F to H

The Patrick Leigh Fermor Society
Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915 – 2011) was a travel writer and war hero The Society organises lectures and other events, and publishes a members’ journal, The Philhellene. It also organises funding for the Patrick Leigh Fermor house in Greece.You can contact the Society on patrickleighfermor.wordpress.com.

The Ford Madox Ford Society
Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939), novelist, poet, critic and editor. Best remembered for the Good Soldier and the Parade’s End tetralogy. The society was founded in 1997 to promote knowledge of and interest in Ford.  They organise an active programme of events. For more information on the Society, visit www.fordmadoxfordsociety.org

The Galloway Raiders
S. R. Crockett is one of Scotland’s most popular ‘forgotten’ fiction writers. Born in rural Galloway in 1859, he wrote extensively from the 1880s for serial magazines and published over 60 novels between 1893 and his death in 1914. The Society provides an online hub and point of information for those interested in the works of S. R. Crockett, as well as organising ‘live’ events and offering member discounts on published works. For more detail, visit their website at www.gallowayraiders.co.uk.

The Gaskell Society
Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1810-1865), nee Stevenson, was raised in Knutsford, Cheshire, before her marriage to a Manchester Unitarian Minister in 1832. The death of her only son inspired her to write and dickens invited her to contribute to his magazine.  Her home at Plymouth Grove was visited by many famous people from 1850 to her early death. Formed in 1985, in Knutsford, the Society works to promote and encourage the study and appreciation of the work and life of this Victorian author of Cranford, Mary Barton, North and South, Wives and Daughters, Silvia’s Lovers, as well as numerous short stories, and biography of Charlotte Bronte. To arrange associated visits and encourage republication of her works.  Bi-annual conference. For more information, visit www.gaskellsociety.co.uk.

A Ghostly Company
Formed in 2004, it takes its name from the classic 1932 ghost story collection by H R Wakefield, and provides opportunities for like-minded enthusiasts to meet at appropriate locations around the country. Previously, the Ghost Story Society and Ghosts and Scholars had organised conventions in Chester and Rochester but had then decided to devote their energies entirely to publishing. Hence the foundation of the Company. They are an informal, non-profit-making literary society devoted to the study of the ghost story in all its forms. To learn more visit the website at www.aghostlycompany.org.uk

The George Gissing Society
George Gissing (1857 – 1903) was a late-Victorian novelist whose most significant works are Demos, New Grub Street, Born in Exile, The Odd Women, In the Year of Jubilee, Eve’s Ransom, The Whirlpool, The Crown of Life, and The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft. He is also remembered for his travel book By the Ionian Sea and his criticism of the works of Charles Dickens. Members of the Gissing community include academics and enthusiasts throughout the world. There have been five conferences since 1999. Membership is via subscription to The Gissing Journal. For further information, go the the Gissing Journal web page .

The Friends of Glendower
W H Davies (1871 – 1940), the Welsh tramp-poet, lived in Nailsworth between 1928 and 1940. He spent the last two years in Glendower, Watledge.  His most famous poem, Leisure, published in 1911, is loved by young and old (‘What is this life, if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare’). Remembering the poet W H Davies and the Phillips Family dedicated to saving Glendower and to promoting the poems of W H Davies. The society also assists in restoring the cottage and garden; and arranging public readings, lectures and visits. To find out more, email the Steering Group Leader, Anthony R Burton MBE at anthonyburtonmbe@aol.com.

The Geraint Goodwin Society
Geraint Goodwin (1903 – 1942) was an evocative author capturing the essence of the people, the countryside, towns and villages of his native county. Born in the old county of Montgomeryshire, his books (often humerous, often tragic) give an acute insight into the effect on the rural communities of the social and industrial changes during the first half of the 20th century in mid Wales. The Society was formed to promote interest in, and celebrate the works of, this writer. Although his work is out of print, the Society hopes that its formation will lead to a revised interest in his work. Talks have and will be given by Mary Oldham in his local mid Wales. For more information visit their website at www.geraint-goodwin-society.org.uk.

The Kenneth Grahame Society
Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932) is best known as the author of the Wind in the Willows and The Reluctant Dragon. He also wrote a number of essays and two highly-regarded collections of short stories – The Golden Age, Dream Days – about a family of orphaned children. The aims of the Society are to encourage scholarly study and discussions of the works of Kenneth Grahame, to actively promote an expanded universe around the Wind in the Willows, and to be a comprehensive and accurate resource on the life and works of Kenneth Grahame. It organises an AGM/weekend in late August/September each year – at locations associated with Kenneth Grahame. The Society newsletter, Riverbank News, is sent to all members twice a year. Membership is free and membership applications from all over the world are welcomed. There will be a small subsection within the Kenneth Grahame Society dedicated to the works of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch from 2008 until an independent literary society dedicated to him is formed. To find out more visit the website at www.kennethgrahamesociety.net.

The Robert Graves Society
Robert Graves (1895 – 1985) was the author of some 140 books of poetry, fiction, biography, criticism, anthropology, social history, mythology, biblical studies, translation, and children’s books. The Society was launched in 1995. Its membership consists of both experts and interested lay people, including literary scholars, historians, classicists, archaeologists, biblical scholars, bibliographers, editors, writers and translators, besides of course general readers of his books. To find out more, visit our website at www.robertgraves.org/society.

The Graham Greene Birthplace Trust
Henry Graham Greene (1904-1991), novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenwriter, travel writer, and critic.  Greeene combined serious literary acclaim with wide popularity. Works include Brighton Rock, The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana, The Man Within, Stamboul Train. The Trust aims to promote the appreciation and study of the works of Graham Greene, and is based in Berkhampsted, his birthplace. More detail from www.grahamgreenebt.org.

The Fulke Greville Society
Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, de jure 13th Baron Latimer, and 5th Baron Willoughby de Broke (1554-1628), Elizabethan poet, dramatist and statesman. His poetry consists of closet tragedies, sonnets and political/moral subjects. Work include the Life of the Renowned Sir Philip Sidney, Alaham, Mustapha. For more information on the Society, contact Anthony Astbury, 6 Mellors Court, the Butts, Warwick, CV34 4ST.

The Thomas Hardy Society
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), is most famous for novels such as Far From the Madding Crowd, The Return of the Native, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and Tess of the d’Urbervilles, but he also published 947 poems; the epic poetic drama, The Dynasts, based on the Napoleonic Wars; and nearly fifty short stories. The Society, based in Hardy’s native Dorset, was founded in 1968. It is dedicated to advancing ‘education in the works of Thomas Hardy by promoting in every part of the world appreciation and study of these works’. The Society is for anyone interested in Hardy’s writings, life and times. Among its members are many distinguished literary and academic figures, and many more who love and enjoy Hardy’s work sufficiently to wish to meet fellow enthusiasts and develop their appreciation of it. It arranges regular events throughout the year, as well as a biennial conference and festival, and publishes three journals each year. For more information, visit www.hardysociety.org.

F W Harvey Society
Frederick William Harvey (1888 – 1957)  achieved fame as a War Poet, his first verses having been written while he served in the Great War. He was a friend of Ivor Gurney, the dually-gifted poet and composer, and of Gurney’s fellow-composer, Herbert Howells – all three were from Gloucestershire.  Will Harvey was known as ‘the Laureate of Gloucestershire’ and the ‘Forest Poet’. Harvey’s best known poem is Ducks, which was a popular inclusion in many anthologies, but he is also respected for other works such as In Flanders, put to music by Ivor Gurney, If We Return, The Horses, Spring 1924, Quietly I Will Bide Here and lighter verse such as Cricket: The Catch – cricket was one of Harvey’s passions. The aims of the society are to ensure legacy of F W Harvey is remembered through events, publications, research and by developing and maintaining an archive of his life and work. Learn more about the Society at www.fwharveysociety.co.uk.

The Hawker Society
Robert Stephen Hawker (1803 – 1875), poet, historian, antiquary, and, for forty years, Vicar of Morwenstow on the north coast of Cornwall. The Society exists to perpetuate Hawker’s memory and foster and extend interest in his life and works; to help to protect and conserve the buildings and countryside connected to Hawker and recorded in his writings; to inform members of news and arrange events, and to keep them abreast of relevant publications. For more information visit their website at www.hawkersociety.org.

The Hazlitt Society
The Hazlitt Society is dedicated to the writer, journalist and critic, William Hazlitt (1778 – 1830). It grew out of a campaign to restore Hazlitt’e long-neglected grave in St Anne’s churchyard in Soho. The Society has also been involved with the Hazlitt Day Schools, at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, and which now run alongside the annual lecture at UCL. Members receive an annual newsletter and The Hazlitt Review. For more information, visit their website at www.ucl.ac.uk/hazlitt-society.

The James Hilton Society
James Hilton (1900-1954), novelist and scriptwriter.  Author of Lost Horizon, Random Harvest, Goodbye Mr Chips. Eight of his novels were made into films. The aims of the Society are to promote interest in the life and works of James Hilton. We publish a quarterly newsletter and an annual scholarly journal, and organise conferences and meetings. For more information visit www.jameshiltonsociety.co.uk.

The Historical Novel Society
Founded in 1997, the Society promotes all aspects of historical fiction. They provide support and opportunities for new writers, information for students, booksellers and librarians; and a community for authors, readers, agents and publishers. They publish a quarterly magazine, Historical Novels Review, and a twice yearly mazine Solander. There are also conferences in the UK and the USA.  For more information visit www.historicalnovelsociety.org.

The Sherlock Holmes Society of London
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – “patriot, physician & man of letters”, to quote the inscription on his gravestone. But the Society’s principal interest is less in the author (who was a remarkable and in many ways a great man) than in the characters he created, specifically Sherlock Holmes and John H Watson of 221B Baker Street. Founded in 1951, the Society is open to anyone with an interest in Sherlock Holmes, Dr John H Watson, and their world. It is a literary and social Society, publishing a scholarly Journal and occasional papers, and holding meetings, dinners and excursions. For more information visit their website at www.sherlock-holmes.org.uk or contact their Press and Publicity Officer at shj@btinternet.com.

The Hopkins Society
Gerard Manley Hopkins, priest and poet (1844 – 1889) was a Victorian poet but his work is emphatically not confined by his era.  He loved the beauty of nature, which he saw as directly related to the glory of God. In his poetry he piles metaphors, consonants and sprung rhythms together to produce uniquely beautiful, disturbing and often painful poetry. He was unregarded in his own lifetime but his insights into the natural world and man’s place in it are deeply relevant to the 21st c and his poetry has heart breaking beauty. The Hopkins Society has been studying and celebrating Hopkins for more than 20 years. They have strong links with St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre in Tremeirchion where Hopkins spent his happiest years training for the Jesuit priesthood. They welcome all those who love his poetry – whether or not it is understood! The Society holds workshops on the history, context, structure and performance of his poetry, visits to places connected to Hopkins and an annual lecture. For more information, visit their website at www.hopkinssociety.weebly.com.

The Housman Society
Alfred Edward Housman (1859-1936) was a poet of great popularity and widespread influence.  He was a Latin scholar of the front rank and his influence is still felt today. Founded in 1973, the Society aims to promote knowledge and appreciation of the lives and works of A E Housman and other members of his family. It produces two newsletters and one journal per year, and sponsors an annual lecture at Hay on Wye. For more information, visit www.housman-society.co.uk.