Iris Murdoch: Richard Wilby Talk

Iris Murdoch: Richard Wilby Talk

Around forty members turned up, braving the heavy rain, for the first of our afternoon meetings on August 2nd to listen to Richard’s talk, which was enlivened with readings from Iris’s works by member Marjorie James. Richard told his audience about Iris’s life and work as a teacher of philosophy and as one of the foremost novelists of the 20th century. Iris was born in Dublin in 1919 but her family soon moved to West London where she spent her…

Read More

Summer Lunch Party July 5th

  Some of our members had already enjoyed a look at our new venue, Boxgrove Village Hall, in April when we invited members for an introductory visit. The Celebration Summer Party in July was the first ‘real’ event for our re-vamped Society – a new venue and a change to afternoon meetings. The twenty six members who gathered for a social afternoon of good food and good company were greeted with glasses of Prosecco by ‘barman’ Brian before sitting down…

Read More

Powerpoint London

  At the June meeting Colin Pinney took us on a tour of London with a series of images, some familiar, some unknown. His A to Z presentation included the Albert Hall, Johnson’s cat, and the South Bank. Sadly for us, as a literary society, there was no mention of Dickens, Trollope or Chaucer, all of them part of London’s rich literary heritage. An interesting evening but a little disappointing for some of us.

Read More

London Walk – Hampstead and Keats’ House

This year’s annual London walk on May 13th was our 19th and we have had only one wet day in all that time. After a murky start – and a late one due to Southern Rail – the sun shone on us as we left Hampstead underground station and gathered outside for Charles’s introduction to our walk. . We meandered around – and up and down – the streets of Hampstead taking in the lovely houses, many adorned with blue,…

Read More

Goethe and Schubert

  At the March meeting the Society enjoyed a rare treat of hearing words in German (with accompanying translation) and music from possibly the best-loved period of popular song of the 19th century. Member Brian French, with Christopher Coote at the piano, presented extracts from three of Goethe’s poetical works, each arranged for song by three different composers. Poetry was but one of Goethe’s multiple accomplishments. This towering polymath ranged successfully from engineering to politics; he fully entered the Romantic…

Read More

A Dickens of an Evening

  Member John Clegg delivered his usual exuberant performance with an evening of Charles Dickens at the February meeting which was one of our best attended for many months. Word of John’s popular and entertaining style must have got out as, in addition to the 39 members who braved a wet and blustery evening, there were seven visitors, two of whom have since joined us. As an actor, John knows how to project his voice so that all could hear…

Read More

Words – and a little music

Our annual ‘Words’ evening was the usual rousing success with contributions from most of our members. The evening was enlivened by an innovation – a grand finale of song in which everyone joined enthusiastically. The theme this year was ‘Food and Drink’ and the readings by members offered a very varied interpretation of the theme with poems by Seamus Heaney and Lewis Carroll, and excerpts from Dickens, Hilaire Belloc and Jerome K Jerome among others. Christmas puddings, oysters, Mediterranean food,…

Read More

AGM and talk on ‘Peacock Pie’

After the business of the AGM, the November meeting continued with an illustrated talk by member David Tregear on Walter de la Mare’s ‘Peacock Pie’, a collection which contains some of the finest of his poems for children. David took us through the various editions of ‘Peacock Pie’ and the numerous artists who illustrated them. Favourite of his listeners were the drawings by Emett, but equally enjoyable were the illustrations by Heath Robinson, Edward Ardizzone and Jocelyn Crowe. An entertaining…

Read More

W B Yeats and Maud Gonne

At the October meeting actor Colin Pinney gave an absorbing talk on the poet W B Yeats and his lifelong, but unrequited, love for the beautiful Maud Gonne. Yeats proposed to Maud many times but was turned down on the grounds that they would always be separated by politics. He wanted an Ireland free of British rule but did not share Maud’s zeal for an armed uprising. In addition to poetry, Yeats wrote plays and won a Nobel Prize for…

Read More

In Keats’s Footsteps

On a fine September day members Nigel and Wendy Gossop led a delightful walk through the village of Old Bedhampton where poet John Keats spent his last night on English soil. He stayed at the Old Mill House. Unfortunately the house is privately owned so the group could only peer through the trees as Nigel told the story of Keats’s visits to the area. The group enjoyed a lovely walk through the village and a look at the church of…

Read More