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 and these days somewhat controversial writer, Rudyard Kipling was born in India at the height of the British Empire, Deemed its unofficial poet laureate, he was the first Britain (and is still the youngest) to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was author of over 1,000 poems, 300 short stories, 4 novels and much journalism, and is best known for KimThe Jungle Books and the Just So Stories for children. Founded in 1927, the Kipling Society is open to all those interested in Kipling’s work, life and times. We hold around five meetings each year with guest speakers. Some are held in London but are also accessible online. Others are purely online. We also hold regular online members’ reading events, and occasional conferences. We publish The Kipling Journal four times a year. Our website www.kiplingsociety.co.uk includes a comprehensive Readers’ Guide including the texts of all Kipling’s major published work, pdfs of all past Journals (those from the last two years are only accessible to members) and much biographical and critical material, as well as information about how to join the Society. Our library is at Haileybury School in Hertfordshire, the successor to Kipling’s own school.  We have links with Bateman’s, Kipling’s home in East Sussex now owned by the National Trust. Contact the Secretary, Mike Kipling, at michaelrkipling@gmail.com

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 the Society website at  www.johnmooresociety.org.