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Folk singers

21st Century Folk ... and Beyond!

Folk music is not just or only music from olden times sung by old men singing with a finger in their ear in the upstairs room of a pubs. It's alive and well and very much a living tradition. The Lit & Phil's music librarian has written a short blog about a few of its current exponents.

Owl from Audubon's collection

John James Audubon and his Elephant visit the North of England in 1827

In the spring of 1827, an event took place in the north east of England that was a landmark in the related worlds of art and natural history. At this time the charismatic and larger than life wildlife artist and publisher John James Audubon was on a tour of the United Kingdom in order to raise subscriptions for his planned magnum opus “The Birds of America.” Newcastle and its surrounding area were one of his ports of call.

Boy reading in bed

Literature in Lockdown

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
― Groucho Marx

Golden temple in Kyoto

Haiku competition

For the Lit & Phil's very first online competition we invite you to create a haiku, a form of Japanese poetry of just seventeen syllables in three lines of five, seven and five.

Trumpet emoji

Is it any good?

Ah, solving that question

Brings the priest and the doctor

In their long coats

Running over the fields

Philip Larkin

Naxos audio books logo

Can you “read” an audiobook?

What constitutes "reading" a book? Do you have to have a physical object made of paper (a book) or plastic and metal (an ebook reader) in your hands? Now that members of the Lit & Phil can access the excellent Naxos Spoken Word Library, the question arises ...

Naxos music logo

Naxos music streaming service

Is it possible to have too much music? Discuss.... but while you're thinking about it have a look at Naxos Music and take note that as a Lit & Phil music library member you can access their excellent streaming service.


Opinions, opinions, opinions

The capacity to be offended is not just a phenomenon attributable to the age of instant messaging (although by virtue of their ease of use,  they have arguably exacerbated it). The Lit & Phil has always had members with strongly held views on many many topics, some interesting and important and some of a rather trivial nature.

Steam engine

Train of Thought

Sometimes when you’re sitting in the Lit and Phil, you slowly become aware that other lives going on out there. In the outside world, I mean.

This shocking revelation usually happens at very quiet times, shortly after opening perhaps. Noises begin to impinge gently on your consciousness...

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