History and past speakers
Until recently, the Lewes Monday Literary Society was called the Lewes Monday Literary Club – and known locally as 'The Monday Lit.' The original club was founded in 1948, by the writers Barbara Willard and Frances Howell. It had its nucleus in the Lewes Liberal Association. Some of its members, who had worked together and become friends, decided to form a literary club. It was stressed from the start that the Club should have no political complexion of any kind.
Leonard Woolf, who regularly attended meetings and chaired many discussions, was president of the Club from 1954 until 1969. The presidency was then held successively by David Daiches, Ian Parsons, Dame Veronica Wedgewood, C. Walter Hodges and Norman MacKenzie. Grace Nichols and John Agard were elected as co-presidents in April 2012.
Among its first speakers were Pamela Hansford Johnson, John Brophy and L.A.G. Strong, all friends of the founders. The Club – and now, the Society – has always been fortunate in its friends, and because of its association with writers and publishers living in the district (and since 1961 with the University of Sussex) we've have a distinguished record of speakers. These have included: (season ending summer 2012) -
John Julius Norwich
Ann Olivier Bell
Denis and Edna Healey
Edmund de Waal