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A series of literature lectures exploring great writers, their lives and their books, followed by a delicious Launde Lunch. Presented by renowned speaker Dr Jane Mackay.

£20.00 per person. Lectures begin at 12.30pm and last for approximately one hour, followed by a two-course lunch in the Abbey Dining Room.

 

 

Thursday, March 8th 2018
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

This epic novel that includes the battle of Waterloo, together with an intimate knowledge of the Paris sewers, is the most vivid picture of France at the beginning of the 19th century.  Come and meet the inflexible police agent, Javert, and his ‘victim’, the gloriously courageous Jean Valjean.  Following their story is the most simple and perfect way to understand that human nature never changes and that love is always more powerful than fear.

 

 

Thursday, April 5th 2018
Animal Farm by George Orwell

Orwell told his publisher that this little book was a ‘fairy story but also a polital allegory’.  It was written during World War Two when Orwell was beginning to see the dangers of Stalin’s policies at a time when most of Britain thought Russia an ally.  But it is not simply about Russia, but about the dangers of totalitarianism anywhere!  Right-wing Fascism and Left-wing Communism are exactly the same in their effects on the common people.

 

 

Thursday, May 17th 2018
The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger

This short book about a disaffected Jewish teenager in New York stunned the public on its first appearance in 1951.  It stimulated what came to be called the ‘youthquake’ of young people who would no longer automatically follow the ‘wisdom’ of their elders.  Mostly famous for this one book, Salinger published only short stories afterwards and then became famous for just being a recluse.  Come and meet young Holden Caulfield and see what all the fuss was about!

 

 

Thursday, June 7th 2018
A Passage to India by E M Forster

Coming out of a trip that Forster took to India and written about he returned to England, this is one of the most sympathetic explorations of the effects of colonialism and the chasm that seems to exist between people of different cultures, even when their sympathies lean towards each other.  And what are the mysteries hidden in the fabulous ’empty’ caves … something to drive one mad???

 

 

Thursday, July 15th 2018
Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

This world famous novel was banned in Russia and Pasternak was forced to refuse the Nobel Prize in 1958, two years before his death.  His artistry has produced one of the most beautiful books on the nature of poetry.  Zhivago’s perspective is, of course, Pasternak’s own and his passionate resistance to tyranny sweeps us up into a world at a time when the price of conscience could be unbearable.

 

 

Friday, September 7th 2018  (please note this lecture is on a FRIDAY)
The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles

This novel is an exquisite piece of work, combining modern awareness with an evocation of Thomas Hardy’s Dorset.  John Fowles’ love affair with Lyme Regis gives the setting an intimacy and poignancy that sweeps the reader up and deeply into the feeling life of the story.  Come and enjoy an awareness of Victorian Dorset mingled with a modern intelligence and sensibility.  Time travelling with a difference!

 

 

Thursday, October 11th 2018
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

This is Capote’s study of the New York world he knew so well.  Holly Golightly, based loosely on his own mother, moves from hill-billy to up-market girl with aplomb!  In one short book Capote records the innate tragedy of having to always try to be what one is not.

 

 

 

Thursday, November 8th 2018
An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley

Regularly on school syllabuses and famously filmed with Alasdair Sim, this play explores the nature of our responsibility for others … especially those less fortunate than ourselves.  And who is the mysterious inspector?  Come and see if we can find out!

 

 

Thursday, December 6th 2018
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Especially for Christmas come out to play with Mowgli and his animal friends.  Kipling’s little book has been a classic ever since its first publication.  It’s examination of the nature of friendship and the ‘law of the jungle’ is as relevant today as when it breathed its magic into Victorian nurseries and delighted its small spell-bound listeners.  Followed by a wonderful Launde Christmas lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about these lectures or to book call 01572 717254 or email info@laundeabbey.org.uk

 

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