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.

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  1. An introduction to poetry
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 30 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Always wanted to read and discuss poetry? Enjoy this introduction to a range of poetry from the last 400 years and explore how the poets shape our responses.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £18.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. Machiavelli's 'The Prince': an introduction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 30 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    One of the most poignant ideas that emerged from the Italian Renaissance was the centrality of mankind. This new society, in which man could shape his own destiny, led to a new type of ruler, which is perfectly described in Machiavelli's work.



    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 £36.00
  3. Victorian fiction 1840 -1880: the rise of Realism
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 6 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The course will consider the Victorian novel over a period of 40 years from the perspective of realism and its importance in the development of the novel’s form, style and significance.



    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 £36.00
  4. 'The Sanction of Eternal Truth': exploring the poetry of Keats's Eighteenth-Century Forebears
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 13 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Too often it is assumed that the Romantic poets engineered a complete break with their eighteenth-century predecessors. By exploring the work of five of Keats’s gifted forebears, this course will allow us to engage in a fundamental and detailed reconsideration of that assumption.



    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 £36.00
  5. 'Please come flying': how poetry helps us in troubled times
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 20 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Many of us have experienced isolation and increased stress during the pandemic. When life returns to normal, there may still be periods of loneliness. We will look at how poetry can help us in this situation by seeing how some fine poets have responded to isolation by writing some great poems.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  6. Literature taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 12 Dec 2021 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Come and join this 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-March 2022).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  7. Contemporary Poetry by Writers of Colour
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 15 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Black, indigenous, and writers of colour have been creating exceptional poetry for millennia, but all too often their work is not platformed or canonised in the same fashion as their European contemporaries. This course seeks to continue the decolonising work of addressing that imbalance by foregrounding the poetry of four contemporary poets of colour: Claudia Rankine, Ocean Vuong, Danez Smith and Rupi Kaur.



    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 £36.00
  8. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 19 Mar 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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
  9. Russian poets: Anna Akhmatova and Osip Mandelstam
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    An evaluation, through close reading and discussion, of some of the most celebrated verse of the Silver Age, the Soviet Revolutionary period and the decades of Stalinism. What is it about the individual poems that cast a spell over so many of their contemporaries and the generations that followed? What do they tell us about the human spirit and the value of art in a time of catastrophic upheaval?



    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 £36.00
  10. An introduction to poetry: Blake and Keats
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 23 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Come and join an introduction and exploration of the poetry of William Blake and John Keats. We will read, discuss and enjoy a selection of their poetry and consider how the poets shape our responses.



    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 £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £18.00
  11. 'Miles to go before I sleep': poems that help us appreciate returning home
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 5 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    During the past two years, many of us have had to stay at home much more than ever before and may still have ambivalent feelings about going out and returning. We will look at how poetry can help us in this situation by seeing how some fine poets have written about the experience of staying and returning home, often alone.



    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 £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  12. Shelley: 'The Trumpet of a Prophecy!'
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 19 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Shelley’s visionary poetry has been much misunderstood and misrepresented. We shall study a wide selection of his narrative poems, odes and lyrics in order to clarify his transcendent aspirations – and his very considerable contemporary significance.



    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 £36.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. 'Overturning the Home': a study of Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 26 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Delving into this lyric and haunting text, we will consider Robinson’s vision of the house disrupted and how this releases the energies of constricted identities. Exploring ideas and understanding around the questioning of domestic and traditional constructs and how this impacts female identity, we will study how Robinson creates intimate spaces and relationships to overturn assumptions around parenting, the home and our relationship to the natural world.



    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 £71.00 Concession £54.00
  14. Film of the Book: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 5 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is one of America’s most celebrated novels. Published in 1869, it charts the adolescence and young womanhood of the March sisters, growing up in Massachusetts. The novel’s popularity and familiarity with audiences across the world has led there to be several adaptations of the film. In our course, we will look at two versions, one from 1933, and one from 2018, and examine their particular readings of the book.



    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 £71.00 Concession £54.00
  15. Dante's Divine Comedy: an introduction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 12 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    The Divine Comedy is an imaginary journey through the three realms of the afterlife. It's a fascinating compendium of life in 14th century Italy, but Dante's ability to depict humanity in all its aspects is timelss and has fascinated readers ever since.



    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 £36.00

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