Literature Class

Our Literature Courses offer a variety of informal literary-themed classes for anyone looking for a place to meet with fellow enthusiasts and discuss different texts.

Classes meet on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday mornings from 10.00am – 12.00pm and focus on a different topic each term. Groups are open to all over-18s and new participants are always welcome.

Monday class

18 September to 4 December 2017
10 am – 12 pm
Tutor: Steve Dace
Please note no classes run during half-term week, October 23rd and 30th 2017.


Steve Dace’s Monday class will be studying the sonnet from the 16th century to the present day. Imported from Italy by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and Sir Thomas Wyatt during the reign of Henry VIII, this 14-line form was well established by Shakespeare’s time when you would not be thought a gentleman unless you could dash off a sonnet at the drop of a velvet hat. While other poetic forms have come and gone, the sonnet has retained its popularity with poets and readers and still thrives today.

Poets from all ages have adapted the sonnet from the original Petrarchan form. This class will consider technical devices such as quatrains, octets, sestets and voltas. While Shakespeare’s sonnets will loom large, we will also read and discuss poets such as Milton, Wordsworth, Keats, Wilfred Owen and Carol Ann Duffy.

Tuesday and Wednesday class

19 & 20 September to 5 & 6 December 2017
10 am – 12 pm
Tutor: Susan Hamlyn
Please note no classes run during half-term week, October 23rd and 30th 2017.


Susan Hamlyn's Tuesday and Wednesday classes will read and discuss two classics of the period: Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta and Ben Jonson's Volpone. Shakespeare's pre-eminence means that  the work of his contemporaries gets unfairly neglected and we will have fun reveling in the energy and dark satire of both these plays.

Participants can attend on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays for the duration of the course.

Course fees

Each course is £80 for members, £95 for non-members. Reading materials for each course are provided for a small additional fee.


Courses are open to all – new participants are most welcome.

For booking contact Jane Mason: or 0208 567 0011.

Priority booking is available for current course members.

Additional information

For more information about the courses please contact Susan Hamlyn:

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