Literature - Online

Literature Courses in London

Explore our exciting range of Literature courses, from Literary History, to specialist courses in Fiction, Poetry and Drama. We offer introductory and in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, where you can revisit classic texts and discover new writers.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

Study in-person or online from the comfort of home, with classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students and share your passion for literature as part of a learning community. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long.

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

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit literary community; others are inspired to progress onto university study.

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

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  1. Literature Taster: Jane Austen
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 14 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    Ever wondered what studying an online Literature course at City Lit is like? Tempted to try, but not ready to commit to a whole course? Try this taster session on Jane Austen to boost your confidence and whet your appetite for further study!



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  2. Literature taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 11 Dec 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Patricia Sweeney
    Come and join this online taster session to find out what makes a literature class at City Lit so special. The course includes an overview of our literature courses for next term (January- April 2023).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  3. Wild Nights: poetry and desire
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    Some poets write about desires which are difficult to express at the time of writing – desire for another person and, more complexly, desire to express in writing feelings which the public may find unacceptable. This can lead to poetry which expresses feelings in new ways. We will explore how some great poets have written about such feelings, from Shakespeare and Byron, through Tennyson and Emily Dickinson, to Edith Sitwell and the great 20th century Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £207.00 Concession £168.00
  4. Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 21 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    This online Literature course explores three novels by Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. We will develop an appreciation of Austen’s narrative style and social critique through close analysis of her language, informing our reading by engaging with the literary, historical and critical contexts of these novels.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
  5. Between East and West: Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 24 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    Orhan Pamuk is the greatest Turkish novelist of his generation, internationally admired for the power of his storytelling and Istanbul, where he lives, is the creative inspiration for all his writing. Explore two of his finest novels, set in the Ottoman Empire and the present day, alongside his powerful memoir of the city’s changing fortunes and major fictions by his Turkish contemporaries.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  6. London ‘lowlife’ in fiction: 1889-1907
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore the themes of poverty, politics, gender and ethnicity in London at the end of the 19th century/start of the 20th century through the eyes of writers of fiction, but also through the testimony of their non-fiction contemporaries – social investigators, government officials, journalists and philanthropists.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £179.00 Concession £116.00
  7. Exploring Medieval Literature: The Canterbury Tales
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Steven Breeze
    Pilgrimage, religion, social mores and foibles, exuberant women, and a drunk miller with a penchant for bashing down doors with his head! Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales are excellent examples of Middle English writing. The range of characters, diverse plotlines, energy and playfulness all offer a fine insight into 14th Century England. It’s medieval England’s most famous work; this is because Chaucer’s multi-layered writing style is varied, subtle, and brilliant.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  8. City Lit Evening Reading Group
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Claire Allen
    Share thoughts and ideas about what you are reading, with books chosen by the group. Please come to the first session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Monthly meetings on 26 Sept, 24 Oct, 28 Nov; 16 Jan, 20 Feb, 20 March, 08 May, 12 June, and 10 July.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  9. Shakespeare and the Classical World: Timon of Athens, Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony & Cleopatra
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Peter Brennan
    An exploration of four plays in which Shakespeare explores and elaborates themes and characters from the classical world whose spiritual, political and artistic example both fascinated and fuelled the European Renaissance. Beginning with presentations of two of the most celebrated idealist/misanthropes, we proceed to the transformation of Rome from republic to empire in two exemplary dramas whose combination of political dynamism and personal anguish has never been equalled.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £439.00 Senior fee £351.00 Concession £285.00
  10. Symbolist Poetry: a season in Hell
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 2 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Beatrice Ashton-Lelliott
    The pandemic has made many people feel as though we are living in a slow apocalypse – but looking back at similar feelings experienced by the poets of the late nineteenth century can help to put things into perspective. This weekend online course looks at a selection of the Symbolist poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, Arthur Symons and Charles Baudelaire, considering their contemporary struggles and how, through these often initially morbid fin de siècle poems, we might find some light at the end of the tunnel.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  11. Dickens and Trollope: Giants of the 19th Century Novel
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 6 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Beatrice Ashton-Lelliott
    The Victorian period produced some of Britain’s most well-known canonical authors, all of whom drew inspiration from the challenges of their times. Together we’ll explore three novels from some of the period’s most popular writers and consider what anxieties they attempted to understand, and often satirise, through their works. We’ll meet a unique cast of characters along the way, including opium addicts, macabre folk parades, and industrial tycoons.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  12. Edward Thomas: 'On a Strange Bridge Alone'
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Peter Brennan
    The reflective, questioning poems of Edward Thomas have gained many admirers. By studying a carefully chosen selection of both his poetry and prose writings, we shall look more deeply into the significance of his achievement.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  13. Ulysses: the Odyssey
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Tobin Brothers
    To meet the challenge of reading Joyce, this study will offer strategies and engage the first 10 chapters of Ulysses to inspire both the new reader of Joyce and those revisiting his passionate experimentation.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
  14. International Prose and Poetry of the First World War
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Woody River
    The First World War inspired some of the most well-known and best-loved poetry in English literature, but less well known are the poems and prose by international writers from Germany, France, Italy, Slovenia, Russia, Poland, Hungary and America. Over a century since that war, this four-week course will provide an opportunity to read and discuss a selection of poetry and prose written by men who fought in the war, women who contributed to the war effort, and writers who responded retrospectively to the war.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  15. Happy Ever After?: reading fairytales
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 30 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Fiona McCulloch
    This online course will introduce and discuss a selection of fairy tales. We will focus upon Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and Bluebeard. We will explore how fairy tales evolve by reading different versions of these stories, including Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’. Key themes and issues will be considered, such as the role of the hero, the role of the heroine, rags to riches, mother/stepmother figures, and deception. We will also think about how these tales were not just entertainment, but conveyed important social and pedagogical ideas. “And they all lived happily ever after” is associated with fairy tale endings, but is that necessarily accurate when we read these tales?



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00

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