A Drink with Emma Smith, author of Portable Magic

Emma Smith
Emma Smith, photo by John Cairns

£7.50

Join A Drink with the Idler as we discuss the magical power of books with Professor Emma Smith.

We’ll be chatting about when, why and how books acquired their particular hold over humans. In her new book Portable Magic Emma Smith gathers together a millennium’s worth of pivotal encounters with volumes big and small. She reveals that, as much as their contents, it is books’ physical form – their ‘bookhood’ – that lends them their distinctive and sometimes dangerous magic. All books are, as Stephen King put it, ‘a uniquely portable magic’. Emma Smith shows us why. We can’t wait to be chatting to her.

We’ll have philosophical insight from Dr Mark Vernon and the discussion will be followed by a live Q&A. Your host will be Idler Academy director Victoria Hull.

A Drink with the Idler is free for Idler magazine and Academy members.

It is an online event. Bring your friends. It should be like meeting up in the pub for an interesting conversation. We leave the meeting open at the end so you can carry on chatting. 

Emma Smith was born and brought up in Leeds, went unexpectedly to university in Oxford, and never really left. She is now Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Hertford College and the author of the Sunday Times bestseller This is Shakespeare. She enjoys silent films, birdwatching, and fast cars. 

Tom Hodgkinson is editor of the Idler and author of the best-selling manuals, How to be Idle and How to be Free. Other books include a book on parenting, the Ukulele Handbook and a manual for creative entrepreneurs, Business for Bohemians.

Dr Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist, writer, broadcaster and teacher. He presents several Idler Academy online courses including courses on Ancient and Modern Philosophy, Psychotherapy and Dante. He has a PhD in philosophy, and degrees in theology and physics. His most recent books include – The Idler Guide To Ancient Philosophy (Idler Books), Love: All That Matters (Hodder) and Jung: How To Believe (Guardian Shorts) – and he has books on friendship, belief and the good life too. Mark can often be heard on Moral Maze. He began his professional life as a priest in the Church of England. 

Victoria Hull is director of The Idler Academy producing the Idler’s live and online events and courses.


Testimonials from A Drink with the Idler

Drinks with the idler have kept me sane in the need for a better quality conversation each week.

A simple heartfelt thank you; I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying Thursday evenings as part of the Idler community. Never has a subscription yielded such brain nourishing pleasure. 

Short yet so sweet, delightful and interesting …uplifting intelligent conversation. I feel so happy to have stumbled upon The Idler. I bow to you all☺️⭐️

Drinks with the Idler has turned out to be one of our lifelines! Such fun, wonderful commentary by you and the remarkable Mark, not to mention the delightful Victoria. 

Thanks for Thursday nights! I wish I’d caught onto them sooner. I’ve so loved being able to hear & absorb so many voices & ideas. Definitely they are a tonic for melancholia!

Another fabulous session at the Idler bar, lively discussion and thoughtful insights 🙂 It continues to be brilliant with such a great breadth of topics. 

One hour is not long enough!!!

It all feels very intimate and immediate, possibly more so than were all 200 of us there in person. I walked out of my shed (where I watched it) feeling mentally refreshed, inspired and intellectually satisfied!

I just want to say how very much I look forward to the Idler drink each week. All your guests are so interesting and funny, and completely hit the spot for me on so many levels. I sit hiding in our bedroom, the only quiet place in the house, with red wine, and pad and pen to quickly scribble down bits and bobs that I’d like to look up afterwards.

I feel cheered and relaxed after and ready to continue homeschooling. Since joining you for a drink, I’ve also subscribed to a history course and the magazine, in all its shiny glory, which I also indulgently read with a tea and a Crunchie, being the best Idler I can be and savouring each page and honeycombed bite. 

A Drink with the Idler has brought us a weekly hour of sanity and joy for the past 4 months – thank you so much for offering this wonderful gathering – the guests have been brilliant and we feel fortunate that Zoom and the lockdown have allowed us to participate in the craic from Seattle! 

Fulfilling and inspiring talk …It means so much that you host these events. 

Thank you – so enjoyed it! Online sharing is so good – opening doors in all sorts and kinds of quarters. Up the Idler Revolution!


Event Details

Date: Thursday 19 May

Time: 6pm-7pm

Location: Online via Zoom link

Cost: £7.50. Free for Idler members. SUBSCRIBE NOW

How to join A Drink with the Idler: Register by clicking the ‘GET TICKETS’ button above

Note:

When you register, you can choose a Standard Ticket (£7.50), or a Free Ticket if you are an Idler subscriber. You can also add a donation if you wish. The ticket income will support the beautiful, fun and fascinating Idler magazine and enable us to keep producing weekly Drinks with brilliant speakers.

All ticket holders who are on the Idler newsletter list will be sent the direct link on the night. Make sure you Sign up for the Idler newsletter here.

Latecomers may not be given access.