History, culture & writing

Explore History, Culture & Writing

Explore our extraordinary range of History, Culture and Writing courses and lectures. We offer both introductory and specialist in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, from ‘How to read a film’ and World literature, to Creative non-fiction writing courses and American history and Politics courses.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many have published, teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion through presentations, readings, interactive discussion and exercises, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit Learning community.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place now.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you.

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  1. Mews, monuments and museums: exploring SW7
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 28 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    This circular walk explores the alleys lanes, squares and delightful mews houses and passes a disused tube station in the mainly in the Knightsbridge conservation area and contrasts with the grand museums, institutions and monuments built in South Kensington (Albertopolis) developed with profits of the Great Exhibition held in Hyde Park in 1851.



    Meets outside the main entrance to the V&A ends outside the Natural History Museum. Meets outside the main entrance to the V&A ends outside the Natural History Museum.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  2. City gardens of the Blitz
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    Discover the delightful gardens of the City of London created from WWII bomb sites. Revealing the history of the sites - including past industrial buildings, Roman ruins, and the sites of a former Wren churches and a Roman bath house - this walk spans the length of the City.



    Starts Outside Café Nero Moorgate Station end St Dunstan in the East Garden. Starts Outside Café Nero Moorgate Station end St Dunstan in the East Garden.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £19.00
  3. Keats and eternity
    Last Few Places, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 19 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Laurie Smith
    In the house where many of them were written, we will explore why Keats’s poems are regarded as exceptionally beautiful. How did he achieve this? We will see that it wasn’t luck or simply inspiration, but the result of choices which reflect important aspects of Keats’ personality. Includes ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, Ode to a Grecian Urn’ and ‘To Autumn’.







    This course will take place at Keats House, 10 Keats Grove, Hampstead, London NW3 2RR.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £32.00
  4. Lunchtime lecture: Reading Old Master Drawings - an art historical insight
    Course start date:  Wed 22 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    What is drawing and what is its unique place in the history of art? Come to understand this special medium through an exploration of some of the greatest draughtspeople in Western European art.



    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 £7.00
  5. Sanctuary in the city – public art by refugees and immigrants
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    Come on a walking tour of public art through the City of London created by Refugees and Immigrants. We will explore artworks such as the 17th century carvings on the Monument and a Victorian plaques relocated on to the post Modern Number One Poultry by economic immigrants to the country as well as looking at mainly works by 20th century artists from refugee backgrounds who were either commissioned to make art works for site specific places or their works have been bought or moved to their locations.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  6. Looking for the Golden Fleece: Jason and the Argonauts
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Maria Contos
    Come and explore the journey of the Argonauts and discover Jason.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £32.00
  7. Lunchtime lecture: Yoko Ono - viewer as participant
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Get to know the art of Yoko Ono from performance art to installation. We explore how the artist works in collaboration with the participant to create communal art for all.



    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 £7.00
  8. London's smaller galleries: Apsley House
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jun 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Explore the home and art collection of Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  9. Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  10. Lunchtime lecture: Van Gogh's Art History
    Course start date:  Mon 8 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    What influenced the art of Vincent van Gogh? From 17th century Dutch still lives to symbolist poetry, Japanese prints and French realist painting we explore how van Gogh’s study of art history shaped his art practice 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 £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  11. Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites
    Course start date:  Mon 8 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Explore the work of Van Eyck in relation to Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelites more generally; consider how this 15th century painter influenced artists some 300 years later.



    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
  12. Fra Filippo Lippi and Fra Angelico – the two monastic painters
    Course start date:  Tue 9 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Join us for a close reading of the works of Fra Filippo Lippi and Fra Angelico, two of 15th century Italy's most influential artists. We study their techniques, their subject matter and how they communicated narratives in painting. Explore all the wonderful tactile visual details they added to the works.



    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
  13. Aesop's fables: an introduction
    Course start date:  Tue 16 Jul 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Maria Contos
    Aesop’s fables have been used through history to clarify important issues within society. Investigate their perseverance through history and why they continue to be relevant today.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £32.00
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