The Lewis Carroll Society
The Lewis Carroll Society was formed in 1969 to encourage research into the life and works of Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, 1832 – 1898). His most famous writings are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass. For more detail visit their website at lewiscarrollsociety.org.uk.
The Chichester Literary Society
The Society embraces a wide range of topics and writers, from Austen to Ackroyd, Zola to Zadie Smith, from Anthony Trollope to Joanna Trollope. Through a programme of talks, walks, outgoings and social events, the Society aims to promote love of the written word, whichever form it takes, be it prose or verse, the classics or more modern writers. Authors and biographers give talks, or actors perform readings on the lives and works of writers and poets. We have enjoyed listening to, and questioning, many eminent speakers, as well as our super-supportive Patron, Simon Brett, playwright for radio, television and theatre, and prolific crime writer. For more information visit www.chichesterliterarysociety.co.uk.
The Children’s Books History Society
The British Branch of the Friends of the Osborne and Lillian H Smith Collections. The Society promotes an appreciation of children’s books in their literary, historical and bibliographical aspects, and further encourages a distribution and exchange of information on children’s literature. To learn more about them, visit their website at www.cbhs.org.uk.
The John Clare Society
John Clare (1793-1864), commonly known as the Northamptonshire Peasant Poet. A prolific writer with a large collection of manuscripts in the Peterborough and Northampton museums. Clare’s poetic descriptions of local fauna and flora are a great source of reference for natural historians. Founded in 1981, the Society works to promote a wider and deeper knowledge of Clare and his countryside. They produce a quarterly newsletter, and an annual journal. The John Clare Festival weekend is held each July in the village of Helpston, just outside Peterborough – open to everyone. Membership is international – with branches in the USA and in Japan. For more information, visit www.johnclare.org.uk.
The Friends of Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), poet, critic and philosopher. Best known for the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, Biographia Literaria. Founded in 1986, The Friends of Coleridge aim to foster interest in his life and works and to support Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey, Somerset, through cooperation with the National Trust. They produce the Coleridge Bulletin twice a year, host an annual study weekend at Kilve in Somerset, and sonsor a biennial international conference at Cannington, close to the Quantock Hills. More information from www.friendsofcoleridge.com.
The Wilkie Collins Society
William Wilkie Collins (1824-1889), novelist, playwright, and short story writer. Best known works: The Woman in White, The Moonstone, Armadale, No Name. Formed in 1980, the Society works to promote interest in the life and works of Collins. The Society issues a newsletter three times a year, and a journal. It also publishes an annual reprint of one of Collins’ short, less known works. For more detail, visit www.wilkiecollinssociety.com.
The Joseph Conrad Society
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), Polish born British novelist. Works include Heart of Darkness and Nostromo. The Society is devoted to the study of all aspects of the writings and life of Joseph Conrad. Aims are to provide a forum and resource for Conrad scholars throughout the world and those with a strong interest in things ‘Conradian’. Founded in 1973, the Joseph Conrad Society (UK) has, from small beginnings, grown into a learned society with an international outreach and perspective. They publish the premier Conrad journal, The Conradian, appearing twice annually, hold an annual international conference in the early summer, award an annual essay prize, and promote the study of Conrad by offering, when possible, resources and support to scholars without or with limited access to university or other sources of funding. For more detail visit their website at www.josephconradsociety.org.
The Dickens Fellowship
Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870), most prolific writer of the 19th century, most of whose novels were aimed at bringing public awareness of the social injustices of the day. The Fellowship aims to stimulate, or rekindle, an appreciation of Dickens’s pure artistry of words and for his eminently great genius of story-telling. For more information, visit www.dickensfellowship.org.
The Dickens Fellowship Birmingham
This is a branch of the Dickens Fellowship, based in Birmingham. To find out more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dracula Society
The Society was founded in 1973 by two London-based actors, Bernard Davies and Bruce Wightman. They cater for lovers of ‘the vampire and his kind’ – werewolves, reanimated mummies, mad scientists and their creations, and all the other monsters spawned by the Gothic genre. The Society’s main emphasis is on London-based meetings, which include guest speakers, discussions, quizzes, film and video screenings, and auctions. They also organise trips to places with Gothic and/or supernatural associations, both in the UK and elsewhere. To find out more, visit thedraculasociety.org.uk.
The Dorothy Dunnett Society
Dorothy Dunnett (1923-2001), Scottish historical novelist. Best known for the Lymond Chronicles, The House of Niccolo. The Association produces a quarterly magazine, Whispering Gallery, and holds an annual gathering in Edinburgh in April. There are also affiliated meetings. For more detail, visit dunnettcentral.org.
Friends of the Dymock Poets
Robert Frost, Wilfrid Gibson, Lascelles Abercrombie, John Drinkwater, Rupert Brooke and Edward Thomas.
Formed in 1993, the Friends exist to foster an interest in the work of the Dymock Poets, preserve places and things associated with them, keep members informed of literary and other matters relating to them, help protect the border countryside of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, and increase knowledge and appreciation of the landscape between May Hill and the Malvern Hills. They produce a newsletter three times a year, an annual journal, hold Spring day talks and a walk; and hold a weekend of talks/walks in early October. To find out more, visit dymockpoets.org.uk.
The George Eliot Fellowship
Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880), later to become George Eliot, novelist, born at Arbury near Nuneaton. She was an intellectual but had a profound insight into the lives of the ordinary individual. Evangelicalism dominated her earlier life but she abandoned these ideas to become a free thinker in her early twenties. She translated important religious works, wrote poetry and later became assistant editor of the Westminster Review. She lived an unconventional life – living openly with George Henry Lewes for whom divorce was impossible, for 24 years, and who encouraged her at the age of 37 to begin to write fiction. After his death, she had a brief marriage to John Walter Cross. The George Eliot Fellowship was founded in 1930 and exists to promote interest in George Eliot and her works. It is a forum for those who admire her writing, and for those who wish to learn more. It encourages the collection of material associated with her nationally and locally. It publishes The George Eliot Review annually with a strong academic element but focuses also on matters of general interest through its newsletters. To find out more visit www.georgeeliot.org
The Elmet Trust
The Elmet Trust celebrates the life and works of Ted Hughes, poet and children’s author, who served as poet laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998. The Trust is based in Hughes’ birthplace, Mytholmroyd, in Yorkshire’s Upper Calder Valley. They rent out Ted’s House as a holiday let/writer’s retreat, and run a programme of events there throughout the year. To learn more about the Trust and Ted Hughes, visit www.theelmettrust.org.