What's On



Reading Circle

Past Exhibitions

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Dr Johnson and Mr Pope: ‘an ornament from an inconvenience’.

Thursday 15 March - A Soiree in support of the Pope’s Grotto Preservation Trust

When the poet and satirist Alexander Pope built his iconic villa at Twickenham, he had a problem: his garden lay on the other side of a busy road. Johnson remarked, ‘he extracted an ornament from an inconvenience, and vanity produced a grotto where necessity enforced a passage.’ The picturesque grotto is now the only tangible relic of Pope’s architectural legacy and is designated as a heritage asset ‘at risk’. Join us for a fund-raising event in a venue which embodies Dr Johnson’s personality for a celebration of both writers.

Talks will be given by Professor Philip Smallwood, Emeritus Professor of English at Birmingham City University and currently Visiting Fellow in the School of Humanities, University of Bristol; Dr Emrys Jones, Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture, Kings College London and Professor Judith Hawley, Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture, Royal Holloway, University of London, who is a Trustee of the PGPT and a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 4.

Tickets: £60. To book and for further information, please click here.

Print of Pope's Grotto

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Tabea Debus - Album Launch

Tuesday 10 April 6.30pm

City Music Foundation Artist Tabea Debus releases her third album – her second on German label TYXart – on 6th April 2018. The album presents a complete recording of Georg Philipp Telemann’s XII Fantasie per il Flauto senza Basso [Twelve Fantasias for Unaccompanied Flute] interspersed with twelve new works, commissioned by City Music Foundation.

Join Tabea and the City Music Foundation to celebrate the culmination of this innovative project at Dr Johnson's House, nestled in the West of the City of London. Your ticket will include a glass of wine and the album will be available to be purchased and signed by Tabea after the performance. Please note the early start time of 6.30pm.

Tickets: £15. To book and for further information, please click here.

Dr Johnson's House

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In the Garret with Dr Johnson

Wednesday 16 May 7pm (Doors open at 6.30pm)

Adrian Mourby will be joining us to talk about how Dr Johnson used his house at 17 Gough Square to write The Dictionary of the English Language, and comparing this with other writers including Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, J K Rowling, and rooms in which they wrote. Adrian is an award-winning travel journalist and former BBC producer, and in 2017 Icon Press published two books based on his 25 years as a travel writer, Rooms of One’s Own and Rooms with a View, both of which visit places where famous authors wrote great works.

Tickets: £10 (includes a complimentary glass of wine)

In the Garret

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An Introduction to the Bluestockings

Saturday 23 June - 2pm

Join the Deputy Curator, Helen Woollison, for a free talk about the literary gatherings of the Bluestocking Society. Find out more about the members of this predominantly female society, and learn how they supported one another in their endeavours into the traditionally male field of literature. Many members struggled to convince their families that their education and careers would not endanger their reputations, with some buckling under societal pressure to marry or leave the London literary scene to protect their reputation. This talk will look into the reasons why female writers had to fight to have their voices heard during the 18th century and beyond.

No need to book, talk is included in standard admission charge.

Elizabeth Montagu

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Follow in Johnson's footsteps and explore the courts and alleys off Fleet Street with an experienced City Guide.

1st Wednesday of each month (except Jan.), 3pm

Next walk:

7 February

Groups may also book walks at alternative times. For any enquiries please contact us.

Dr Johnson's Fleet Street - Discover Johnson's life and work in and around Fleet Street and his acquaintances in the area.
Dr Johnson's City - Explore the Fleet Valley, Ludgate Hill and St Paul's Churchyard areas as Johnson knew them.

£5/£4 concessions. No booking required. Meet outside Dr Johnson's House.

This is a joint venture between Dr Johnson's House and the City Guides.

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Johnson and Boswell 'Walking down the High Street' by Rowlandon

Events information

Most events sell out and tickets must be bought in advance. Card payments are processed by PayPal. We regret that we are unable to take card payments over the phone.

Customers wishing to pay by cheque should send a cheque payable to 'Dr Johnson's House Trust Ltd' to Dr Johnson's House, 17 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE. Please include your contact details. We will let you know when your cheque arrives.

Please note the House contains unavoidable steps. For more information about access, please visit our Facilities page.

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