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 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. For more information, please see our guide to online learning.

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 online now.

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  1. City Lit Evening Reading Group
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 27 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 The Offing by Benjamin Myers. Monthly meetings on 27 Sept, 25 Oct, 29 Nov; 17 Jan, 21 Feb, 28 March, 09 May, 13 June, and 11 July.



    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 £129.00 Concession £79.00
  2. The Complete Ishiguro, Part 1: 1980-1999
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 29 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Take a deep dive into the world of Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, from his early short stories and TV screenplays to the first four novels, including The Remains of the Day (1989). Discover the influences, themes and context that led to the author’s development and explore the styles and techniques through which he expresses his unique vision.



    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
  3. 19th Century French and Russian Literature
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 1 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online literature course explores classic shorter 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 travel to memory and madness, the class tackles some of the finest works ever written. Among the French writers examined will be Balzac, de Nerval and Flaubert, with our Russians including Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Chekhov.



    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. Autofiction: novels from life
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 5 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Life stories or novels? In recent years the term ‘autofiction’ has described the work of novelists whose material is, explicitly, their own life. This course reads a selection of fascinating novels which experiment to combine memoir, personal experience and invention. We’ll explore different styles of autofiction, ideas about this tricky and controversial category of writing, and our own responses to it as readers. We will think too about some of the ethical and cultural questions that autofiction raises.



    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
  5. America in the 60s: culture and society
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 12 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The 1960s was the decade that profoundly changed American culture. We explore the trajectory of a decade, including the presidential terms of Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, Vietnam, the civil rights movement, second wave feminism and radical changes in literature, art, music and film, all reflecting the historical turbulence of 1960s America.



    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
  6. New Asian American Literature: Ling Ma, Jenny Zhang, Charles Yu and Ocean Vuong
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 13 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What is Asian American literature and how has it been defined? In this course we’ll unpack this question whilst exploring some of the most exciting texts which have emerged from this umbrella term in the last couple of years. We will also consider the history and context of Asian American literature as a category, if the texts under discussion share any common themes and whether authors themselves have embraced this label.



    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. Exploring Medieval Literature: Shakespeare and the Medieval Age
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 1 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Shakespeare is seen as the great writer of the Renaissance period in England, yet he was influenced by the literature and culture of preceding centuries. On this course we will consider several of Shakespeare’s plays, including Hamlet, King Lear, The Tempest, and various history plays, exploring various aspects of his writing to discover just how influential the medieval world was on his thought, language, and subject matter.



    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
  8. The Art of the Essay: women essayists and the bending of genre
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 1 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will go on a journey to investigate the art and form of the essay through a variety of women essayists from the early 20th century to the present day. We will explore the essay’s hazy boundaries between memoir, confession, nature writing, elegy, sermon, polemic and mystical/religious experience through key women essayists including Virginia Woolf, Simone Weil, Audre Lorde, Clarice Lispector, Kathleen Jamie, Anne Carson, and Claudia Rankine.



    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 European city in contemporary literature
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 2 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Reading our way through Paris, Madrid and Berlin, in this course we’ll be taking in some of the standout works of urban literature to have been written since 2000: texts that tell us about places, identities and contemporary life, and which prompt us to question how we think about, inhabit and visit cities.



    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. Shakespeare's ghosts: Hamlet, Macbeth and Julius Caesar
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 3 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online





    This online Literature course explores Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Macbeth and Julius Caesar, taking a close look at the ghosts that feature in these plays – Old Hamlet, Banquo and Julius Caesar - as a way of investigating some of their wider themes and concerns, including memory, grief, revenge, agency, power, ambition, guilt and the psyche.



    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
  11. Advanced Literary Study: approaching fiction, poetry and drama
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 3 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the rewards of close reading analysis, focusing on the three main literary genres of fiction,



    poetry and drama. Read, analyse and debate works from different periods of time, including



    The Awakening(1899) by Kate Chopin], drama [The Cherry Orchard (1903) by Anton Chekhov, and poetry



    by William Shakespeare, Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson and Edward Thomas.







    This course gives you a taste of our longer course offered in term two, Ways into Advanced Literary Study (HLT120), running from Jan – April 2022.



    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
  12. 19th Century American Literature
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 4 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This class explores 19th century American literature, reading classic texts to broaden knowledge of literary history through a range of influential novels, stories and poems. Among the writers considered in their literary, political and cultural contexts will be Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Hawthorne, Melville, and Twain.



    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
  13. Battles, Riddles and Spells: the Old English Tradition 900 -1100
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 4 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Great changes occurred in England between 900 and 1100. Viking invasions had turned to settlement, influencing the culture and language. Events in 1066 changed the ruling elite. The language used at court changed from Old English to Norman French. However, English was still the common tongue, and much of the great store of Old English poetry and prose was produced during this time. This course looks at the literature of 900-1100, as well as the turbulent events that affected and shaped English writing.



    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
  14. World Fiction: hidden treasures
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 15 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Freshly translated or newly rediscovered gems of international writing from the second half of the 20th century, including The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi (Japan), Sunlight on a Broken Column by Attia Hosain (India/Britain), Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata, The Coffer Dams by Kamala Markandaya (India/Britain), The Island by Ana Maria Matute (Spain), and The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese (Italy).



    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
  15. Great Historical Novels
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Historical fiction is enjoying a boom. Authors are recreating ancient Rome, Tudor England, medieval Europe and Civil War America while writing prequels and sequels to Homer and Jane Austen. We’ll be reading and discussing some classics of the genre from Mary Renault’s admired evocation of ancient Greece The King Must Die to novels by Alice Walker and James Meek and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.



    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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