A Drink with The Idler | Sam Leith on a History of Childhood Reading

Sam Leith


Join “A Drink with the Idler” as we chat with literary commentator Sam Leith about the first general history of canonic literature written for children

Stories written for children offer a glimpse into our deepest hopes, joys and anxieties. Indelible in our memories, they reveal our pasts, remembered and imagined, and invite us to dream up different futures. More vivid, more affecting than books read mere months ago, our childhood reading might just be the making of us. Sam Leith’s The Haunted Wood: A History of Childhood Reading explores the magic of our most beloved stories, the lasting grip they seem to have on us and the ways in which they define and console entire generations.

The discussion between Sam and Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson will be followed by a live Q&A, and the Idler Academy’s Head of Philosophy Dr Mark Vernon will present a short “thought for the week” to get our brains fizzing. The event will be hosted by Idler Academy director Victoria Hull.

This is an online event. 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.

Sam Leith is literary editor of the Spectator, and has written extensively for the Guardian, TLS, Financial Times, Telegraph and Daily Mail. He was a judge for the 2015 Man Booker Prize. His previous books include You Talkin’ to Me?: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Trump and Beyond, and Write to the Point: How to Be Clear, Correct, and Persuasive on the Page.

Tom Hodgkinson is editor of the Idler and author of the best-selling manuals How to Be Idle and How to Be Free. Other publications 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. 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 Radio 4’s Moral Maze. He began his professional life as a priest in the Church of England. For more, visit markvernon.com

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.

A fabulous Idler Drinks – thanks Tom, Victoria, Mark and idlers everywhere!

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☺️⭐️

A Drink 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. 

A great way to round off another year of Drinks, raise a glass to Christmas and to 2024!

Event Details

Date: Thursday 10 October 2024

Time: 6pm-7pm

Location: Online via Zoom link

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

How to join A Drink with the Idler: Non subscribers should register by clicking the BUY NOW button above. Subscribers can register by clicking the GET TICKETS button above.


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