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The Alliance of Literary Societies - celebrating 40+ years


February 2016
1 February: The Patrick Leigh Fermor Society. Talk by Costas Mamalakis on 'Patrick Leigh Fermor and SOE in Crete', at 7.15pm in the Great Hall of the Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London. Details at www.patrickleighfermorsociety.org/events.php.
2 February: The Gaskell Society. Manchester meeting at Cross Street Chapel, 12pm - 2.30pm. In the Percival Suite, Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street, Manchester. Anthony Burton will be talking on 'The contribution of the Gaskell family to the cultural life of Manchester'.Members £3; non members £4.
5 February: The Chichester Literary Society. Jeremy Tomlinson on celebrating Emma's 200 birthday (Jane Austen). Visit www.chichesterliterarysociety.co.uk/events/.
6 February: Bronte Society. Charlotte Great and Small, Exhibition Talk by Tracy Chevalier. At the Parsonage. Tickets £6, and must be booked in advance via www.bronte.org.uk or by calling 01535 640188.
9 February: The Leamington Literary Society. At 7.30pm at the Dormer Conference Centre at St Peter's Church in Dormer Place, Royal Leamington Spa. Talk by Julie Griffith of the National Trust on 'Literature and the Lucys at Charlecote Park. Visitors £2.50. Details at www.leamingtonliterarysociety.org.uk/programme.php.
13 February: The Johnson Society of London. At 2.30pm at Wesley's Chapel, 49 City Road, London. Talk by Professor Jerry White of Birkbeck College London on The Debtor's World in Johnson's London. For detail visit www.johnsonsocietyoflondon.org/.
13 February: Jane Austen Society annual study day, 'An Exploration of Persuasion', at the Court Room, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. Begins at 9 am, closes at 4.30 pm. Register at www.ies.sas.ac.uk/Persuasion or phone 0207 8628675. Tickets £25 for Society members and unwaged; £35 for non members; £15 for students.
13 February: The Charles Lamb Society. The birthday celebration luncheon 12.30 for 1pm at TAS Restaurant, 22 Bloomsbury Street, London, followed by lecture at Swedenborg Hall, 20 - 21 Bloomsbury Way, London. Guest of Honour Dr Richard Gravil. Tickets £35. Detail at www.charleslambsociety.com/events.html.
13 February: The Westerman Seminar held in The Memorial Library at Portsmouth Grammar School, High Street, Old Portsmouth, from 10 am til 4 pm. Tickets £17.50 including all refreshments and buffet lunch. Book via westermanyarns@gmail.com or phone 02392375594. This year's seminar is an exploration of The Boy's Own Paper. There will also be talks about Dr Gordon Stables, George A Henty, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Full programme at www.westermanyarns.blogspot.co.uk.
16 February: The D H Lawrence Society. Talk by Dave Brock on D H Lawrence, Ted Hughes and our Relationship with Animals. Details at dhlawrencesociety.com.
21 February: The Johnson Society Lichfield. At 2.30pm at the Martin Heath Hall, Christchurch Lane, Lichfield. Admission £3.50 including tea and cakes. Talk by Dr Louise Curran on 'In Vino Veritas: Dr Johnson and Wine'. Detail at johnsonnew.wordpress.com/events/.
24 February: The Gaskell Society. Knutsford meeting at Brook Street Chapel, 12.30pm - 3pm, discussing Wives and Daughters. For detail, visit gaskellsociety.co.uk/events/.
26 February: The Blake Society. 'Blake and the Gita', with Parul Jani. At 7.30pm at Waterstones Bookshop, 203 - 206 Piccadilly, London. Detail at www.blakesociety.org/events/.
27 February: The Arnold Bennett Society. Talk at Friends Meeting House, Newcastle Under Lyme, by Morag Jones on WW1 poets. For detail visit www.arnoldbennettsociety.org.uk/.

March 2016

26 February - 6 March: The Bath Literature Festival,
at various venues in Bath.
1 March: The Gaskell Society. Manchester meeting at Cross Street Chapel. Lynne Allen will speak on The Gaskells and the Portico Library, 12pm - 2.30pm. Detail at gaskellsociety.co.uk/events/.
2 March: The Housman Society. AGM at 7.30pm in Housman Hall, Kidderminster Road, Bromsgrove. Detail at www.housman-society.co.uk/.
2 March: The Johnson Society of Lichfield. Annual lecture at 7.30pm at the Methodist Church, Tamworth Street, Lichfield. Professor Tiffany Stern from Oxford University on 'Garrick, Johnson and Not-Shakespeare'. Entrance fee. For detail visit johnsonnew.wordpress.com/events/.
2 March: The Kilvert Society. Visit to St Barnabas' Church at the lower end of Great Clarendon Street, Jericho, Oxford. Details at www.thekilvertsociety.org.uk/events.
2 March: The Blake Society. The Annual Lecture, 7.30pm at St James's Church, 197 Piccadilly, London. 'The Infinite Brain and the Narrow Circle', Dr Iain McGilchrist. Detail at www.blakesociety.org/events/.
4 March: The Chichester Literary Society. Talk by Nigel Gossop on 'Ripping Yarns and the Tale of the Forgotten Author' (Percy Westerman). Detail at www.chichesterliterarysociety.co.uk/events/.
5 March: The Beatrix Potter Society AGM and annual Linder Memorial Lecture at the Sloane Club SWlW 8BS (open to non members; no booking required; tea included). Dr Juliet Dusinberre, Fellow of Girton College Cambridge, and author of Alice to the Lighthouse, on 'Beatrix Potter: Defying the Enemy'. Visit www.beatrixpottersociety.org.uk for details.

8 March: The Leamington Literary Society. At 7.30pm at the Dormer Conference Centre at St Peter's Church in Dormer Place, Royal Leamington Spa. A talk by Professor Mark Storey of the John Clare Society on 'John Clare, the Peasant Poet of Northamptonshire'. Visitors £2.50. Detail at www.leamingtonliterarysociety.org.uk/programme.php.
9 March: The D H Lawrence Society. Talk by Bob Haywood on F R Leavis and Lady C. Detail at dhlawrencesociety.com.
11 - 13 March: Barbara Pym Society. The 2016 North American Conference, Some Tame Gazelle, at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA. Details at www.barbara-pym.org/.
12 March: The Johnson Society of London. At 2.30pm, at Wesley's Chapel, 49 City Road, London. Talk by Dr Kathleen Chater on Black People in London in the mid 18th c. Detail at www.johnsonsocietyoflondon.org/.
12 March: The Arnold Bennett Society annual dinner, at Port Vale Banqueting Room. For detail visit www.arnoldbennettsociety.org.uk/.
15 March: The William Barnes Society. Meeting at 7pm at the Dorford Centre, Top O'Town, Dorchester. Members evening.
16 March: The Johnson Society of Lichfield. AGM and lecture at the Guildhall in Lichfield at 7.30pm. Alex Wright on 'Robert James, School Friend of Johnson, & their Dictionaries'. Detail at johnsonnew.wordpress.com/events/.
18 March: The Thomas Hardy Society. A weekend in Cornwall, based at St Juliot. Includes walks, poetry readings and discussions, a visit to the Old Rectory, and dinner. Detail at www.hardysociety.org/.
19 March - 7 May: Ripping Yarns. The Life and books of Percy Westerman Exhibition at Westbury Manor Museum on West Street, Fareham, Hampshire. Admission free.
19 March: The Jane Austen Society, West Midlands branch, are holding their AGM and study day at Beaconside, Stafford. Details at www.janeaustensoci.freeuk.com/pages/branches/midlands_events.htm.
29 March: The Housman Society. His birthday commemoration, by the statue in Bromsgrove High Street at 12.30pm. Followed by a buffet lunch at Housman Hall. Detail at www.housman-society.co.uk/.

April 2016
1 April: The Chichester Literary Society. Talk by Simon Barker on 'Shakespeare and his Companions'. Detail at www.chichesterliterarysociety.co.uk/events/.
2 - 10 April: The FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, at Christ Church, Oxford.
4 April: The Thomas Hardy Society. Tea and a tour of the Athenaeum Club, London. Detail at www.hardysociety.org/.
9 April: The Johnson Society of London. At 2.30 pm at Wesley's Chapel, 49 City Road, London. Talk by Michael Bundock on 'Pleased to Renew our Old Acquaintance': James Boswell and Francis Barber. Detail at www.johnsonsocietyoflondon.org/.
12 April: The Leamington Literary Society. At 7.30pm at the Dormer Conference Centre, at St Peter's Church in Dormer Place, Royal Leamington Spa. A talk by local writer Fran Hill on the funny side of life and learning. Visitors £2.50. Details at www.leamingtonliterarysociety.org.uk/programme.php.
13 April: The D H Lawrence Society. Talk by Andrew Frayne on D H Lawrence's Bay: war, destruction and reconstruction. Detail at dhlawrencesociety.com.
15 - 17 April: The John Buchan Society AGM at Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex. Visit www.johnbuchansociety.co.uk/news_and_events.htm.
17 April: The William Barnes Society. Annual Service of Remembrance at St Peters Church, Winterborne Came, at 10.30am.
23 April: The Charles Lamb Society. AGM 11am at Swedenborg Hall, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London. Lunch at Spaghetti House, 20 Sicilian Avenue. At 2.30 pm talk by Dr Stacey McDowell of Cambridge University on 'Hazlitt and Lamb on Books and Friends', at Swedenborg Hall. Details at www.charleslambsociety.com/events.html.
26 - 28 April: A Kipling Society Symposium, at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla on the theme of Kipling in India, India in Kipling. Detail at www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/.
30 April: The Housman Society. Ludlow commemoration at St Laurence's Ludlow by the plaque on the north wall at 11 am, followed by coffee in the church. Lunch at the Charlton Arms, following a presentation by Elizabeth Oakley and Andrew Maund on 'The Houseman Family in Peace and War'. Detail at www.housman-society.co.uk/.

May 2016
1 May: The Chichester Literary Society. London walk led by Charles Kay: 'Chelsea, part two - the slummy end'. Detail at www.chichesterliterarysociety.co.uk/events/.
6 May: The Chichester Literary Society. Talk by Robert Booth, local food writer, on 'My Favourite Things'. Detail at www.chichesterliterarysociety.co.uk/events/.
8 May: The Barbara Pym Society is holding its Spring Meeting at St Alban's Centre, Holborn, London. Talk by Chris Jenkins on The Excellent Woman's Excellent Women.
10 May: The Leamington Literary Society. At 7.30pm at the Dormer Conference Centre at St Peter's Church in Dormer Place, Royal Leamington Spa. A talk by Anne Langley on Joseph Ashby's Victorian Warwickshire. Visitors £2.50. Details at www.leamingtonliterarysociety.org.uk/programme.php.
15 May: The Thomas Hardy Society. A walk from Swanage to Corfe Castle. Detail at www.hardysociety.org/.
23 - 28 May: The Messolonghi Byron Society is holding the 11th International Student Byron Conference at the Messolonghi Byron Research Centre in Greece. The theme is Byron and the summer of 1816. Detail at www.keats-shelley.co.uk/events/.
31 May: The Housman Society. The Housman Lecture at the Hay Festival of Literature. Peter Parker. Detail at www.housman-society.co.uk/.
June 2016
3 June: The Chichester Literary Society. Talk by Beryl Kingston on 'Grabbing an idea out of the Air'. Detail at www.chichesterliterarysociety.co.uk/events/.
4 June: The Arnold Bennett Society. The 13th Arnold Bennett Conference at North Staffs Conference Centre, Hartshill, Stoke on Trent. The theme is Arnold Bennett's Friends and Acquaintances. For detail, visit www.arnoldbennettsociety.org.uk/.
4 June: The Thomas Hardy Society is holding its 2016 Birthday Weekend. It begins with a walk in the Dorchester area, followed by a birthday lecture. Details at www.hardysociety.org/.
8 June: The D H Lawrence Society. Talk by Bethan Hughes on The Prussian Officer and 'Billy Budd': Lawrence's 'imperfect politics of war'. Detail at dhlawrencesociety.com.
18 June: The William Barnes Society. Annual summer lunch. Contact www.william-barnes-society.org.uk for detail. 18 - 24 June: The Charles Lamb Society. The Lamb Festival at All Saints Church, Church Street, Edmonton. Details at www.allsaintsedmonton.org.uk/lamb-festival.html.
July 2016

29 June - 2 July: The 42nd Annual International Conference of the Joseph Conrad Society (UK). At Edinburgh Napier University. Detail at www.josephconradsociety.org/news.htm.
5 - 8 July: The Beatrix Potter Society 17th International Study Conference - Beatrix Potter: a lasting legacy' - celebrating the 150th anniversary of her birth, to be held in the Lake District. Open to non members; booking form and more detail available in January 2016 from www.beatrixpottersociety.org.uk.

6 - 9 July: The 8th Triennial Conference of the International John Bunyan Society in Aix en Provence, France - Voicing Dissent in the Long Reformation. Email voicingdissentconference@gmail.com for detail. 

15 - 17 July: The John Clare Society annual festival in Helpston, near Peterborough.
18 July: The William Barnes Society. A visit to the Blackmore Vale. For more detail go to www.william-barnes-society.org.uk.
20 - 24 July: Conrad's Footprints: 2016 International Conrad Conference in Lublin, Poland. For detail visit www.josephconradsociety.org/news.htm.
20 - 25 July: The Dickens Fellowship annual conference in Aberdeen, Scotland.
23 July: The Housman Society summer outing to Woodchester. Details at www.housman-society.co.uk/.
23 July: The Thomas Hardy Society is holding its 22nd International Conference and Festival, to be opened by their President Julian Fellowes. More detail at www.hardysociety.org/.
August 2016
1 - 5 August: The Coleridge Summer Conference, at Bristol. Keynote speakers: Jeffrey Cox, Peter Manning, Margaret Russett. Detail at www.friendsofcoleridge.com/summer-conference.
13 - 29 August: The Edinburgh International Book Festival, at Charlotte Square Gardens, Edinburgh.
September 2016
2 September: The Chichester Literary Society. Talk by Elizabeth Cassie on 'Mothers and Daughters'. Detail at www.chichesterliterarysociety.co.uk/events/.
2 - 4 September: The Historical Novel Society conference in Oxford. Speakers include Melvyn Bragg, Fay Weldon, Tracy Chevalier, Kate Williams, Margaret George, Elizabeth Chadwick, C W Gortner and Jo Baker.  In the Andrew Wiles Building and nearby St Anne's College, Woodstock Road. Detail at hnsoxford2016.org/
2 - 4 September: The Barbara Pym Society AGM and Conference at St Hilda's College, Oxford, No Fond Return of Love. Detail at www.barbara-pym.org/.
10 September: The Beatrix Potter Society autumn meeting in London.  Connie Neumann on 'Peter Rabbit Tales and Pioneer Trails: the parallel lives of Beatrix Potter and Laura Ingalls Wilder'. Open to non members, no booking needed, tea included and details from www.beatrixpottersociety.org.uk.
22 - 25 September: The Grahame Greene Birthplace Trust 18th International Festival. Detail at grahamgreenebt.org/
October 2016
7 October: The Chichester Literary Society. Talk by Colin Pinney on 'Yeats and Maud Gonne, the Gulf of Love'. Detail at www.chichesterliterarysociety.co.uk/events/.
7 - 16 October: The Times & Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, at Cheltenham Town Hall.
11 October: The William Barnes Society. AGM at 7pm at Dorford Centre, Top O'Town, Dorchester. Guest speaker: Bonny Sartin 'The Folk Songs of Dorset'. For detail go to www.william-barnes-society.org.uk.

November 2016 
4 November: The Chichester Literary Society. AGM, followed by talk by David Tregear on 'Peacock Pie'. Detail at www.chichesterliterarysociety.co.uk/events/.

If you are a member society and have an event which you want us to enter onto this site, email Linda Curry with details.