The ROSL Literary Series aims to explore a wide range of themes and topics, sometimes engaging with immediate issues of the day, and at others looking back into the past, but always using literature as an anchor, to provide inspiration and discussion amongst audiences and speakers alike. Events are open to all members, guests, Friends of ROSL ARTS and the public.
ROSL has welcomed in the past a vast number of authors, historians, biographers, broadcasters, diplomats and explorers. Previous speakers include Antonia Fraser, James Naughtie, James Suchet, P. D. James, Margaret Atwood, Ben Okri, Philip Pullman, Michael Morpurgo and Hilary Mantel.
Our 2016 series has been focused on history and literature, and the links between the two great disciplines. In May, we held our inaugural panel discussion, Battling Shakespeare, with an all-star line-up of academics, authors and actors debating Shakespeare’s history plays and their legitimacy as texts, sources and entertainments. This was followed by Writing History in July, featuring several prominent historians, who discussed the challenges and processes of research, writing non-fiction and fiction, and their own inspirations. The final panel will be held in October, is entitled Inheriting the Empire, and will be concentrated on the legacy of post-colonial literature, and the rise of the ‘global citizen.’
In 2017 we turn our attention to the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, the mother of the modern novel, and other 19th century greats such as Charlotte Brontë and Oscar Wilde. More information will be posted from next year!
The Caine Prize of £10,000 has been awarded annually since 2000 for a short story by an African writer published in English, and is widely recognised as Africa's leading literary award. It is named after Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker Plc and Chairman of the Booker Prize Management Committee for nearly 25 years. ROSL has been proud to support the Caine Prize since 2001, providing accommodation at Over-Seas House for the finalists during their short stay in London, and hosting the first reading by the authors.