In 1912 a group of citizens came together to form the Leamington Literary and Philosophical Society for men, but 100 years later things have changed. Now everyone interested in reading is most welcome. We usually meet during the evening of the second Tuesday of each month, from September – June. Details of exact dates, times and venues can be found in the current programme. The lectures, often illustrated, are on a wide variety of topics, including the work of novelists, poets and playwrights.

We occasionally have well known speakers from further afield, these events being open to the general public for a fee. They have included such names as Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate, and Andrew Davies of television fame. We also arrange outings to places of literary interest and belong to various associated societies. Separate poetry, novel and play reading groups meet monthly in members’ houses.



President:  Sir Anthony Hamilton


Leamington Literary Society AGM on Tuesday 14th June at 7-30pm

Dear Members

Please see attached the documents for our Annual General Meeting and Book Sale, prepared by our Vice Chairman, Graham Cooper.

It is anticipated that all members of the Society’s current committee will wish to continue in office. However, there will still remain several vacant places. If you wish to stand for membership of the Committee, please contact Graham or me and we will advise you of the procedure.

I look forward to seeing you on 14th June.

Best Wishes


Trevor Humphreys

Chairman LLS



Dear Member,

You are requested to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Leamington Literary Society at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday, 14th. June 2022 at the new Oddfellows Hall, 22 New Street, Royal Leamington Spa CV31 1HP.
Please let me know if you are unable to attend but wish your apologies for absence to be recorded.

Yours sincerely 

Graham E. Cooper

Vice Chairman 


1. Chairman's Opening Welcome
2. Consideration of apologies for absence
3. Consideration of the minutes of the Annual General Meeting on 22nd. June 2021.
4. Matters arising from the minutes
5. Correspondence and announcements.
6. Chairman's report.
7. Treasurer's report.
8. Membership Secretary's report.
10. Reports from or on other Groups:
(a). Poetry
(b). Play Reading
(c). Novel Reading
11. Election of Officers for 2022-23. The following have agreed to serve if elected:
(a). President: Sir Andrew Hamilton
(b). Chairman: Trevor Humphreys
(c). Vice-Chairman: Graham E. Cooper
(d). Honorary Secretary: David Howe
(e). Honorary Treasurer: Robin Taylor
(f). Honorary Membership Officer: Fiona Williams
12. Election of up to 6 Committee Members. The following 2 Members have agreed to serve if elected: Joan Clark and Sue Hammon.
13. Any other business of which notice has been served.


There will follow a performance by the singing group, Village Voices and
to which Members are invited to donate books on the evening.

Our Committee

The Leamington Literary Society Committee members are elected each year at the annual general meeting. The current committee is:

Chairman - Trevor Humphreys (Tel: 01926 887838)

Vice Chairman - Graham Cooper (Tel: 01926 426942)

Hon. Secretary - David Howe (Tel: 01926 491859)

Membership Secretary - Fiona Williams (Tel: 01926 429174)

Hon. Treasurer - Robin Taylor (Tel: 01926 337575)

Committee Members - Joan Clark, Susan Hammon


Related Groups

Small related groups meet regularly on an informal basis:

Play Reading Group – meets to read modern or classical plays.  Contact Barry West (Tel: 01926 422515)

Poetry Group – meets to read and discuss poets and their work.  Contact Trevor Humphreys (Tel: 01926 887838)

Reading Group – meets to read and discuss the modern novel.  Contact Betty Drummond (Tel: 01926 428193)

If you are a member of the Society and would like to join any of these groups please telephone the contact for the appropriate group.


Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it.
It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.

C.S. Lewis


Programme for 2022

All meetings will be held at the Oddfellows Hall, 22 New Street, Leamington Spa CV31 1HP (with the exception of a Zoom Meeting in January 2022)

Tuesday 12 th April 2022, 7-30 pm 

Sir Walter Scott’s “Kenilworth”: a Bi-Centennial Celebration

John Rignall, Emeritus Reader in English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick

Tuesday 10th May 2022, Timing to be arranged

A Visit to Canons Ashby House

Tuesday 14th June 2022, 7-30 pm

Annual General Meeting and Book Sale

To be followed by a Flanders and Swann Entertainment

Affiliated Societies

We are affiliated to:

The Alliance of Literary Societies – which keeps us in touch with literary societies through the UK and delegates from our society attend their AGM each year. The Alliance also produces a very interesting annual journal.


Fulke Greville Society – we are a group member. The contact for this organisation is Anthony Astbury (Tel: 01926 492086)


Friends of the County Record Office – we are a group member and records of the Society from its inauguration in 1912 are held by the Records Office.


Speakers are also frequently drawn from other Societies including George Eliot Fellowship,  John Masefield Society,  the Houseman Society and John Betjeman Society.


The Society has connections with the Mary Dormer Harris Memorial Bursary, which exists to make financial awards to young students in mid-Warwickshire, especially with interests in drama, debating, international affairs and law. In 1916 Mary Dormer Harris became the first lady to address the Society and in 1917, she became one of the two first ladies elected as members. The Society has been instrumental in recruiting Trustees for the Bursary.


The Society is represented on the Blue Plaques Group of Royal Leamington Spa Town Council, and has been instrumental in the installation of a plaque to the nineteenth century American author, Nathaniel Hawthorne in Lansdowne Circus, and local historian, Mary Dormer Harris in Gaveston Road.

Previous Notable Events

In past years we have invited many speakers of note and often these meetings have been open to the general public. Details of some of these events are given below.


  • 2002 The Keats/Shelley Association sponsored Gabriel Woolf to speak at the Pump Rooms on the poetry of Keats. Following another Lecture, our members visited the D H Lawrence Museum and Birthplace in Nottingham and the many surrounding places which featured in his novels.
  • 2004 This was the year when the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, paid his first visit to Warwickshire to speak about his writing. The meeting was a great success.
  • 2004 and 2011 Andrew Davies brilliantly revealed how he transformed the written word into pictures for the Television, illustrating both talks with computer images. The first concentrated on the work of Sarah Walters, the second on Jane Austen and the forthcoming ‘South Riding’.
  • 2006 The then little known Sophie Hannah introduced the book she was just writing; little did we know how famous she would become. We also visited Lichfield, which was celebrating the 250th anniversary of the publication of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary.
  • 2007 Pauline Prior-Pitt, a local poet who had moved to the Western Isles, returned to read from her new Compilation.
  • 2008 A local group of Madrigal Singers delighted us with ‘Life in Elizabethan Times’ in poetry and music.
  • 2009 We visited Prince Charles’s garden at Highgrove.
  • 2011 The Very Revd John Irvine MA Dean of Coventry spoke on 400 years of the King James Bible.
  • 2012 The Society Centenary was celebrated with tea at the Royal Pump Room Gardens.
  • 2014 Joint meeting with the Leamington Society where Andrew Davies spoke on Dylan Thomas and adapting classics for television.
  • 2018 Talk on George Orwell by his adopted son Richard Blair.