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. Key texts of 19th & 20th century drama: Ibsen, Wilde, Williams and Stoppard
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will explore the concerns,styles and influences of 4 key dramatic texts from the late 19th and 20th centuries and how they reflect the times in which they were written. Texts studied include Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, A Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams and Travesties by Tom Stoppard.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £134.00
  2. Great Historical Novels
    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
  3. Poetry cooked and raw: from Emily Dickinson to the Beat Poets
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore how poets changed during the 20th century from writing in formal ‘poetic’ language and regular forms towards writing in more natural language, freer forms and with more direct expression of feelings. We will look at free verse, political poetry, the Beat Poets, confessional poetry and prose poetry.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £146.00
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  4. The Victorian novel: Realism and early Modernism
    ONLINE
    Course start 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
  5. What's the Big Idea?: classic and contemporary short stories
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start 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
  6. Russian and Eastern European poetry: a survey
    ONLINE
    Course start 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
  7. A Century of Surrealist Literature
    ONLINE
    Course start 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
  8. London ‘lowlife’ in fiction: 1889-1907
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. John Keats: 'The Vale of Soul-Making'
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 9 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Keats pursued – vigorously and brilliantly – questions related to ultimate truths. We shall consider a representative selection of his poetry and letters, reflecting on how their creative insights can help to illuminate our own experience and aspirations.



    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
  12. City Lit reading group (online)
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 15 Oct 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



    online session with suggestions (contemporary fiction in paperback) and having read 'Hamnet' by Maggie O'Farrell. Monthly meetings take place on 15/10, 19/11/21, 04/02, 04/03/22.



    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
  13. Machiavelli's 'The Prince': an introduction
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 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
  14. 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
  15. 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

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