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


Dear Members

The Leamington Literary Society AGM will take place on Tuesday 11th June at 7-30 pm at the Oddfellows Hall. If you have any items for Any Other Business or if you wish to propose some one as a committee member, please contact me by 3rd June. 

The meeting will be followed by a talk by David Howe entitled Remembering Noel Coward: "Like working with God".

Please bring along any books that you wish to contribute to the sale on the night.

I look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

A copy of the agenda is given below.

Best Wishes

Trevor Humphreys

Chairman LLS 



1. President's Opening Welcome
2. Consideration of apologies for absence
3. Consideration of the minutes of the Annual General Meeting on 13th. June 2023. 4. Matters arising from the minutes
5. Correspondence and announcements.
6. Chairman's report.
7. Treasurer's report.
8. Membership Secretary's report.
9. Reports from specialist Groups:

(a). Poetry
(b). Play Reading (c). Fiction Reading

10. Election of Officers for 2024-25. The present occupants are shown in brackets: (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)

11. Election of up to 6 Committee Members. (Annabel Sharp, Nigel Sharp) 12. Any other business of which notice has been served.




Further details on the Leamington Literary Society, including previous and future events, can be found on its Facebook Pages


If you would like to join the Society please contact the Membership Secretary direct or at a meeting of the Society.

Annual membership costst £15.00 (single) and £25-00 (Couple)


Guests are welcome.  £2.50 per event


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 - Susan Hammon, Annabel Sharp, Nigel Sharp


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)

Fiction Reading Group – meets to read and discuss the modern novel.  Contact Trevor Humphreys (Tel: 01926 887838)

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.

PROGRAMME 2023 -2024

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

Tuesday 12th September 2023, 7-30 pm
Tolkien, Sarehole and Birmingham: an unexpected journey into the Shire and Middle Earth

Ash Bayliss, Birmingham Museum Service

Tuesday 10th October 2023, 7-30 pm
Mary Seacole’s “The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands: A Black Nurse in the Crimean War”

Dorrette McAuslan
In association with the Warwick Words festival

Tuesday 14th November 2023, 7-30 pm
My Writing Life

Celia Rees, Local Author, of International Repute
("Witch Child", "Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook")
Joint Meeting with the Leamington Society

Tuesday 12th December 2023, 7-30 pm
Thomas Hardy, Man of Music
Readings from Hardy’s poems and novels with a seasonal musical theme

Live music and dancing with a buffet and wine. Tickets £10-00

Tuesday 9th January 2024, 2-30 pm: ZOOM Meeting
Two History Writers in Conversation

Sir Andrew Hamilton, President of the Leamington Literary Society, talks with Simon Wilcox of the Society of Authors

February 2024 (Date to be confirmed)
From the Midlands to Mexico: the Odyssey of D H Lawrence

James Walker, Nottingham Trent University

Tuesday 12th March 2024, 7-30 pm
Alice in Waterland: the Thames as Lewis Carroll’s Inspiration

Mark Davies, Oxford local historian, guide, and author; trustee of the Lewis Carroll Society.

Tuesday 9th April 2024, 7-30 pm
The Golden Age of Children’s Book Illustration in Mid-Victorian England:
Walter Crane, Kate Greenaway, Randolph Caldecott and the part they played.

Susan Bailes, Children’s Books History Society

Tuesday 14th May 2024, 7-30 pm
Charles Causley: The Best Poet Laureate We Never Had

Mike Cooper, Charles Causley Trust

Tuesday 11 th June 2024, 7-30 pm
Annual General Meeting and Book Sale

Followed by
Remembering Noel Coward
“Like Working with God”

David Howe, Society Secretary

Annual membership: £15-00, Joint membership: £25-00 
Guests welcome at £2-50 per event


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.


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.