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Literature

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.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. Russian Literature in the Golden Age
    Course start date:  Mon 10 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Explore and discuss the work of key writers from 19th century Russian literature, including Chekhov's "Lady with Lapdog", Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilyich", Dostoevsky's "Notes from the Underground" and Turgenev's "Fathers and Sons".



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  2. Romantic Visions
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    This literature course will trace the development of the Romantic shift in sensibility, from the rediscovery of medieval ballads – and the lucrative trade in fakes – in the late 18thC, to the first generation of Romantics such as Wordsworth and Coleridge ,who set English poetry on a new course by declaring that poetry was not the cleverly crafted expression of accepted truth but “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling”; to the brilliant second generation of poets such as Keats and Shelley who found new areas of the imagination to explore; to its legacy in later centuries and our own time.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  3. The Complete Ishiguro Part Two: 2000-2021
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the world of Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro as we focus on the second twenty years of his writing career. Books include When We Were Orphans, Never Let Me Go, The Buried Giant and Klara and the Sun. We also take a look at his ventures into song lyrics and film screenplays.



    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 £159.00 Concession £97.00
  4. Hidden Treasures: stories from everywhere
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    You will read, analyse and discuss carefully selected treasures of international fiction, several of them freshly translated, from the second half of the 20th century, including a moving study of urban life from Denmarks’ Tove Ditlevsen, an Anatolian saga from Turkey’s Yashar Kemal, a satirical study of postwar Germany by Irmgard Keun, a portrait of a modern marriage by Italy’s Alberto Moravia, and a classic tale of life in a Welsh mining village by Kate Roberts.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  5. Wild Justice: power and revenge in English Renaissance Tragedy
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course explores English Renaissance Tragedy through Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, , Marlowe’s Dr Faustus, Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, and Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy. We will consider how these plays represent revenge and power in relation to authority (individual, state and religious); death; grief; gender and sexuality; language - and theatricality itself.



    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
  6. Contemporary Scottish Women's Fiction
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore and discuss a selection of contemporary fictional texts by Scottish women writers, including Jenni Fagan’s The Panopticon and Ali Smith’s Hotel World. We will think about key themes and issues, such as nationhood, women’s contribution to remapping the nation through its fictional imagining and relationship beyond its borders, social class, gender, sexuality, and journeys.



    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 £159.00 Concession £97.00
  7. Ways into Literature: Shakespeare to the Romantics
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Come on a journey through literature from Shakespeare to the Romantics! Delve into the complex mind of Hamlet to understand his actions and inaction; explore seduction and faith in two Metaphysical poems by Andrew Marvell and George Herbert; embrace the Romantic revolution and the power of nature in two poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge; and examine the terrifying and tragic world of Victor Frankenstein and his monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.



    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
  8. Vagabonds in Literature and Film
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 13 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    “I aint got no home, I’m just a roamin’ round” (Woody Guthrie). This class explores the figure of the vagabond and representations of hardship and the road in works by celebrated authors and filmmakers. From Charlie Chaplin and George Orwell to Woody Guthrie and Agnès Varda, we investigate the historical and cultural contexts of the image of the vagabond in 20th century literature and cinema.



    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
  9. Classic drama: Aeschylus, Shakespeare and Chekhov
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    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 takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
  10. Exploring literature: an introduction to poetry
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    We will read and discuss poetry from across four centuries including poems by Shakespeare, John Donne, Blake, Wordsworth, Keats, Emily Dickenson, Wilfred Owen, TS Eliot, WH Auden, Larkin, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay, Maya Angelou and many more. There will be a weekly spot where students can share their own particular favourites.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  11. 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

    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
  12. Contemporary Scottish Fictions: Ali Smith, Jenni Fagan and Douglas Stuart
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 28 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    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
  13. 19th Century French and Russian Literature
    Course start date:  Thu 5 May 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    This class explores classic texts of 19th century French and Russian literature, discussing literary style, themes, and contexts as a way of developing and sharing responses to celebrated European writing. From history and memory to madness and death, the class tackles some of the finest works ever written. Among the French writers examined will be Balzac, Flaubert, and Baudelaire, with our Russians including Gogol, Tolstoy and Chekhov.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  14. Ways into Literature: Victorian to the Modern
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 5 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    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
  15. Judaism and Modernist Literature: from Kafka to Clarice Lispector
    Course start date:  Fri 6 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    This course will examine the contributions of Jewish writers in the developments of literary Modernism, from the beginning of the 20th century. We will develop an understanding of how Jewish writers deployed the techniques and themes developed in Modernist writing to approach a series of topics, such as the Jewish family and his or relation to the national body, the Jew as racialised figure and anti-semitism, and the Jewish scriptural traditions.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00

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