three continue for the rest of their lives? What makes the poetry of all of them so original, and what can we learn from their resilience?
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £45.00
  4. The Russian Revolution
    Course start date:  Thu 9 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Zoe Quinn
    In 1917 two revolutions swept through the Russian Empire. The second, in October, is a pivotal moment in modern world history, leading to the creation of the Soviet Union. This introductory interactive lecture course explores how and why these two revolutions occurred. Tutor: Zoe Quinn.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  5. Before the election: the essentials of British politics!
    Course start date:  Thu 9 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ian McGarvie
    This essentials course will give you the foundations of the political system in the United Kingdom, whilst also enabling you to use your newly acquired knowledge to discuss and debate current affairs matters in real time.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  6. Spectacles of the Ancient world
    Course start date:  Thu 9 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Michael Bloomfield
    This course explores some of the most elaborate and powerful displays of the Graeco-Roman world. Designed to entertain, inform, and elicit support, often at times of great political or religious significance, they were unforgettable, and have long exercised an influence on our own understanding of the nature of power.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £71.00 Concession £58.00
  7. The Politics of the NHS from 1945 to 2024
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 6 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    This course will provide a reflection on contemporary debates around the National Health Service in the UK and relate them to its historical settings.
    Full fee £99.00
  8. George Eliot: Middlemarch
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Thu 6 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    This short literature course will explore George Eliot’s novel, ‘Middlemarch’ (1871-2). Considered by many to be the greatest nineteenth century novel, we explore its narrative methods and characterisation, its rich engagement with the ideas and concerns of its age, and above all, its deep humanity that still resonates today.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  9. Mary Queen of Scots
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Ellen Carpenter
    Intrigue, murder, execution…despite over 500 years passing since her death, Mary’s colourful life continues to attract filmmakers, novelists, and historians alike. Join us to discover what Mary’s reign, abdication and execution may teach us about the instabilities of social, religious, and political life in Scotland and England in the 1500s.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  10. Beckett and The Divine Comedy: a lifelong influence
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    Explore the intimate relationship between Beckett’s universe of unbelief, presided over by a Godot who never comes, and Dante’s poem, the most exalted, vastly influential literary expression of medieval Christianity, whose presence can be felt everywhere in the Irishman’s long oeuvre, in every genre – in his plays, novels, stories, poems, essays - and at every stage of his career. What brought them together, and what were the results?
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  11. Gaslighters, Grifters and Gangsters: Psycho-thrillers of the 40s and 50s
    Course start date:  Thu 27 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  William Brady
    Join us to explore the rise of a dark, psychologically complex strain of Crime Fiction in the 1940s and 50s. Often termed the ‘psycho-thriller’, these novels put the criminal mind centre-stage, delving into murkier recesses of the human psyche than had previously been entertained. Focusing on two key examples of the genre, Patrick Hamilton’s Hangover Square and Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, we will analyse and contextualise the psycho-thriller as it evolved in Britain and America.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
  12. Looking beyond headlines: colonialism and contemporary conflicts
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 4 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    This course will provide a reflection on the colonial, post-colonial and neo-colonial aspects and underpinnings of contemporary conflicts.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £50.00
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