The sun that never set on the British Empire during the Victorian Era now shines down upon contemporary London. Perhaps the world’s most cosmopolitan city, London is populated by a richly diverse citizenry from former colonies around the globe. What Samuel Johnson once observed about 18th-century London—“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford”—is even truer of 21st-century London. It’s the financial capital of Europe despite the recent Brexit vote; has the greatest theatre in the world; boasts superb international cuisine; features an amazing array of museums; likes its politics up close and personal; and carefully cultivates and interprets its rich history.
Our program will focus on the literature and history of the British Isles as well as how Britons have interacted with the larger world over time. We’ll explore London and its surrounding areas as well as taking exciting day and overnight trips throughout England, Scotland, and France. We’ll visit places including Paris, the Lake District and the Wordsworth Trust, Edinburgh, York, Canterbury, Dover, Stratford-upon-Avon and the Shakespeare Trust, Brighton, Stonehenge, Bath, and Church history sites. Although we’ll assign readings and conduct classes at the Centre, the sites we visit will also be key texts for the classes. We’ll be traveling scholars, not just tourists.