Literature in Britain Today

Speaker: Tim Robertson, Royal Society of Literature

75% of the British population have read something in the last 6 months that they consider to be literature. 88% agree that literature should be part of everyone’s education. 81% believe literature helps people understand other points of view. Asked to name a writer of literature, the top answers are Shakespeare, Dickens and JK Rowling, but 20% of people cannot name a writer of literature. These are some of the results of Britain’s first national survey of public attitudes to literature, carried out by Ipsos MORI under commission from the Royal Society of Literature. The Society’s Director summarises and discusses the findings, along with the media reactions to them.  The conclusions – some heartening, some challenging – offer an unprecedented overview of how far literature is owned and valued in British society. Each attendee will receive a complimentary copy of the survey report.

Friday 7th July, 9.30