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. World Fiction: hidden treasures
    Course 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), Snow Country by 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
  2. Novels of Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre, Shirley & Villette
    Course Date:  Wed 15 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online Literature course focuses on Charlotte Bronte’s three major novels: Jane Eyre, Shirley and Villette. We will develop an appreciation of Bronte’s narrative methods and concerns through close analysis of her language, alongside engaging with the literary, historical and critical contexts of these novels, and the Bronte ‘mythology’ itself.



    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
  3. Great Historical Novels
    Course 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
  4. Out of the fire: Black American writers in the 20th Century
    Course Date:  Tue 21 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Weaving history, diverse traditions and a collage of voices, this online literature course will explore the struggle and celebration of black experience through Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, both growing out of the explosion of Black art during the Harlem Renaissance.



    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 £109.00
  5. The Victorian novel: Realism and early Modernism
    Course Date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This is a chance to explore four Victorian texts from the point of view of context, style and the development of the novel through realism into early modernism. Texts will include Adam Bede (George Eliot), Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell), Dr jekyll and Mr Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson) and The Turn of the Screw (Henry James). There will be supplementary critical and biographical material supplied, and plenty of opportunities for discussion! This course will examine the debates which surrounded the development of Victorian fiction and the ways in which different writers sought to engage with these ideas.



    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. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Read and discuss celebrated short stories each week for six weeks – discuss and explore what we understand might be the writers’ intentions, and what it means for us as readers – which can be quite different. Join us in sharing feelings about, and reactions to, a selection of classic and contemporary short stories and how they withstand the shifting context of readers, and time.



    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
  7. Russian and Eastern European poetry: a survey
    Course Date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    A guided tour of the personalities and achievements of the extraordinary constellation of poets that emerged during the Soviet century and its aftermath, including Akhmatova, Pasternak, Mayakovsky and their contemporaries, Milosz, Szymborska, Herbert and Anna Swir (Poland), Popa (Serbia), Holub (Czech Republic), Sorescu, Mircea Ivanescu and Nina Cassian (Romania), and others.



    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. City Lit reading group 1
    Course Date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    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 Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Monthly meetings on 24 Sept; 22 Oct, 26 Nov; 14 Jan, 18 Feb, 25 March; 06 May; 10 June; 08 July.



    Please note: this course will take place in the college but will revert to online if necessary.



    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 £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £109.00
  9. A Century of Surrealist Literature
    Course Date:  Fri 24 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Did the world need another ‘ism’ when André Breton published the Surrealist Manifesto in 1924? As a splinter movement from Dada, and borrowing its name from a term coined years before by Guillaume Apollinaire, was it even that original? We’ll explore how, despite its inauspicious origins, Surrealism grew to become one of the most influential artistic and literary styles of the 20th century.



    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
  10. London ‘lowlife’ in fiction: 1889-1907
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 27 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £91.00
  11. City Lit Evening Reading Group
    Evening
    Course 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
  12. City Lit reading group 2
    Course Date:  Fri 1 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    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 'Hamnet' by Maggie O'Farrell. Monthly meetings take place on 01 Oct, 29 Oct, 03 Dec; 21 Jan, 25 Feb, 01 April, 13 May, 17 June and 15 July.



    Please note: this course will take place in the college but will revert to online if necessary.



    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 £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £109.00
  13. 19th Century French and Russian Literature
    Course 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
  14. The European city in contemporary literature
    Evening
    Course 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
  15. Shakespeare's ghosts: Hamlet, Macbeth and Julius Caesar
    Course 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

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