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. 'I caught this morning morning's minion': the passions of Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    We will explore why Hopkins wrote highly original poems of great power and beauty, but didn’t attempt to have them published in his lifetime. We will look at how this relates to his conversion to Roman Catholicism and, in turn, how this may have related to fears about his sexuality.

    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
  2. A Play in two days: 'Cymbeline'
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 26 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Read or seen the play but want to know more? This course examines the background to Shakespeare's 'Cymbeline', discusses characters, identifies themes, draws parallels with Shakespeare's other plays, looks at language and analyses key scenes.

    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. Climate Change Fiction: From Ian McEwan to Margaret Atwood
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 4 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What is the role of fiction in an age of climate change? Join us over two Sunday morning classes to explore this question through writers including Ian McEwan, Barbara Kingsolver, Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood and more.

    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. Hard Boiled Classics: ‘The Maltese Falcon’ by Dashiell Hammett and ‘Farewell my Lovely’ by Raymond Chandler
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 17 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online two half day Saturday course will look at two of the seminal classics of the hard-boiled genre of detective fiction, The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett and Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler.

    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. Japanese Horror Literature
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Japanese horror may be most familiar in the form of films, such as The Ring. In this course, however, we’ll be exploring some cult classics of Japanese horror literature and discussing common themes in the works. How does Japanese horror stand out from other genres and what is the secret behind its enduring popularity? Join us to find out on this weekend course.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
  6. Borderlines of Madness in 19th century fiction
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 24 Jul 2021

    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 £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £30.00
  7. Exploring Medieval Literature: origins of the Robin Hood legend
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 1 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Dashing heroes, dazzling tights, merry men, and talking foxes: the Robin Hood legend has influenced many TV and film representations. How did it originate, and why? What relationships have the fiction with the history? And how did Robin Hood stories develop in ballads, plays (including in Shakespeare), and poems?

    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. The Poetry of W.B. Yeats
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 8 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Over 150 years since the birth of William Butler Yeats, his poetry continues to have an enduring place in the landscape of world literature, inspiring writers, musicians and artists alike. This course explores four of his finest poems written at different stages in his life. We will examine how he sought inspiration from Irish mythology, politics, nature, his personal relationships and art to develop ideas about beauty and creativity.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
  9. Caribbean voices: writers of the Windrush generation
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 14 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    “Wat a joyful news, miss Mattie, | I feel like me heart gwine burs | Jamaica people colonizin | Englan in reverse,” wrote the England-bound Jamaican poet Louise Bennett in 1966. Two decades of migration from the Caribbean “periphery” to the British “metropole” saw the development of deep varied Caribbean traditions both critical and creative, and this weekend course considers them.

    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. Literature taster
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sat 18 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Do you want to find out how to go about understanding a poem or how to do a close reading of a work of fiction? Come and join us to discover what makes a literature class at City Lit so special.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £6.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  11. Historical fiction: reimagining the past
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 26 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    What’s the unique appeal of historical fiction? Why do we read so much of it, and what are we looking for? This short online course investigates how historical novels reimagine the past for us as contemporary readers. Reading extracts from novels set in different periods, we’ll explore the pleasures and challenges of historical fiction, and how it works to bring unknown stories into view.

    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. Poetry Please! Enjoying Poetry
    Weekend
    Course Date:  Sun 3 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This weekend course is for those who enjoy reading and thinking about poetry and for those who would like to enjoy it more. It will look at a range of poetic examples from the 19th, 20th and 21st century. There will be some discussion of the meaning of form and technique and its impact on the poem and the reader, but students will also have plenty of opportunity to talk about emotional or individual responses to poems.

    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
  13. John Keats: 'The Vale of Soul-Making'
    Weekend
    Course 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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Machiavelli's 'The Prince': an introduction
    Weekend
    Course 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
  15. An introduction to poetry
    Weekend
    Course 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

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