Cats in Literature

Six week course, beginning -
Kitten asleep on bookshelf

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  • Full Price: £295.00 Member: £250.00 Other concessions available

Explore cats in Western literature

Course dates: Thursdays 10, 17, 24, 31 January and 7, 14 February

Times: 18.00 – 20.00

Read the full course outline.

There are many cats prowling through the fiction, myths and fables, poetry and philosophical essays of Western literature. They might talk or wear human clothes, keep company with witches, symbolise human characteristics, or slip, sleek and graceful, through human life in their own independent way. This course explores cats in Western literature and considers how humans imagine them and write about them.

For humans, cats often seem to be duplicitous creatures; they are by turns aloof and affectionate, killer and pet, wilfully independent and self-indulgently home-loving, vicious and docile. Such contrariness has inspired many different ideas about cats, and across history they have been perceived as cherished pets, associates of the devil, symbols of female sensuality and sexual depravity, and anthropomorphic moralisers, and they are, accordingly, both loved and reviled in Western culture. This course traces such imaginings of cats in literature, asking what makes cats so fascinating, appealing and unsettling. 

H P Lovecraft celebrated the 'free soul' of cats, and Chateaubriand their 'almost ungrateful character'; join us to discover these and many other ways that humans imagine cats in writing.


Name: Cats in Literature
Where: Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £295.00
Member: £250.00
Senior 60+: £265.00
Student: £250.00
Registered Unemployed: £250.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546