Reader's Digest are the proud sponsors of the Mirthy Book Club, bringing their readers free online events, including access to all of Mirthy's Book Club events as well as talks on literature & arts, arts & crafts workshops, and travel talks completely for free!
How it works:
1. Make note of the time and date of the events you want to attend.
2. Click the 'Join Event' button below the chosen event a few minutes before the time of the event.
3. You will then be redirected to a Zoom page, no need to log in, just click Launch Meeting and wait for the event to start!
Please note that the links provided here are only for the live Zoom events. Please make note of the date and time of these events as you will not receive the replay unless you register with a Mirthy account.
Mon, 05 Dec, 12:00PM BST
Christmas Craft Workshop
FREE • Amy Hutchings
We will cover both stencil and stamp making, encouraging a playful and experimental approach. This includes combining techniques on the same product during the workshop. And all these techniques can be used to make cards, party decorations, and wrapping paper! By the end of the session, you will have card designs, wrapping paper and decorations, with the ability to reuse the stamps and stencils and create more at your leisure.
Mon, 05 Dec, 15:30PM BST
Blenheim Palace - Christmas Past and Present
FREE • Antonia
Throughout its 300 year history, Christmas at Blenheim Palace has always been a time of celebration. The 7th Duke and Duchess followed the lead of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in making Christmas a family time and a time to give gifts to those who were in their employ. The traditions established by John and Frances the 7th Duke and Duchess are in many ways still continued to this day. This talk looks at how Christmas has been celebrated over the years and how each November, the Palace and its grounds are transformed into a Christmas feast for the eyes.
Mon, 05 Dec, 19:00PM BST
Mad as a Hatter - Origins & Meanings of Sayings
FREE • Sandy
Some people could say that Sandy is as mad as a hatter because she's fascinated by the origins of the sayings we use in everyday conversation. But did you know that there are more sayings than you can shake a stick at, and for any doubting Thomas' out there Sandy'll let the cat out of the bag and pull out all the stops to entertain you, with stories of how the sayings we use all the time came about.
Tue, 06 Dec, 16:00PM BST
A Visitor's Guide to Edinburgh
FREE • Malcolm
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland despite being Scotland's second-most populous city, after Glasgow. The earliest known human habitation in the Edinburgh area was at Cramond, where evidence was found of a Mesolithic camp site dated to c. 8500 BC. The historic centre of Edinburgh is divided in two by the broad green swathe of Princes Street Gardens. To the south, the view is dominated by Edinburgh Castle, built high on Castle Rock, and the long sweep of the Old Town descending towards Holyrood Palace. To the north lie Princes Street and the New Town. In this presentation there will be stunning views of the Old and New Towns which were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 together with as much historical information that time will allow, together with a visit to the Scotch Whisky Experience with a virtual “wee dram” for good measure.
Thu, 08 Dec, 16:00PM BST
Revealing Hadrian's Wall
FREE • Anna Gray
Hadrian's Wall is the greatest structure the Romans built in Britannia and arguably within the Empire itself. Stretching for 73 miles between Bowness-on-Solway and Wallsend, it was far more than just a wall, and contained a whole suite of military defences both along and across it. Join me on a detective's journey along four sections of this impressive Roman construction to discover the hidden clues in the landscape and reveal the secrets of Hadrian's Wall.
Tue, 09 Dec, 11:30AM BST
The Maharajas and their Fabulous Jewels
FREE • Amee Mehta
When the British Raj was established in 1858, the wealthy Indian maharajas began to visit England, particularly for jewel-laden state occasions such as coronations and jubilees. The long and intertwined jewellery history shared by India and UK is a fascinating study of centuries of opulence. Such was the spending power of the maharajas and the maharanis, that the owners of these jewellery houses would personally fly to India to cater to their demands. In this talk, we will explore the dazzling jewellery commisionned and owned by some of the wealthy Maharaja's in Europe around the19th and 20th Century.
Mon, 12 Dec, 16:00PM BST
Children's Literature Group
FREE • Jodie
The Children’s Literature Group is a place to share all the memories of books you loved growing up, to talk about your favourite authors in childhood, and perhaps find some new ones! To start with we’ll choose a book to read for each session and get together to discuss it and why it means so much to us, share the “best bits”, perhaps even enjoy the illustrations, if there are any. There will be a chance to nominate your particular favourite book (if there’s more than one then we’ll have a quick poll to decide) and, if you like, to introduce it to everyone else (but we won’t make you do that if you don’t want to!).
Tue, 13 Dec, 11:30AM BST
The Art of Indian Chintz
FREE • Amee Mehta
Did you know that a textile that was hand-painted with a bamboo pen is also partially to blame for India losing her independence. The very origin of the word ‘chintz’ has been traced to early East India Company records. In the Western market, chintzes with their Indian, Chinese and Japanese design influences were very popular. This innovative and often beautiful textile revolutionized fashion, industry, and global trade. Today, Chintz is used to describe any floral fabric. This talk will explore the history of this textile, and how a very Indian concept has been anglicized over the years.
Tue, 13 Dec, 14:30PM BST
Making Art Through the Seasons
FREE • Sarah
Our focus for this December workshop is bringing light into these dark days and will include breathing techniques, led visualisations, art making and sharing. Rather than developing technical art skills, this course will support you to connect to yourself and the seasons. You do not need to feel that you are good at art to do this course, the focus is on the process of art-making and what you learn from doing it. You can use whatever art materials you already have and a quiet space will help. If you can, bring a small candle and something to inscribe it with.
Tue, 13 Dec, 16:00PM BST
FREE • Penny
Visit Delhi, Taj Mahal, Jaipur Amber Fort, and have a week on the River Ganges from Kolkata. We will then go onwards to Kalna, Matiari, Murshidabad, Baranagar, Mayapur, Bandel & Chandannagar. In this talk, Penny will be taking us into rural India to see the the farming, crafts and way of life on the banks of the Ganges.
Thu, 15 Dec, 11:30AM BST
Black Cats, New Moons & Ladders - The Origins of Superstitions
FREE • Sandy
A belief in luck and fate are the key components of superstitions and that they can be controlled by various actions of human beings. Do you throw salt over your shoulder if you spill it? Know that it's good luck if you see two magpies together; wonder if things didn't go as planned because it was Friday 13th and touch wood for good luck? But where did these beliefs originate?
Fri, 16 Dec, 16:00PM BST
Ian Moore and 'Death and Croissants'
FREE • Abbie
In this event, Abbie will speak to Ian Moore, the author of 'Death and Croissants', which has been described as 'the most hilarious murder mystery since Richard Osman's 'The Thursday Murder Club'. The first of the Follet Valley Mystery series, it has now been joined by another bestseller 'Death and Fromage', and we're waiting to discover which food will be brought into this deadly platter next! We are so excited Ian will be joining us in December to discuss murder mystery writing and life as a 'Comedian, Author, Columnist, Corporate Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster and Chutney Maker'.
Mon, 19 Dec, 16:00PM BST
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol: One-Man Version
FREE • J.T. Turner
Witness the classic tale of A Christmas Carol as actor J.T. Turner portrays Charles Dickens and every single character from this beloved story! Charles Dickens was famous for bringing his A Christmas Carol to life for audiences every year, and this version brings all the drama, comedy and redemption as Dickens had originally written it. J.T. has performed his one-man version of this holiday classic to acclaim for over 25 years.
Tue, 20 Dec, 11:30AM BST
A very private passion - L.M. Alcott
FREE • Sandy
L.M. Alcott is best known for her autobiographical novel Little Women and its sequels, but – like her fictional counterpart Jo March – she also wrote Gothic thrillers and stories of passion and revenge under a pseudonym. Born in Philadelphia in 1832, Alcott’s father was a teacher and her mother a social worker. Her childhood was marred by poverty and her father’s mental instability. Alcott was a feminist and remained unmarried. She confessed that she believed herself to be a man in a woman’s body. She campaigned all her life for women’s suffrage and the abolition of slavery. The Alcott family were part of the Underground Railroad that protected fugitive saves. Alcott hated publicity and lived in seclusion until she died from a stroke in 1888 aged 55.
Tue, 20 Dec, 16:00PM BST
London of Charles Dickens: the tale of a literary legend
FREE • Andrew
Dickens knew London intimately and his writing brings it to life, along with the people who he saw there. His surviving house provides a glimpse of his surroundings, and he is the subject of many commemorative plaques around London – more than any other writer. In this talk we discover a peaceful fountain court he knew, identify a place suitable “to furnish materials for a hundred ghost stories” and find out why he renamed one City church ‘St Ghastly Grim’.
Wed, 21 Dec, 11:30AM BST
Book Club Christmas Social
FREE • Abbie
Join the Mirthy Book Club for our Christmas Social! This will be a fun hour of games, quizzes, and even a round of Book Bingo! This is a perfect chance to invite a friend along for a fun online activity, no specific prior reading required. All you need is an electronic device, a mug and a table!
Thu, 22 Dec, 16:00PM BST
When Christmas was Cancelled! - A History of Christmas
FREE • Sandy
The Christmas celebration that we know today has been a long time in the making as a religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. The middle of winter has always been a time of celebration in the northern hemisphere even before the arrival of Jesus. Christmas has been celebrated in different ways over the centuries and was even cancelled when England was a republic!
* Community events will not be recorded so you will not receive a replay with these events