Idler Dinner: John Mullan on Jane Austen and Sean Langan on War Journalism


Five times a year the Idler magazine is bringing together a programme of speakers for an evening of fun and feasting.  The dinners are now held at the wonderful Union members’ club in Soho. Each dinner celebrates the publication of that month’s edition of the Idler and the evenings are hosted by editor Tom Hodgkinson and Idler Academy director Victoria Hull.

For our second dinner of 2020, we welcome two speakers. John Mullan is Professor of English literature at University College London and a world expert in the literature of the eighteenth century. Professor Mullan will be speaking on the subject of idling in Jane Austen.  Sean Langan is a journalist, film maker, BAFTA nominee and brilliant raconteur, who will be talking about his experiences working in some of the most dangerous conflict zones in the world.

The Speakers

John Mullan is one of the world’s leading experts on the literature of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He is the author of What Matters in Jane Austen? Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved, published by Bloomsbury. He is also a regular contributor for the Guardian, the London Review of Books and the New Statesman, and was a judge for the Man Booker Prize in 2009.

Sean Langan is a journalist and documentary filmmaker. His Channel 4 Dispatches film Fighting the Taliban won a Rory Peck Award in 2007 and his BBC series Langan Behind the Lines was shortlisted for a BAFTA and Grierson. In 2008, Sean was kidnapped in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border by a group associated with the Taliban. The BBC drama The Kidnap Diaries, co-written by Sean, documents this ordeal.

The Venue

The Union Club is a private members’ club situated in a listed Georgian town house in the heart of Soho. It opened in 1993, and for the last twenty-six years has been providing a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere for its members.


Date: Tuesday 3rd March 2020

Time: 7:00pm – 10:30pm

Location: The Union Club, 50 Greek Street, London, W1D 4EQ

Cost: £55

What’s included in the ticket price: A three course meal and a glass of wine or beer

Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road

How to Book: Either click ‘Buy Tickets’ on this page or call our office between 10am  – 6pm, Monday-Thursday on 020 3176 7907