A to B

The Margery Allingham Society
Margery Allingham (1904-1966) is ranked as one of the most distinguished writers of detective fiction’s ‘Golden Age’. The aim of the Society is to bring together all those who share an interest in preserving, promoting and enjoying her literary work and reputation through meetings, social events, publishing and by encouraging research into her life and times. The Society meets regularly in London and East Anglia. Members receive the twice-yearly journal, and a newsletter is produced from time to time. For more detail visit www.margeryallingham.org.uk.

The Jane Austen Society
Jane Austen (1775 – 1817), novelist, lived her life as part of a large and close knit family located on the lower fringes of English gentry.  Works:  Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion.

The Jane Austen Society is active in its wider aim of honouring the author and promoting interest in her life and work.  In addition to the Society’s day and weekend conferences, a varied menu of events is offered by Branches and Groups in Bath and Bristol, Cambridge, Hampshire, Kent, London, the Midlands, Norfolk, the North, Scotland, Wales, the South West, and counties adjoining Surrey – the Southern Circle.  More details on their website at www.janeaustensoci.freeuk.com.

The Jane Austen Society Midlands
The Midlands Society was founded in 1990 with the intention of providing regular meetings where like-minded people could share and promote interest in, and understanding of, the life and works of Jane Austen.  It produces an annual publication Transactions, and members also receive seasonal newsletters – and there are events.  More information on the Midlands home page 

The Djuna Barnes Society of UK & Ireland

Djuna Barnes (1892-1982) was an American artist, illustrator, journalist and writer. The Society was set up to inspire, create and cultivate a community where modernist scholars, enthusiasts and lovers of literature can unite to discuss all things modern. Her main works include Nightwood, Ladies Almanack, The Book of Repulsive Women, A Night Among the Horses, Ryder and her play The Antiphon. Members receive a monthly newsletter, regular email alerts, a strong social media presence, discounted rates for DB conferences and access to merchandise to help support the society. For more detail email the Society.

The William Barnes Society
William Barnes (1801 – 1886) was born in Bagber, North Dorset.  He was a poet who wrote mainly in the Dorset dialect but also in national English.  He taught himself 60 languages, was a competent engraver, antiquary; linguist and musician playing the flute, violin and piano.  He was a schoolmaster but later registered as a ten year’s man with St John’s College, Cambridge, and was priested in 1848.  Died at Winterborne Came and is buried in the churchyard there. The Society promotes the enjoyment of the poems of William Barnes and knowledge of the man himself and his times.  They aim to nurture the dialect and encourage the reading.  They hold events which include talks, members’ evenings when members read poems both dialect and national English, musical entertainment drawing on Dorset’s rich folk and cultural traditions and an annual service of remembrance.  They produce a bi-annual newsletter which contains articles and information on publications and research related to William Barnes. More information at www.williambarnessociety.org.uk.

The BB Society

Denys Watkins-Pitchford (BB) (1905 – 1990) has left us some of the finest and best-loved descriptions of the English Countryside and its wildlife. He had a keen eye for the minimalistic rural scene and could create a vivid and lasting picture in a few well chosen words and an evocative black and white illustration. He wrote and illustrated over 60 titles of his own, of which 30 are children’s books. In 1942, he won the prestigious Carnegie Medal for his story of The Little Grey Men. His contribution to literature was officially recognised in 1989 when he was given an MBE.

The BB Society was founded in 2000, with the primary aim of keeping alive the rich heritage of BB’s sporting, children’s countryside and nature writings and to alert a growing generation to the threats facing the countryside, its rural traditions and the pressing need for the conservation of our fast vanishing flora and fauna. For detail about the Society visit them at www.bbsociety.co.uk

The Arnold Bennett Society
Arnold Bennett, journalist and writer of fiction. Best known for the Clayhanger trilogy, and The Old Wives’ Tale. The present Society was reformed in 1954 and has members throughout the UK and overseas. It is based in the city of Stoke on Trent, the ‘five towns’ of Bennett.  Their aim is to promote the study and appreciation of the life, works and times, not only of Arnold Bennett himself, but also of other provincial writers, with particular relationship to North Staffordshire. More details on the Society from www.arnoldbennettsociety.org.uk.

The E F Benson Society
E F Benson (1867-1940), prolific writer and best known for his Mapp and Lucia series and ghost stories.  Also wrote biographies and autobiographies, as well as fiction. Formed in 1984, the Society publishes an annual journal, The Dodo, a talk, and organises walks in Rye, an annual visit to Rye, and also visits to places of Benson interest. It gives talks on the Bensons and has organised exhibitions. More detail on the Society from www.efbensonsociety.org.

The Betjeman Society
John Betjeman (1906-1984), poet, writer and broadcaster.  Educated at Magdalen College Oxford, his first book of poems Mount Zion was published in 1931. Knighted in 1969 and Poet Laureate from 1972 until his death in 1984, he is buried in St Enodoc, Daymer Bay, North Cornwall. The Society aims to promote the study and appreciation of the work and life of Sir John Betjeman by bringing together all those who admire his writings and share his enthusiasms. There is an annual programme which includes poetry readings, lectures, discussions, visits to places associated with him, walks, picnics and social events. A regular newsletter is published which gives information about the Society. Our annual journal, The Betjemanian, contains articles, letters, reviews and photographs.  Meetings are held in London and other centres. There is also a growing number of local branches. More details on the Society from www.betjemansociety.com.

The Bewick Society
Thomas Bewick (1753-1828), wood engraver and ornithologist.  Works include Select Fables, A General History of Quadrupeds, and History of British Birds. The Society works to promote an interest in the life and work of Thomas Bewick and related subjects, especially with regard to wood engraving.  They produce a newsletter, Cherryburn Times, twice a year, and there are also visits to special collections (some of which are not open to the public). For more detail, visit www.bewicksociety.org

The Blake Society of St James’s
William Blake (1757-1827), poet, painter, engraver and prophet. The Blake Society brings together amateurs and professionals, enthusiasts and scholars on equal terms, and has been meeting regularly in London since 1985. Speakers include musicians, artists, writers, radicals and mystics. Members are to be found in many countries.  For more detail, visit www.blakesociety.org.

The George Borrow Society
George Henry Borrow (1803-1881), writer of novels and travelogues.  His most important works were:  The Zincali, or The Gypsies of Spain; The Bible of Spain; Lavengro; The Romany Rye; Wild Wales; Romano Lavo-lil; Word-book of the Romany. Founded in 1991, the Society works to promote knowledge of the life and works of George Borrow.  Meetings are held each year, usually either close to the date of Borrow’s birth (5 July) or in September. The pattern varies but may include the reading and discussion of papers, visits to sites connected with Borrow, and related social activities.  The Society issues the George Borrow Bulletin twice a year, containing scholarly articles and news of events and publications relating to Borrow. For more detail, visit georgeborrow.org.

The Bronte Society
The Bronte Society is one of the oldest literary societies in the world and is open to everyone who loves the Brontes and their work. The Society owns the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth, where the family lived from 1820 to 1861, and oversees the largest and most important collection of Bronte artefacts in existence. In 2016, they will be celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Charlotte Bronte (1816 – 1855), with the bicentenaries of Branwell, Emily and Anne Bronte following in 2017, 2018 and 2020 respectively.
To join the Society and to find out more about their exhibitions, contemporary art and education programmes, visit www.bronte.org.uk.

The Browning Society

The Browning Society provides a focus for contemporary interest in Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and seeks to widen the appreciation and understanding of their poetry. They arrange an annual programme of lectures, visits, etc., and publish a newsletter. Regular events include an AGM in March, with a guest speaker or poetry readings, a service with readings commemorating the marriage of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett in St Marylebone Parish Church, followed by a talk, near 12 September, and a wreath-laying ceremony near 12 December at Robert Browning’s grave at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. For more detail, visit www.browningsociety.org.

The John Buchan Society
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (1875-1940), Scottish novelist.  Works include The Thirty Nine Steps, and Prester John.
Founded in 1979, the Society works to promote a wider understanding and appreciation of the life and works of John Buchan.  There is an annual dinner and AGM, alternately in Scotland and in England. To find out more visit www.johnbuchansociety.co.uk/.

The International John Bunyan Society
John Bunyan (1628 – 1688), writer and preacher, is best known for his allegory of the Christian life, The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678; part two, 1684). This book has been more widely read than any other work in English except the Bible, and has circulated across the world in over 200 languages. A religious Dissenter, Bunyan spent twelve years in goal as a prisoner of conscience before becoming pastor of the Independent Church in Bedford. The Society was founded in 1992 to promote the study of the life, work and influence of Bunyan, and the history of Protestant Dissent more generally. It has members from about a dozen countries and holds a triennial conference and regional day conferences. Membership includes a subscription to Bunyan Studies: A Journal of Reformation and Nonconformist Culture, and an annual Newsletter. Anyone with an interest in Bunyan and in the history of Dissent is warmly invited to join the Society. For more information, visit www.johnbunyansociety.org.

The Burney Society
The Burney Society UK exists to promote the works of Frances Burney (1752 – 1840), friends, family and associates. To find our more, visit their website at www.burneysociety.wordpress.com.

The Byron Society
The Byron Society celebrates the life and works of one of England’s most famous poets, George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788 – 1824). They hold regular events in London and occasionally elsewhere. To learn more about them, visit thebyronsociety.com.

C to E

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 Charles Causley Trust
The Trust maintains and raises the profile and appreciation of the work of Cornish-born writer Charles Causley. Through its annual Festival of Arts and Literature, poetry and artwork competitions and artist residencies, it connects writers, performers and artists in Launceston and Cornwall. Through its work with the universities of Exeter, Falmouth and Plymouth, as well as local schools, the Trust provides opportunities for young children and adults to engage with literature, arts, heritage and culture. The home of the late Charles Causley, Cyprus Well, attracts both national and international visitors annually, and preserves the writer as a pillar of Cornwall’s literary history. The Trust’s most recent development is the creation of its first online literary blog, The Maker, which publishes creative writing work from students in the South West. Going forward, the project is being expanded to become a digital hub for developing creative opportunities and sharing local stories with people in and around Launceston. Visit their website at https://causleytrust.org/ for details.

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 jessiebrinklow@gmail.com.

The Dracula Society
The Society was founded in October 1973 with the original aim of enabling its members to travel to regions such as Transylvania. Now the main emphasis is on its London-based meetings, including guest speakers, discussions, film and video screenings. To find out more, visit their website at www.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.


F to H

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 C S Forester Society
C S Forester (1899 – 1966) is one of the great writers of the 20th c. His novels are distinguished by the famous Hornblower stories and by ‘The African Queen’ and many other works that are a pleasure to explore. He was born in Cairo, brought up in south London, and, in his early life, he was both a failed medical student and also the archetypal struggling young writer until his first success, ‘Payment Deferred’.

The Society was established in 1998 to “celebrate and promote the enjoyment of his literary works”. Their website offers much information about his publications and contains many contributions from its members in its ‘Reflections’ articles. They hold an AGM at varying locations, usually associated with places written about in his books. In recent years, these have included Stockholm, Greenwich, Brest and Dover. Membership of the Society is free. Find out more at csforester.eu.

The Galloway Raiders
The Galloway Raiders advocates for and promotes the writing of Scottish novelist and serial writer Samuel Rutherford Crockett (1859 – 1914). Author of over 60 novels, around a third of his fiction is set in and around Galloway, another third in Europe, and the remaining in various parts of Scotland and England. Crockett’s writing covers history, adventure and romance. You can find them at www.gallowayraiders.co.uk where you can learn more about his life, literature and legacy, and gain access to all his fiction as downloadable resources.

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 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 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.

The John Harris Society
John Harris (1820-1884) was a Cornishman, poet, miner and Methodist preacher … and much more. Born in Bolenowe, near Troon, he had 15 volumes of poems and an autobiography published. He was largely self-taught and used discarded wrappers to write with the aid of Blackberry juice and a nail. While working at Dolcoath, he read Shakespeare, Milton and Byron. The Society publishes a regular newsletter, and organises walks and tours where they read his poems. For more information, visit http://www.johnharrissociety.org.uk/

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.co.uk.

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.

The Howdenshire Literary Society

The Society has recently been formed to promote classical literature and poetry. Lectures in future months will reflect this emphasis. Meetings will be on Friday evenings by invitation. To find out more, contact gbloom@outlook.com.

I to M

The Imaginative Book Illustration Society (IBIS)
IBIS was established in 1995 to encourage research into, and to facilitate the exchange of information on, book and periodical illustrations, the artists and their publishers. It has a worldwide membership, including artists, collectors, bibliographers, writers and general enthusiasts. Whilst IBIS embraces all aspects of illustrative art, the main emphasis is on the illustration of texts in English since the 1830s. To join, or to find out more, visit https://bookillustration.org

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 members around the world. Jefferies’ birthplace at Coate, Swindon, is a museum, now managed by the Richard Jefferies Museum Trust. The main event is a spring lecture and AGM held in Liddington in May. Publications include an annual Journal, spring and autumn newsletters, and an annual report along with leaflets and books by and about Jefferies. More information at http://richardjefferiessociety.blogspot.com.

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 info@thejohnsonsociety.org.uk – 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 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. The Society’s journal is About Larkin which is sent to members twice a year and is available as an e-publication. The Society’s podcast Tiny in All That Air can be listened to for free on all major podcast platforms and Apple i-tunes. The Society holds regular online and face-to-face events and has strong connections with the University of Hull and the Hull History Centre. Its President is Rosie Millard OBE, and current HVPs include Grayson Perry, Imtiaz Dharker and David Quantick. The Philip Larkin Society Shop sells a range of items including posters, tote bags, tea towels, t-shirts, cards, books and facemasks. 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 Mrs Sheila Bamford, 35 West Avenue, Ripley, Derbyshire DE5 3JA – or go to their website.

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 trevor.humphries@outlook.com.

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 peterhoad@aol.com.

The Milton Society of Georgia
In a country where English is a second or third language, people are eager to learn the works of the greatest English writers. High on the list is John Milton (1608-1674), the author of Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, and more in poetry and prose. The Milton Society of Georgia aims to bring together a community of scholars interested in the life and works of John Milton; to encourage the production of literary works associated with John Milton; to issue publications about John Milton; to hold meetings at which Milton’s works will be studied and discussed; and to foster the development of interest in the English language and its literature. More information is at MiltonSociety.ge.

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.

N to R

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 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 info@beatrixpottersociety.org.uk 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 and it has a regional structure in the UK, supporting local gatherings and events.  Members receive its regular publications Mixed Moss, Signals and (for our junior members) The Outlaw. For more information visit www.arthur-ransome.org.

The Terence Rattigan Society Terence Rattigan (1911-1977), British dramatist, particularly known for The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, The Deep Blue Sea and Separate Tables. The Society was founded in 2011 and more information can be found at their website – https://www.theterencerattigansociety.co.uk.

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 johnopenlearning@yahoo.co.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 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.

S to T

The Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship
Siegfried Loraine Sassoon (1886-1967), poet, war hero, critic and memoirist. He became known as a writer of satirical anit-war verse during World War I. The Fellowship organises events, produces a biannual journal and ebulletins, and offers book discounts. For information on the Fellowship visit www.sassoonfellowship.org.

The Malcolm Saville Society
Malcolm Saville (1901-1982) is best known as an author of children’s series fiction but also wrote books about the English countryside. Millions of children have read Malcolm Saville’s adventure stories which are set in real locations which he encouraged his readers to explore for themselves. His principal works involved The Lone Pine Club – a group of children who form a secret society in wartime Shropshire. The Malcolm Saville Society was formed in 1994 and exists to remember the author and to promote awareness of his work. They organise a number of walking weekends each year plus their Annual Gathering in April. They have published several books, a dvd of the two films made from his stories as well as their quarterly magazine Acksherley!. For more detail, visit their website at www.witchend.com.

The Dorothy L Sayers Society
Dorothy L Sayers (1893 – 1957) was a writer, scholar, poet, playwright and lay theologian. Formed in 1976, the Society encourages the performance of her plays and the publication of texts by her about her work and life. It also maintains an extensive archive, preserving original material, providing information and assistance for researchers and devotees. The Society organises events throughout the year. Members come from all walks of life and from across the globe. There is an annual convention and its proceedings are published, along with its journal, as well as a bi-monthly Bulletin, occasional papers and other texts. For more information, visit their website at www.sayers.org.uk.

The Shaw Society
George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin, and moved to England at the age of twenty. An ardent socialist, Shaw wrote brochures and speeches for the Fabian society, became a journalist writing music and literary criticism, and went on to write more than sixty plays. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925 and won an Oscar in 1938 for the filmed version of his play Pygmalion, later transformed into the musical My Fair Lady. The Shaw Society was established in 1941 to discuss and celebrate the life and works of George Bernard Shaw. Meetings are held at the Actor’s Centre – for further details please visit their website at www.shawsociety.org.ukThe Shavian is published three times a year. A playreading group meets on the first Thursday of the month – details from Alan Knight on 020 8542 7620.

The Shipston & District Literary Society
The Society provides talks, discussions and group activities to promote and develop their members’ knowledge of and interest in all aspects of literature. Their members are not necessarily academics, just people who enjoy literature in all its various forms. They hold six lectures per year on a wide variety of topics and an annual visit to somewhere with a literary connection. To find out more, contact Helen Marshall at helebird@live.co.uk.

The May Sinclair Society
May Sinclair was the pseudonym of Mary Amelia St Clair (1863 – 1946), a popular British writer who wrote about two dozen novels, short stories and poetry. She was an active suffragist, and member of the Woman Writers’ Suffrage League. She was also a significant critic in the area of modernist poetry and prose, and she is attributed with first using the term ‘stream of consciousness’ in a literary context, when reviewing the first volumes of Dorothy Richardson’s novel sequence Pilgrimage in The Egoist in April 1918. The Society was founded in 2013 as a hub of modernist scholars and readers with an interest in Sinclair. You can find out more at maysinclairsociety.com.

The Robert Louis Stevenson Club
Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, and essayist. Author of Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Jekyll and Hyde. The Club was formed in 1920 to foster interest in Stevenson’s life and works. The Club does this today by organising events, outings, talks and other occasions, issuing its quarterly newsletter and holding an annual lunch. For more information visit www.robert-louis-stevenson.org or email mail@stevenson-house.co.uk.

The Tennyson Society
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), poet. One of his most famous works was Idylls of the King. He was poet laureate. The Society promotes the study and understanding of the life and work of Tennyson. It holds events, lectures, visits, etc. For more information visit www.tennysonsociety.org.uk.

The Angela Thirkell Society
Angela Margaret Thirkell (1890-1961), novelist. Granddaughter of Burne-Jones, cousin of Rudyard Kipling and Stanley Baldwin, between 1933 and 1961 she wrote 29 Barsetshire novels, regarded at the time as popular fiction, but revealing to the modern reader an extraordinary range of references and allusions, from the classics of the ancient world through English literature to topical events of her time, so that they have now become a valuable source of social history. Wickedly witty, with a range of idiosyncratic characters in the manner of her beloved Dickens, she wrote with impeccable style about a world which in some ways still resembled that of Jane Austen, and has ceased to exist today. Books include Three Houses (autobiography), Wild Strawberries, August Folly, Pomfret Towers, Northbridge Rectory, The Old Bank House, The Duke’s Daughter. Based in the UK, with a thriving North American branch and members in Australia, where Mrs Thirkell lived in the 1920s, various European countries, notably Ireland, where the Society was formed in 1980. Annual outing in the UK, AGM in September, regional UK meetings to discuss the books. To find out more contact Hilary Temple (Chairman) at templehilary@gmail.com – or visit their website at angelathirkellsociety.co.uk.

The Dylan Thomas Society
Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), influential writer of poetry. Best known works Fern Hill, Do Not Go Gentle, death Shall Have No Dominion. A considerable amount of prose and also film scripts, and his most famous ‘play for voices’ Under Milkwood. The Society fosters interest in the work of Dylan Thomas and other Anglo-Welsh writers. Monthly meetings, lectures, readings, performances, and publications. For more information visit www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com. Or contact Matthew Hughes, Dylan Thomas Birthplace, 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Uplands, Swansea SA2 ORA, matt@dylanthomasbirthplace.com.

The Edward Thomas Fellowship
Philip Edward Thomas (1878-1917), born in Lambeth, educated at St Paul’s and Lincoln College Oxford. Wrote biographies, histories, geographical books, and essays. One book of complete poems, which has never been out of publication since it was first published in 1920. Married Helen Nobel. Died Arras, Easter Monday 1917. The Fellowship works to perpetuate the memory of Edward Thomas and to foster interest in his life and work. It supports the conservation of places and things known to Edward Thomas and keeps members abreast of relevant literary matters. It also arranges events which extend fellowship. For information on the Fellowship, please visit their website at www.edward-thomas-fellowship.org.uk.

The R S Thomas & M E Eldridge Society
The Society honours the convergence of the creative lives of the poet R S Thomas (1913 – 2000) and his wife, the artist M E Eldridge (1909 – 1991). This is a newly formed society.The Society’s annual Poetry and Art Festival in June in Aberdaron will carry forward the series of festivals that began there in 2014. The AGM is in November. To learn more about the Society, visit www.rsthomaspoetry.co.uk.

The Friends of Tilling
The Friends of Tilling celebrate the Lucia novels and other comic works of E F Benson. They organise an annual Tilling Gathering in Rye, in Sussex, each September, bringing together Mapp & Lucia devotees to revel in the world of Tilling and to remember the life of its creator. For more detail, visit www.friendsoftilling.com.

The Tolkien Society
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973), writer, poet, philologist. Best known as the author of the high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The Tolkien Society works to encourage and further interest in the life and works of Tolkien. Based in the UK and a registered charity, the Society has an international membership which benefits from regular publications and events. Further details about the Tolkien Society, as well as educational materials for use in schools and colleges, may be found at the website www.tolkiensociety.org.

The Sylvia Townsend Warner Society is listed under ‘W’

The Traherne Association
Thomas Traherne was born in Hereford c. 1637, living through the civil war. He became Rector of Credenhill, 5 miles north west of Hereford in 1657, and wrote extensive works of poetry and prose. At their heart was love, the fountain of all happiness, peace and security! The Association normally holds an annual Traherne Festival, during the weekend of Trinity Sunday. It also arranges a Traherne Lecture on the evening of October 10 each year. It publishes a newsletter four times a year, exploring the relevance of Traherne’s thought for today. For more detail, contact Hilary Rosankiewicz at hilary.jackson@talktalk.net, or visit www.thomastraherneassociation.org.

The Trollope Society
Anthony Trollope (1815-1882), novelist. Best known for The Chronicles of Barsetshire. The Society has an international membership and promotes and publishes the works of Trollope. It produces a quarterly journal, and runs a wide range of events. It also encourages local seminar groups. For more information visit www.trollopesociety.org.

U to Z

The University of London Extra-Mural Literary Association (ULEMLA)
All literature enthusiasts – with/without formal qualifications – are welcome to join the ULEMLA and/or to attend meetings. Annual membership is £15 for 6 talks on Saturday afternoons at Birkbeck College, London, as well as a discount on the price of a literary trip each May. Non-members are £4 per talk. More information at www.ulemla.org.uk or contact lindsay@lindsaycmartin.co.uk.

The Walmsley Society
Leo Walmsley (1892-1966) best known for his Bramblewick books, immortalisng the local fishing community and Robin Hood’s Bay. The Society produces regular newsletters and two journals annually. They also hold meetings. Find out more about the Society by visiting www.walmsleysoc.org.

The Hugh Walpole Society

Sir Hugh Seymour Walpole (1884 – 1941) was an English novelist. Between 1909 and 1941 he wrote 36 novels, 5 volumes of short stories, 2 original plays and 3 volumes of memoirs. His range included disturbing studies of the macabre, children’s stories and historical fiction, most notably his Herries Chronicle series set in the Lake District. The first Walpole conference will be held in Keswick on 3 October 2020 – look on our events calendar for detail. For more information on the Society visit their website, or contact egerton.mark@gmail.com

The Sylvia Townsend Warner Society
Sylvia Townsend Warner was known for her verse, novels, short stories and biography of the novelist T H White. In the 1970s she became known as a significant writer of feminist or lesbian sentiment. The Society was launched in 2000 and its main aim is to promote a wide readership for and a better understanding of her writings. For more information visit their website at www.townsendwarner.com.

The Mary Webb Society
Mary Webb (1881-1927), Shropshire poet and novelist. Works include Gone to Earth from which a film was later made, and Precious Bane, later dramatised by the BBC. The Society was established in 1972. Its aims are to honour the memory of Mary Webb, to further the reading and appreciation of her works and to foster appreciation of the Mary Webb countryside. The Society plans a programme of four events a year. These include a birthday lunch and summer school which provides lectures, tours and entertainment. Events are held at various Shropshire locations. For more information visit the Society’s website at www.marywebbsociety.co.uk.

The H G Wells Society
Herbert George Wells (1866-1946), writer. Works include The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The First Men in the Moon, The Island of Dr Moreau. Founded in 1960, the Society has an international membership and aims to promote a widespread interest in the life, work and thought of Wells. It publishes an annual journal, The Wellsian, and issues a biannual newsletter. There is also a weekend conference each year. To find out more visit hgwellssociety.com.

The Oscar Wilde Society
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) is appreciated around the world as the writer of some of the wittiest plays in the English language. In addition, he wrote engaging children’s stories, a novel which has given us one of the most enduring archetypes in Dorian Gray, and powerful writings inspired by his time in prison. His life was as varied and colourful as his writings. The Oscar Wilde Society, founded in 1990, is a literary society devoted to the congenial appreciation of Oscar Wilde. It organises lectures, readings and discussions about Wilde and his works, and visits to places associated with him. The Society’s Journal of Oscar Wilde Studies, The Wildean, is published twice a year and Intentions, the Society’s newsletter, is published six times a year. For more information visit www.oscarwildesociety.co.uk.

The Friends of Alfred Williams
Alfred Williams (1877-1930), poet, author, historian, linguist, naturalist, folk song collector, philosopher and scholar. For more detail visit the website at www.alfredwilliams.org.uk.

The Henry Williamson Society
Henry Williamson (1895 – 1977), naturalist, soldier, journalist, farmer, motor enthusiast, and author of over fifty books, his descriptions of nature and the First World War have been highly praised for their accuracy. To learn more, visit their website at www.henrywilliamson.co.uk.

The P G Wodehouse Society
Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881-1975), writer of over 70 humorous novels and 200 short stories. Also wrote lyrics for musical comedies, working with such composers as Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Ivor Novello, and Cole Porter. The Society exists to promote enjoyment of the work of the greatest humorous writer of the 20th c. the programme of events includes regular social evenings, cricket matches, dinners and talks. There is a quarterly journal Wooster Sauce. To find out more visit www.pgwodehousesociety.org.uk.

The Mary Wollstonecraft Fellowship

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) is hailed internationally as a founder of modern feminism. In her short but eventful life she worked as a journalist and translator in London, observed the revolution in France and toured Scandinavia, leaving a diverse body of writings ranging from education and politics to philosophy, history, travelogue and fiction. She was at the centre of radical Romanticism, her friends including Thomas Paine, Mary Hays, Helen Maria Williams and William Godwin, who became her husband. Her second daughter, Mary, authored Frankenstein and married Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Membership of the Fellowship is open to everyone with an interest in this visionary thinker, her circle and her legacy. Scholars, enthusiasts, students and activists are all welcome. It aims to encourage new research and the exchange of ideas by producing a regular newsletter and organising events, including an annual conference on the anniversary of her birth. For more information, visit https://wollstonecraftfellowship.home.blog/.

The Parson Woodforde Society
James Woodforde, clergyman, best known as the author of The Diary of a Country Parson. Founded in 1968, the Society aims to extend and develop knowledge of his life and the society in which he lives, and to provide an opportunity for fellow enthusiasts to meet together. For more information visit www.parsonwoodforde.org.uk.

The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain
Virginia Adeline Woolf (1882-1941), novelist and essayist. Works include Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, A Room of One’s Own. Formed in 1998, the Society aims to raise the profile of Woolf and promote the reading and discussion of her works. To find out more visit www.virginiawoolfsociety.co.uk.

The Charlotte M Yonge Fellowship
Charlotte M Yonge (1823-1901), novelist and journalist, best known for The Heir of Redclyffe. The Fellowship produces the CMYF Review twice yearly and a journal every other year, holds meetings and has a loan collection of books. To find out more, visit www.cmyf.org.uk.

The Francis Brett Young Society
Francis Brett Young (1884-1954), regional novelist of Birmingham, the Black Country and its green borderlands. also wrote poetry, short stories, drama, non-fiction and music. The Society exists to dvance the education of the pubic on all matters relating to Francis Brett Young – through publications (twice yearly journal; occasinal books and papers), meetings, outings, exhibitions and readings. For more information visit www.fbysociety.co.uk or email michael.hall10@gmail.com.

Zola Readers

Zola Readers is an online group which is dedicated to reading and discussing the works of Emile Zola. The group has an ongoing programme to read the novels together. Members take part in virtual meetings through Facebook, to exchange ideas on the current novel. Membership of the group is truly global, with members in Australia, Macau, North America, the UK and, of course, France. Membership of the group is free.