The Richard Jefferies Society
Richard Jefferies (1848-1887), was an authority on agriculture and rural life. Best known for his nature writing, he was also an essayist, novelist and mystic. The Richard Jefferies Society was founded in 1950 and has 250 members around the world. Most activities are based at Coate, Swindon – Jefferies’ birthplace and home, now a museum. There are winter meetings, outings, a study day and a Birthday Lecture. Publications include winter and summer Journals, spring and autumn newsletters, and an annual report along with leaflets and books by Jefferies. More information on RichardJefferiesSociety.co.uk.
The Jerome K Jerome Society
Jerome Klapka Jerome (1859-1927), write and editor of Today and The Idler. Best known for the classic of English humour Three Men in a Boat (say nothing of the dog), and its sequel Three Men on the Bummel. He produced a typically off-beat autobiography My Life and Times. The Society, which is based in the author’s birth place, Walsall, was formed in 1984 and aims to stimulate interest in and public awareness of the life and works of Jerome K Jerome. The magazine, Idle thoughts, is produced twice a year. There is a glittering annual dinner in Walsall on or around the author’s birth date, 2 May, and an annual Christmas concert. To find out more, visit www.jeromekjerome.com.
The Johnson Society (Lichfield)
Dr Samuel Johnson, born in Lichfield September 1709 and died in London December 1784, lexicographer, author, poet, conversationalist, and Christian. The Johnson Society aims to encourage the study of the life, works and times of Samuel Johnson and also to cooperate in preserving the memorials, associations, manuscripts and letters of Johnson and his contemporaries. It commemorates Johnson’s birthday for a weekend in September every year. Officers of the Society can be contacted at the Johnson Birthplace Museum, Breadmarket Street, Lichfield, Staffs WS13 6LG, by email at email@example.com – or visit the website at www.thejohnsonsociety.org.uk. The annual publication Transactions is published in January and circulated to members.
The Johnson Society (London)
The London Society was founded in 1928 and has an international membership. It holds seven meetings each year with speakers. It also publishes an annual journal the New Rambler and an occasional newsletter The New Idler. For more detail, visit www.johnsonsocietyoflondon.org.
The David Jones Society
David Jones (1895-1974) attended Camberwell Art College before joining the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1915. He fought at the Battle of the Somme, and, on returning to England, met Eric Gill and continued to paint. He subsequently started to write, publishing long poems with illustrations. The Society aims to promote and encourage knowledge about the painter-poet. Annual conferences are organised, as well as visits to sites of interest where he lived, worked, fought in the Great War, and art galleries containing his visual art. It also publishes an annual journal. For more information visit www.david-jones-society.org.
The Anna Kavan Society
Anna Kavan (1901 – 1968) was a British writer and painter whose distinctive style has been admired by other significant writers including Brian Aldiss, J G Ballard, Doris Lessing, Anais Nin and Jean Rhys. She is best known for her stories in the collections Asylum Piece (1940) and Julia and the Bazooka (1970), and her novels Sleep Has His House (1947), Who Are You? (1963), and Ice (1967). The Anna Kavan Society aims to encourage wider readership and increase academic scholarship of Kavan’s work. The website provides accurate information about her life and writing, and news of Kavan-related events and publications. The Society hopes to create a forum for information exchange and research collaboration, and is currently planning an academic symposium and a public event celebrating her work. Visit www.annakavan.org.uk for detail.
The Keats-Shelley Memorial Association
Formed in 1903, apart from maintaining the Keats Shelley Memorial House, the Association is responsible for the upkeep of the graves of Keats and Shelley in the non-Catholic Cemetery at Testaccio. In Italy, they run a continuous programme of outreach to schools and other interested groups as well as individual tourists. They publish an annual review of scholarship and new writing on the Romantics. For more information visit www.keats-shelley.co.uk.
The Kilvert Society
Robert Francis Kilvert (1840-1879), diarist. His Diaries are considered to be classics, and also of historical importance for the study of remote rural life and Victorian society. Formed in 1948, the Society aims to keep alive an interest in Francis Kilvert’s diaries and the countryside he loved. They meet several times a year – based in Hereford. A journal is published three times a year. Details from The Kilvert Society at www.thekilvertsociety.org.uk
The Kipling Society
A prolific writer, Rudyard Kipling was born in India at the height of the British Empire and as its unofficial poet laureate became the most famous Englishman of his time. He was author of over 1,000 poems, 300 short stories, 4 novels and letters of trvel, but is best known for Kim, The Jungle Books and the Just So Stories for children. Founded in 1927, the Kipling Society promotes and celebrates the life and work of Rudyard Kipling and holds an annual luncheon and 5 meetings each year, in London, with guest speakers. These talks and other articles are published in the Society’s quarterly Journal. The Society’s website www.kipling.org.uk includes a comprehensive Readers’ Guide, book reviews and an index to the complete texts of the Kipling Journals (apart from the last two years), published from 1927. The website also gives more information about the Society maintaining a library at the City University in London and the links it has with Bateman’s, Kipling’s home in sussex, and a small Kipling museum at Rottingdean.
The Charles Lamb Society
Charles Lamb (1775-1834), essayist and poet. Best known for his Essays of Elia and for the children’s book Tales from Shakespeare, which he produced along with his sister, Mary Lamb. The Charles Lamb Society works to educate the public in the life and work of Lamb and his circle. They also maintain a collection of Eliana and publish the CLB four times a year. For more information on the Society, contact Nicholas Powell, Chairman, The Charles Lamb Society, 28 Grove Lane, London SE6 8ST.
The Philip Larkin Society
Philip Arthur Larkin (1922-1985), poet, novelist and jazz critic. Born in Coventry, worked as a librarian at the University of Hull until his death. Founded in 1995, the Society works to promote awareness of the life and work of Larkin and his literary contemporaries; to bring together all those who admire Larkin’s work as poet, novelist, jazz critic and librarian; and to promote relevant publications on all things regarding Larkin. It holds regular talks on all aspects of Larkin’s life and work; readings; exhibitions; workshops; conferences; and walks and tours to sites of interest associated with Larkin’s life. The Society’s journal is About Larkin; it organises pre-arranged visits to the Larkin archives held in the Brynmor Jones Library; runs a lively active discussion forum available freely; and the Philip Larkin Society Shop sells audio and books; including tapes of Larkin reading his own work. For more information, visit www.philiplarkin.com.
The D H Lawrence Society
David Herbert Richards Lawrence (1885-1930), born in Eastwood, near Nottingham, and died in Vence in the South of France. In his comparatively short life he travelled widely and established an international reputation as a novelist, poet and short story writer. He also completed work in many other literary forms – drama, philosophy, history, essays, travel books and literary criticism. In addition, he was a prolific letter writer and an artist of no mean ability. The Society was founded in 1974 by a group of enthusiasts in the Eastwood ara who wish to encourage knowledge and understanding of the life and work of D H Lawrence. It aims to bring together people interested in Lawrence and to encourage study of his work; to provide information and guides for individuals and groups visiting the area; to make links with those interested in Lawrence in other countries; and to assist in the protection of sites associated with Lawrence and of the countryside in general. For information on the Society, contact Mr Leslie Parkes, Treasurer, The D H Lawrence Society, 1 Gorse close, Newthorpe, Nottingham NG16 2BZ.
The Leamington Literary Society
The Society was founded in 1912 and meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa. the Society aims to advance education of the public by the study and appreciation of literature, including poetry and drama. To this end, they engage 10 professional speakers each year and occasionally host a nationally well known literary figure for an extended audience. For more information about the Society, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wyndham Lewis Society
Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), British painter and author. Co-founded the Vorticist avant-garde art movement and edited its journal BLAST. Novels include Tarr, The Apes of God, and The Human Age. For information on the Society visit its website at www.wyndhamlewis.org.
The Katherine Mansfield Society
Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), modernist short story writer, diarist and letter writer. An international literary figure who continues to influence fictional techniques. Mansfield is important within European modernism and is New Zealand’s most celebrated writer. Main works: Bliss and Other Stories; The Garden Party and Other Stories; Journal: Collected Letters; Collected Stories. This international society was set up in 2008 to promote and encourage the worldwide study and enjoyment of Katherine Mansfield’s writing. Members receive a copy of Katherine Mansfield Studies – the annual journal of the Society, published annually by Edinburgh University Press; 3 e-newsletters a year; regular email news alerts; a comprehensive website with exclusive member-only resources and daily KM blog; discounted rates for KMS conferences/events. For further details on the Society, visit their website at www.katherinemansfieldsociety.org.
The Marlowe Society
Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593), dramatist, poet, and translator of the Elizabethan era. The Marlow Society aims to present Kit Marlowe in his true light as a great poet and playwright, the innovator of blank verse drama; to encourage the performance of his plays; to discuss and study Elizabethan and Jacobean literature with particular attention to Marlowe’s place in it; and to publish historically valid information about him based on research. They produce two newsletters annually, and hold various events. For more information visit www.marlowe-society.org.
The Martineau Society
The Society was established to foster the collection, preservation, study and publication in the pubic interest of material relating to the Martineau family of Norwich in the 19th c. and the princiles of freedom of conscience advocated by Harriet Martineau and her brother, Dr James Martineau. The main activities of the Society are an annual meeting in July which includes the presentation of papers, local trails related to the Martineau family, social events and exchanges of information. There is an interest also in collaborating with other literary societies which have connections to the Martineau family – e.g. the Gaskell and Carlyle Societies. More information on the Society can be found at martineausociety.co.uk.
The John Meade Falkner Society
Born in 1858, the son of a Wiltshire curate, Meade Falkner spent most of his childhood in Dorchester and Weymouth. From Marlborough College and Hertford College, Oxford, he joined the huge armaments firm of Armstrong in Newcastle, and ended up as Chairman. He wrote three novels – The Lost Stradivarius, Moonfleet, The Nebuly Coat; topographical guides; and poetry, dying at his home in Durham in July 1932. The Society was established in 1999 on the anniversary of Meade Falkner’s birth – 8 May. Its aim is to promote the appreciation and study of the life, times and works of an author best known as the writer of Moonfleet. An annual journal, three newsletters and support for buildings associated with Meade Falkner are the main activities. The main areas of interest are Durham, Newcastle, Oxford, Burford, Dorset and Wiltshire. For more information, visit www.johnmeadefalknersociety.co.uk.
The Melrose Literary Society
The Society offers stimulating twice-monthly evening events in a friendly atmosphere in the Ormiston Institute, Melrose, when there is an opportunity to hear published authors and other speakers give talks on a wide variety of literary topics. For more detail, visit www.melrose.bordernet.co.uk/literary-society, or contact their Secretary, Dr Peter Hoad at email@example.com.
The John Moore Society
The Society was formed in 1988 and aims to perpetuate the memory of John Moore and foster interest in his life and work. It also provides support for the John Moore Countryside Museum in Tewkesbury. To find out more, visit their website at www.johnmooremuseum.org.