The Nancy Blackett Trust
‘Nancy Blackett’ was the boat that gave Arthur Ransome the inspiration for his 7th Swallows and Amazons adventure, ‘We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea’, in which four children, aboard an identical yacht, ‘The Goblin’, drift out to sea. The Trust was set up in 1997 to purchase her and secure her continued preservation, following a rescue and restoration. They offer sailing experiences aboard her, and, in various ways, promote interest in Ransome and his works. For more detail visit www.nancyblackett.org.
The Edith Nesbit Society
Edith Nesbit (1858 – 1924), author and poet. She wrote or collaborated on over 60 works of fiction for children. Best known for The Story of the Treasure Seekers and The Woodbegoods. To find out about the Society, contact The Edith Nesbit Society, 26 Strongbow Road, Eltham, SE9 1DT.
The Newport and Gwent Literary Club
Probably the oldest literary club in Wales, they run monthly talks in addition to other activities. They meet at the Holiday Inn, Coldra, Newport. For more detail, visit their website at https://newportandgwentliterarysociety.wordpress.com/.
The Norman Nicholson Society
Norman Nicholson was born in Millom, Cumbria, in 1914 and lived there until his death in 1987, with the exception of two years in his late teens when he was sent to a sanatorium in Hampshire to recover from tuberculosis – an event which shaped his subsequent life. His writing career lasted from 1930 until his death and embraced plays, poetry, novels, criticism and essays. He is best known for his poetry and was awarded the Queen’s Medal in 1977 and the OBE in 1981. The Society was formed in 2006 with the aim of educating the public in, and promoting the works of, Norman Nicholson. It is based in Millom, in the shadow of Black Combe, and has a worldwide membership. It organises and supports events and special projects which promote the appreciation of Nicholson’s work. It also seeks to encourage creative reflection upon locality and the environment in accordance with Nicholson’s example. The Society produces a newsletter-journal, Comet, published twice a year, and also keeps in touch with its membership by means of regular e-newsletters. There are different categories of membership, including youth membership, and the Society is proactive in establishing links with schools and universities. More information can be found on the website at www.normannicholson.org.
The Orwell Society
George Orwell (1903 – 1950) was one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. His works include the world renowned Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four but also many other novels and essays. Room 101, Big Brother and All Animals Are Equal But Some Are More Equal Than Others , all came from Orwell’s pen. Scarcely a day goes by without the word “Orwellian” being employed, whether to mean a chilling vision of political control or a perversion of language. The Orwell Society is dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of the life and work of George Orwell (the pen-name of Eric Blair). The Orwell Society aims to bring together all who admire his writings, whatever their politics and wherever they are. Richard Blair, Orwell’s adopted son, is Patron of the Society. For more information, visit their website at www.orwellsociety.com.
The Wilfred Owen Association
Wilfred Edward Salter Owen (1893-1918), poet and soldier. Best known works include Dulce Et Decorum Est, Insensibility, Anthem for Doomed Youth, Futility, Strange Meeting. The Association promotes the poetry of Wilfred Owen, organises occasional lectures, and publishes the Wilfred Owen Journal. For more detail of the Association, visit www.1914-18.co.uk/owen.
The Beatrix Potter Society
Beatrix Potter (1866 – 1943), author and illustrator of the ‘little books’ about Peter Rabbit et al, was also a scientist, artist, farmer, sheepbreeder and conservationist. Founded in 1980 to uphold, protect and study Beatrix Potter’s works and legacy, the Society has members worldwide, whose interests range from the ‘little books’, to Beatrix Potter’s farms in the Lake District, to Potter ‘collectibles’, and membership is open to all. It is very active, with meetings in the UK five times a year, including a biennial Study Conference, and gatherings and events at other times and in other countries. It supports a quarterly Journal and Newsletter; an active publication programme and Reading/Introducing Beatrix Potter schemes. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.beatrixpottersociety.org.uk.
The Anthony Powell Society
Anthony Dymoke Powell (1905-2000) is best known for his twelve-volume novel A Dance to the Music of Time, which many scholars and readers consider to be one of the greatest works of the 20th century; it may also be the longest English language novel written to date. Powell’s other works include two plays, seven further novels, a biography of the 17th century diarist John Aubrey as well as four volumes of memoirs and three volumes of journals. A prolific liteary critic and book reviewer, Powell worked for a number of periodicals, including the Daily Telegraph (for which he reviewed for almost 50 yers). Times Literary Supplement, Punch (where he was Literary Editor in the 1950s) and The Spectator, he published three volumes (the last, posthumously) of his erudite and incisive literary criticism selected from his work as a reviewer and critic. Founded following Powell’s death in 2000, the Society’s aim is to increase widespread interest in the works of Anthony Powell in a way which balances the needs of all enthusiasts, including academics and professional literarists. In addition to a biennial conference, the Society oranises events for members, publishes a quarterly Newsletter, the academic journal Secret Harmonies, conference proceedings, and Powell-related monographs. It also maintains the Anthony Powell resources website and an email discussion list. For more information, visit www.anthonypowell.org.
The Powys Society
The Powys Society promotes the writings of John Cowper Powys (1872-1963), T F Powys (1875-1953), and Llewelyn Powys (1884-1939), through the reading and discussion of their works. The Society publishes a journal and three newsletters a year. In addition, it organises an annual conference and holds other occasional meetings. It has also launched a publications programme. For more information visit www.powys-society.org.
The J B Priestley Society
John Boynton Priestley (1894-1984), writer and broadcaster. Writings included An English Journey, Man and Time, Bright Days. Established in Bradford in 1997, the Society aims to widen the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Priestley’s literary and other published works, promote the study of his life and career, and the social, cultural and political forces which influenced him; and provide the members of the Society with opportunities to share experiences and knowledge of his works, life and career. For more information visit www.jbpriestley-society.com.
The Barbara Pym Society
Barbara Mary Crampton Pym (1912-1980), born in Oswestry and graduated from St Hilda’s College Oxford. Her comic novels were popular in the 1950s and early 1960s, but she endured a period ‘in the wilderness’ before being nominated for the Booker Prize in 1978. Founded in 1994, the Society is based at St Hilda’s College. It holds an annual conference (August/September) and a Spring meeting, usually in London. there is a biannual newsletter, Green Leaves. For more information visit www.barbara-pym.org.
The Arthur Ransome Society (TARS)
Arthur Michell Ransome (1884-1967), author and journalist. Best known for Swallows and Amazons series of children’s books set mostly in the Lake District and on the Norfolk Broads. The Society was formed in 1990 to celebrate and promote the life and works of Arthur Ransome. Its membership is international. It has a regional structure in the UK, supporting local gatherings and events. There is also a biennial literary weekend. For more information visit www.arthur-ransome.org.
The Herbert Read of Ryedale Group
Sir Herbert Read, native of Ryedale in North Yorkshire, distinguished himself as a soldier, pacifist, writer on Art and Literature and poet. He is buried at St Gregory’s Minister at Kirkdale near Kirbymoorside. The Herbert Read of Ryedale Group started in and around Kirbymoorside, Helmsley, Pickering and Malton in the summer of 2007. It aims to keep alive, in his home locality, the memory of this internationally renowned writer, informing visitors to the countryside which he evokes so well. For more details contact John Dean, c/o Summit Bookshop, 2 Market Place, Kirbymoorside, York YO62 6BB, email email@example.com.
The Romany Society
Romany was the name used by the Rev. George Bramwell Evans (1884-1943). A Methodist minister and the first great broadcasting naturalist, he was loved by a huge radio audience in the early 1930s and 1940s, and influenced a generation to appreciate nature. His books and ‘Out with Romany’ radio show made him a household name to millions. The Romany Society was reformed in 1996 with Terry Waite as Patron and Romany’s daughter, Romany Watt, as President. The Society exists to promote and encourage the study and appreciation of Romany, his life and his works. There are around 300 members in the UK and abroad, and, with the help of Cheshire East Council, they look after his caravan or ‘Vardo’ on display in Wilmslow, Cheshire. For more information, visit www.romanysociety.org.uk.
The Royal Society of Literature
Founded in 1820, the RSL is Britain’s national charity for the advancement of literature. They encourage and honour writers, engage people in appreciating literature and act as a voice for the value of literature. Membership of the RSL is open to all. Members’ benefits include access to exclusive events, a free ticket to every RSL public event – around 20 per year – and a free subscription to the RSL Review magazine. Visit www.rsliterature.org for detail.
The Ruskin Society
John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) was the leading art critic of Victorian Britain. His writing ranged over a vast number of subjects from art and architecture, through political economy and social reform, to geology, botany and ecology. His influence reached around the world, with William Morris and the founders of the welfare state, Tolstoy, Proust and Gandhi all acknowledging a debt to him. The Ruskin Society seeks to raise awareness of the life, work and times of the great art critic and social reformer, John Ruskin. Meeting about four times a year, the calendar of events include an annual birthday dinner, an excursion and illustrated lectures and talks, mostly in London. For information on the Society, visit their website at www.theruskinsociety.com.
The Russian Poetic Crew – in Manchester
They are a society dedicated to the reading of Russian poetry and open to anyone who is interested in Russian culture, art and poetry. Based in Sale, Manchester. Their Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/groups/russianpoeticcrew/, or you can contact Svetlana Kotina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mark Rutherford Society
William Hale White (1831-1913), writer and civil servant. Writings include The Inner Life of the House of Commons, The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford, Mark Rutherford’s Deliverance, The Revolution in Tanner’s Lane. The Society aims to unite all those who appreciate his work; encourage publishers to make all the Rutherford novels and other writings available in print, produce a scholarly journal, and hold conferences. For more information on the Society visit www.davidfrench.org.uk/markrutherford.