Special events for adults

Special events for adults

We host a range of special events and workshops in our libraries for adults such as:

  • author events
  • history talks
  • craft workshops

Events are popular and you will need to book your place in advance for most of them.

Book your place

You can book your place at an event by:

  • email: libraries@rbkc.gov.uk
  • phone: 020 7361 3010
  • online registration if the event is listed on Eventbrite

Receive event information

Find out about new events, updates and news by:


Special events for adults: highlights​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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Mindful matters course for the over 50s

  • Thursday 3 October to Thursday 21 November
  • 11am to 12.15pm
  • Chelsea Library

Are you 50 years old or over? Then join mindfulness coach, Elizabeth Hooper, for a free eight session course to help you be more relaxed, more focused and better able to cope with the stresses of everyday life.

Book your free place for Mindful matters course for the over 50s via Eventbrite.

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The Young Lawrence of Arabia - with James Henderson

Travel writer and endurance sportsman, James Henderson has just returned from cycling 1000 miles in France on the trail of the young T.E. Lawrence.

In 1906 and 1907, Lawrence cycled a similar distance around Brittany, Normandy and the Loire Valley visiting medieval castles and abbeys to take photographs and write notes that would eventually contribute to his university thesis.

In this talk, James will tell the story of is his own cycle journey, comparing his experience with that of Lawrence a century ago. He will quote from Lawrence’s letters and show his rarely seen photographs, and explain how the young man’s developing sense of adventure and capacity for endurance eventually enabled him to inspire the Arab Uprising in the First World War.

Book your free place for The Young Lawrence of Arabia - with James Henderson via Eventbrite.

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RESTART Lives charity recruitment

RESTART Lives supports homeless men and women in London to move from the streets into independent living. Come along to find out more about the charity’s services.
 
The charity is also seeking new volunteers, mentors and business partners. 

No need to book, just turn up.

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Point of view and voice creative writing workshop

Join Joy Rhoades to find out more about point of view and voice and how to use them well in your creative writing. Have you got a strong desire to write or improve your creative writing? Then this workshop is for you.

Joy is an award-winning author and she'll look at the elements of the three main points of view or perspectives along with examples of each. This workshop is designed for the published and not-yet-published authors alike.

You’ll have a chance to apply these principles to you own writing via multiple exercises throughout the workshop. You’ll also have the chance to read some of that work aloud, if you wish to, in a supportive environment. Bring along a short piece of your own writing if you’d like to work on that in the context of the class. Joy will also cover the essentials of a writing life, sharing practical tips to get you writing and reading regularly.

Places are strictly limited, so you’re advised to hurry and book your place.

Book your free place for Point of view and voice creative writing workshop via Eventbrite.

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Well-being workshops

Join Community LivingWell for a series of free well-being workshops. Each workshop will cover a different topic such as mood boosting, getting a good night's sleep, motivation, dealing with stress, understanding panic and more. Check on Eventbrite for more details. 

Book your free place for Well-being workshops via Eventbrite.

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Creating the Windrush - Black History Month event

An African Journey by Barbara Ellis tells the story of the Brown and other families after their arrival in the United Kingdom from 1948 onwards, and their adaptation to their new home.

Their experiences echo those of others and their ancestor before them. Families drew closer in this strange land. Women in particular formed an unbreakable bond, if only for the sake of their families.

Mindful that education was the antidote to generational poverty that would become a battle ground to achieve their desire for social mobility in Britain, they eyed a broken education system - a system that has worked against the interests of black immigrant families to the present day. Also, a police force that criminalised their children using the hated sus (stop and search) laws.

On multiple levels, African Journey is a living document on tenacity and survival.

Book your free place for Creating the Windrush - Black History Month event via Eventbrite.

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Paper conservation workshops

Meet the Conservator and volunteers from Westminster City Archives to learn more about conservation.

They'll be sharing their tips which can help you conserve your own collections. This is great opportunity to get a glimpse of some of their theatre programmes and tools.

No need to book a place, just turn up.

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London History Festival 2019

The London History Festival aims to bring the work of the finest historians to the widest possible audience. Established in 2009 and currently in its 11th year, the Festival enables you to engage with some of today's best-selling historians. The aim for the authors to both entertain and enlighten through their books and talks.
 
The authors will be available for book signing sessions and chats once the talks after each event.
 
Tickets are £5 per event; concessionary £3 tickets are available too. All tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite.


The Song of Simon de Montfort with Sophie Ambler

We are proud to open this year's festival with Sophie Ambler, the author of Simon de Montfort: England’s First Revolutionary and The Death of Chivalry, in interview with Richard Foreman.
 
They will discuss the story of an extraordinary man: Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who in 1258 marched on the King's Hall at Westminster and seized the reins of power. He established a council to rule in the king’s name, overturning the social order in a way that would not be seen again until the rule of Oliver Cromwell in the seventeenth century.
 
Having defeated King Henry III at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, he and his revolutionary council ruled England for some fifteen months, until the enmity between the two sides exploded in August 1265, at Evesham. When the fighting was over, Montfort and a host of his followers had been cut down on the battlefield, in an outpouring of noble blood that marked the end of chivalry in England as it had existed since the Norman Conquest.

Book your £5 ticket for The Song of Simon de Montfort with Sophie Ambler via Eventbrite.

Book your concessionary £3 ticket for The Song of Simon de Montfort with Sophie Ambler via Eventbrite.

Crusaders with Dan Jones

Dan Jones, best-selling chronicler of the Middle Ages and the Sunday Times best-selling author of The Templars, turns his attention to the history of the Crusades – the sequence of religious wars fought between the late eleventh and late medieval periods, in which armies from European Christian states attempted to wrest the Holy Land from Islamic rule, and which have left an enduring imprint on relations between the Muslim world and the west.
 
Crusaders presents a distinctive perspective on a medieval conflict between Christianity and Islam whose echoes still resonate today. Rather than simply charting the events of the Crusades, Dan offers a ‘tableau history’ based on a chronological sequence of episodes featuring people who were involved in them.
 
The ‘crusaders’ of the book’s title include women and men, Christians of the eastern and western churches, Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, Arabs, Jews, Turks, Egyptians, Berbers and Mongols – and even a band of Vikings. Dan brings his masterful storytelling and a new perspective to this bloody period in the world’s history.

Book your £5 ticket for Crusaders with Dan Jones via Eventbrite.

Book your £3 concessionary ticket or Crusaders with Dan Jones via Eventbrite.

She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen with Katie Hickman

Join us for this fascinating interview with Katie Hickman, the Sunday Times bestselling author of She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen - British Women in India.

The first British women to set foot in India did so in the very early seventeenth century, two and a half centuries before the Raj came into being. In stark contrast to the languid memsahibs of popular imagination, these women were tough adventurers, their voyages extraordinarily daring leaps into the unknown.
 
While it is well-known that women went to India to find husbands, what is almost unknown is that they also worked as traders, cloth merchants, milliners, bakers, dress-makers, portrait painters, maids, shop-keepers, governesses, teachers, writers, travelers - the list is endless.
 
India was the British 'wild east', and many women succeeded in building a new and often independent life for themselves. Through diaries, letters and memoirs (many still in manuscript form), She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen reveals the life and times of hundreds of women who made their way across the sea and changed history.

Book your £5 ticket for She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen with Katie Hickman via Eventbrite.

Book your £3 concessionary ticket for  She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen with Katie Hickman via Eventbrite.

Dominion with Tom Holland

Join us for this fascinating talk and hear Tom Holland, an award-winning historian, biographer and broadcaster, discuss why Christianity is the most enduring and influential legacy of the ancient world. In Dominion, Tom places the story of how we came to be what we are, and why we think the way we do, in the broadest historical context.
 
Ranging in time from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC to the on-going migration crisis in Europe today, and from Nebuchadnezzar to the Beatles, he explores just what it was that made Christianity so revolutionary and disruptive. He looks at how completely it came to saturate the mind-set of Latin Christendom and why, in a West that has become increasingly doubtful of religion's claims, so many of its instincts remain irredeemably Christian.
 
Whether you are atheist, agnostic or believer in a faith, Holland’s argument could hardly be more topical.

Book your £5 ticket for Dominion with Tom Holland via Eventbrite.

Book your £3 concessionary ticket for Dominion with Tom Holland via Evenbrite.

Esoteric London with Gary Lachman

London is known for many things, from commercial enterprise to fashion. But it also has a kind of 'secret history' as a city home to many important figures in the esoteric tradition of the west.
 
This is the long heritage of mystical and magical ideas and practices that have formed a kind of counter-culture to the standard narrative of western intellectual history.
 
Among the many esoteric figures that have drifted through London's streets are Queen Elizabeth's astrologer John Dee, Nicholas Hawksmoor, architect of eerily evocative churches, the Swedish savant Emmanuel Swedenborg, the visionary poet William Blake, the Russian occultists Madame Blavatsky and P. D. Ouspensky, the notorious Aleister Crowley and his fellow initiate in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, W. B. Yeats.
 
This talk will look at some of these mysterious inhabitants of a mystical London and what their lives contributed to the magical aura of the city.

Book your £5 ticket for Esoteric London with Gary Lachman via Eventbrite.

Book your £3 concessionary ticket for Esoteric London with Gary Lachman via Eventbrite.

First to Fight with Roger Moorhouse

The Polish campaign of 1939 is perhaps the least well understood military campaign of the Second World War in Europe. In this engaging and illuminating interview, Roger Moorhouse explains why the Polish Campaign is so significant, not only in its own right, but also to the wider history of the war – and why it has been forgotten.
 
First to Fight is the first history of the Polish war for almost half a century.
 
Drawing on letters, memoirs and diaries by generals and politicians, soldiers and civilians from all sides, Roger’s dramatic account of the military events is entwined with a tragic human story of courage and suffering, and a dark tale of diplomatic betrayal.

Book your £5 ticket for First to Fight with Roger Moorhouse via Eventbrite.

Book your £3 concessionary ticket for First to Fight with Roger Moorhouse via Eventbrite.

Louis XIV, England and Europe with Philip Mansel

Philip Mansel's King of the World is the most comprehensive and up-to-date biography of the hypnotic, flawed figure of Louis XIV. Although often at odds militarily, his magnificent artistic patronage helped unite Europe culturally. In this talk Philip will discuss the Sun King’s relationship and attitude to Europe and England.
 
Louis XIV was in dialogue or conflict with Europe throughout his reign. He favoured European projects such as the restoration of the Stuarts to the thrones of England and Scotland, the election of a French prince to the throne of Poland, or the aggrandizement of Bavaria at the expense of Austria, almost as much as he favoured the expansion of France into the Low Countries and the Rhineland.

Book your £5 ticket for Louis XIV, England and Europe with Philip Mansel via Eventbrite.

Book your £3 concessionary ticket for Louis XIV, England and Europe with Philip Mansel via Eventbrite.

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Read about regular library events for adults.