“It is difficult to speak adequately or justly of London. It is not a pleasant place; it is not agreeable, or cheerful, or easy, or exempt from reproach. It is only magnificent.” Henry James (1843-1916)

“Go where we may-rest where we will. Eternal London haunts us still.” Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

The growth of London is that of an eternal flower growing in uncompromising land- its petals eaten by flies, burnt by sun and frost, battered by storms, but in its tattered beauty still ravishing as it renews itself day after day. The city is also a phoenix: each time its existence has been challenged- when its river ceased to flow in winter ice; when its buildings burned to the ground; when its spires and streets were destroyed in the blitz, and once again, now, in a time of plague- it ever rises, an indefatigable spirit strengthened by triumph as well as by tragedy.

This course, following our recent studies of its mighty river Thames, seeks to capture the unique spirit of London through the lens of its rare and distinct cultural and social legacy. What and who have contributed to its mighty presence? We begin with the first city walls and the first Palace of Westminster; we compare streets from Bond Street to Brick Lane and housing from Buckingham Palace to a tent on William IV Street; and we look at its many locations for art and artifacts from the National Gallery to the Bayswater railings, and then we go out into the green spaces of Kew, Chelsea, Kensington Gardens, the Squares, the palace gardens. We listen to music from Elgar in the Royal Albert Hall to Phyllis Tate in the Barbican; conjure up the voices of the actors in the Kings Head Islington as well as in the National Theatre. We encounter flower girls and chimney sweeps; thieves and philanthropists; bootblacks and builders; cabbies and crossing sweepers; glassblowers and gunsmiths; rat catchers and road menders; politicians and poets. We will look at the buildings of Edward the Confessor, Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor, Sir Denis Lasdun and Richard Seifert; the maps of Wenceslaus Hollar and Claes Visscher, the poetry of William Dunbar, William Blake, T.S.Eliot and Anna Robinson; the paintings of Jan Griffier, Joseph Van Aken, William Hogarth, W.P.Frith, Walter Sickert, Mary Durham, Lady Rose Henriques, CRW Nevinson and Frank Auerbach; and the music of Haydn, Elgar, Marie Lloyd, Phyllis Tate, William Walton, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Adele and The Kinks. London inspires love and creative responses not because it is perfectly beautiful, but because it is so human, with all its flaws and foibles.

Booking Information:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

This course, taught by Nicholas Friend, Director of Inscape, begins on Tuesday 12 October at 4 pm, repeating on Wednesdays at 11 am and Thursdays at 11 am, and ends on Thursday 16 December.

You may choose to attend all Tuesdays, all Wednesdays, or all Thursdays, or any mixture of these, subject to availability. You may also choose to attend individual sessions. If you would like to attend but cannot manage a particular date, then we will be sending recordings of every session to all participants. Each session meets from 20 minutes before the advertised time of the lecture, and each lecture lasts roughly one hour, with around 15 minutes discussion.

Cost: £425 members or £475 non-members for the course of 10 sessions or £45 members or £55 non-members per individual session. All sessions are limited to 23 participants to permit discussion.

Due to the coronavirus cheques are not a viable option at this time. Instead, please make your payment to Friend&Friend Ltd by bank transfer to our account with Metrobank, bank sort code 23-05-80, account number 13291721 or via PayPal to, or credit/debit card by phone to Henrietta on 07940 719397. She is available Tuesdays 10-12 and 2 – 3 pm or Thursdays 2-4 pm.

How to Set Up a PayPal account::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Click on this link:

In the upper right-hand corner of the screen, click “Sign up.”

On the following screen choose “Personal account” and click “Next.”

On the next page, you’ll be asked to enter your name, email address and to create and confirm a password. When finished, click “Next.”

Click “Agree and create account” and your PayPal account will be created.

How to Connect your Bank Account to your PayPal account:::::::::::::::::::::::

Log on to your account and click the “Wallet” option in the menu bar running along the top of the screen.

On the menu running down the left side of the screen, click the “Link a credit or debit card”.

Enter the card information you wish to link to your PayPal account and click “Link card” for debit card.

How to Send Money::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Log on to your account. Click Send & Request.

Enter the email address of the person you wish to send money to:

Type in the amount you wish to send, click continue then press ‘Send Money Now’.