September 14, 2016

Talks on Famous Authors At English Speaking Union

The Princeton branch of the English Speaking Union has scheduled its monthly talks on Samuel Johnson, Jane Austen, and other literary figures at the Lawrenceville School’s Kirby Arts Center beginning September 25. On that day, three scholars will discuss their experience at The Globe Theatre in London and at Edinburgh University.

Sir Evelyn Wrench founded the English Speaking Union (ESU) in the 1920’s, with the goal to inspire and celebrate the use of the English language throughout the world in order to encourage and reinforce global understanding. ESU sponsors educational and cultural activities for students, teachers and its members. Each year, American teachers receive scholarships to study in the United Kingdom; in addition, competitions for public speaking and reading Shakespeare, take place annually.

Under president Dulcie Bull, the Princeton branch holds its monthly talks on Sunday afternoons on topics ranging from history and literature to art and music, among others. Conversations with the speakers and social mingling follow each lecture. English refreshments, including finger sandwiches, cheese, and cookies are accompanied by wine as well as non-alcoholic beverages. The ESU holds two annual social events, a festive Christmas Party and a Film and Pudding Night under the stars; both held at members homes.

On Sunday, October 16, David Venturo, a Professor of English at TCNJ, and author of Johnson the Poet: The Poetic Career of Samuel Johnson, will examine the early musical influences on the Beatles — the Fab Four. Jane Austen and her captivating spirit will be the topic of our November 13 gathering. Professor of English and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, Anne Waldron Neumann will tell the audience of her findings as she searched through Pride and Prejudice for insights on the writer. Ms. Waldron’s selected works include: Reading and Writing with Jane Austen and Jane Austen: Writing Teacher.

Later on, the season’s topics will include “The Real World of Sherlock Holmes”, a presentation by Professor B.J. Rahn, an expert on British crime fiction; “Politics in the Garden: The Development of the Naturalistic Garden Style by Peter Ham; and “Unheard Musick and Eighteenth Century British Literature by John Burkhalter and Sheldon Eldridge.

Membership for the season is $50 for an individual or $75 for a couple. This includes all presentations, the Christmas/Holiday Party and the Annual General Meeting and British Movie Night Under the Stars.

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