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.

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. Philip Larkin & His Contemporaries
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Phoebe Braithwaite
    ‘The shit in the shuttered château / Who does his five hundred words / Then parts out the rest of the day / Between bathing and booze and birds / Is far off as ever, but so / Is that spectacled schoolteaching sod…,” wrote Larkin in his poem, ‘The Life with a Hole in it.’ Who is the real Philip Larkin? Our course slices the bard of Coventry, Larkin loved and Larkin reviled, into four periods during the second half of the twentieth century to set him in context, with a view to unravelling some of his guises and understanding how he came to have such a hold on the British reading public.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £48.00
  2. Byron’s Don Juan: 'The grand Napoleon of the realms of rhyme
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Peter Brennan
    Don Juan is Byron’s crowning achievement – a picaresque mock epic intended to be ‘a little quietly facetious upon everything’. The poem, however, is more complex and engaging - a vision of life predicated on paradox: witty and melancholy, sarcastic and sentimental, romantic and classical, resigned and defiant. This course will illuminate the many facets of Byron’s unprecedented masterpiece.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  3. Contemporary Scottish Fictions: Ali Smith, Jenni Fagan and Douglas Stuart
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 28 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Stephen Winfield
    We will explore three of the most powerful voices in Scottish writing today, focusing on critically-acclaimed novels from 2020 and 2021 by Ali Smith, Jenni Fagan and Douglas Stuart. Their originality and narrative power is matched by a passionate moral commitment and willingness to engage – as Scottish literature has always done - with the most challenging issues faced by their society and ours.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  4. America in the 80s: culture and society
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Malcomson, Mick McAloon, Dale Mineshima-Lowe, Trish Shaw, Patricia Sweeney, Ian Tucknott
    Journey through the history, literature, film, music and art of the 80s as we investigate the cross currents across the many facets of the decade through a 'taster' of each subject area. Includes "Reganomics", the Democratic unwinding, the age of new technology, Top Gun to Blue Velvet, pop to hip hop, and the eclectic movements in art and literature.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £91.00
  5. 'Animals in 20th and 21st century fiction
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 4 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  David Barnes
    Animals leap, crawl, hop, and gallop across the pages of modern fiction. Why do authors write about animals? What effect does it have on us as readers when we encounter animals in novels and short stories? From Beatrix Potter and Black Beauty to the contemporary novel, this course explores the role of the animal in modern literature. Themes that we will think about together include: animal suffering, animals in depictions of childhood, and animal transformations and dehumanisation. Includes 'Happiness' (2018) by Aminatta Forna and writings by J.M. Coewtzee and John Berger.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00
  6. Ways into Literature: Victorian to the Modern
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 5 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Woody River
    Explore the development of literature from the Victorian age to the beginnings of Postmodernism. Grapple with ethical issues in H. G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, appreciate the forms and styles of a range of Modernist poetry by T.S. Eliot, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Langston Hughes, examine the African American experience of the 1920s in short stories by Zora Neale Hurston and enter the claustrophobic world of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  7. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Wise
    We will explore various themes related to insanity and altered states of consciousness by examining a number of 19th-century works of fiction. Novelists and poets often had the greatest insights into the workings of the mind, and many Victorian psychiatrists cited works of fiction in their case studies. Among the authors we will cover are Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins, Gogol, Herman Melville and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.



    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 £60.00
  8. Contemporary American literature by Women
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Katie Da Cunha Lewin
    The American canon is dominated by white, male writers. In this course, we seek to rectify this by exploring the work of women from all backgrounds working across disciplines. Authors include Joan Didion, Claudia Rankine, and Siri Hustvedt.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00
  9. The Art of the Essay: film and literary crossovers
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Dalia Neis
    What are the crossovers between the film and literary essay? Beginning with an investigation of the history of the essay as a literary genre , we will then consider the literary heritages of the film essay and travel through the essay as a hybrid, multi-medial genre ( including moving image, text, sound and everything in between) from the early 20th century to the present day. We will explore a range of film/literary essayists including Claudia Rankine, Agnes Varda, Virginia Woolf, Anne Carson, Chris Marker and Arthur Jafa.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00
  10. Classic drama: Aeschylus, Shakespeare and Chekhov
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jenny Baynes
    You will read view and discuss three classic plays : Aeschylus’ Eumenides from The Oresteia, Shakespeare's Macbeth and The Seagull by Chekov in terms of themes, language, their social and historical contexts and how they work as performance texts.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00

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