Woodstock Literature Society

The Woodstock Literature Society was founded in 2009 with the aim of presenting high quality talks on literature to local book lovers, offering time to socialise after the talk with refreshment (a glass of wine at evening talks/tea and cake at afternoon talks). Since then, its reputation and membership have grown and we are pleased to welcome members and visitors from Oxfordshire and beyond.

Topics range from classic and contemporary authors, to drama, poetry, and foreign authors in translation. Our speakers include academic specialists, published authors, and literary journalists. Full details can be seen under Programmes. Please note that changes to the programme can also be found on the programme page. 


Wednesday, 12th June at 11:30 in Woodstock Town Hall

There is no need to pre-book and all are welcome.   

A modest charge of £3.00 (cash/cheque) is made to cover the cost of the room hire.

The Woodstock Bookshop offer a generous discount of 15% on the book for discussion.


Dr Sophie Duncan with students from The Oxford School of Drama

Photograph by Caroline Priday

Anne Handseley's review of Dr Duncan's talk, together with photographs of the students' performances can be viewed on Reviews & Gallery 

Our next talk will be on Thursday 20th June at 8.00pm

in Woodstock Town Hall when Professor Abigail Williams will give a talk entitled:

Pride or Prejudice:  How We Read Now

Novels have always sparked controversy.  Lady Chatterley's Lover, Lolita, and American Psycho were all subject to fierce attacks.   But something is happening now that feels different - a rolling boil of social media and news stories that are not about one novel but about the very nature of fiction.  As publishers call in sensitivity readers, universities introduce content warnings, and authors face charges of cultural appropriation, Abigail Williams, Professor of English in the University of Oxford and Fellow of St Peter's College, will look beyond the outrage to explore the power of the novel.

Visitors are welcome - Entry £8.00 (free admission to under 18s)

Membership cards for this year are coloured purple

Please see Membership for payment details.  


Open Book Group:  Summer Meetings in The Town Hall at 11.30am

We are pleased to announce two meetings have been scheduled for this summer:

Wednesday, 12th June       – Old God's Time by Sebastian Barry

Wednesday, 28th August  – A House for Mr Biswas by V S Naipaul

Anyone, whether a member or not, can drop in to discuss the chosen book (All book group books are available with a generous discount of 15% at the Woodstock Bookshop). There is no booking required and a nominal fee of £3 per person will be requested to cover the room hire.   



The informal meetings were launched in August 2022 with a discussion of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence.  The discussions have proved increasingly popular.  A full list of books discussed can be seen on A Good Read

The group meets two or three times a year in the Town Hall on Wednesday mornings.  There is no need to pre-book and all are welcome.  A modest charge of £3.00 (cash/cheque) is made to cover the cost of the room hire.  Attendees are invited to submit suggestions for future discussion, a shortlist is drawn-up and a poll taken to decide the next book.

A selection of images used in publicity posters for previous talks

Whether you are a reader, a writer, or a poet, Woodstock Literature Society welcomes your input and suggestions for future talks. 

We hope you will enjoy the reviews submitted to A Good Read by members and friends as part of our conversations about literature.  Details of how to submit a piece can be found on the page itself.