What's On



Reading Circle

Past Exhibitions

end of section

In the Garret with Dr Johnson

Wednesday 16 May 7pm (Doors open at 6.30pm)

Adrian Mourby will be joining us to talk about how Dr Johnson used his house at 17 Gough Square to write The Dictionary of the English Language, and comparing this with other writers including Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, J K Rowling, and rooms in which they wrote. Adrian is an award-winning travel journalist and former BBC producer, and in 2017 Icon Press published two books based on his 25 years as a travel writer, Rooms of One’s Own and Rooms with a View, both of which visit places where famous authors wrote great works.

Tickets: £10 (includes a complimentary glass of wine)

SOLD OUT - Please contact us on 020 7353 3745 to be added to the waiting list


end of section

London History Day - Late night opening

Thursday 31 May 6 - 8pm

A rare opportunity to explore the historic interior of Dr Johnson’s 18th-century townhouse, at twilight, in this special late-night opening to mark London History Day. Enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and experience a spring evening in true Georgian-style. All four floors of the House will remain open for visitors to view our current displays and you’ll have the chance to listen to the curators tell you more about Johnson, his contemporaries and literary London. Leaf through the facsimile dictionaries in our library, or dress up in our Georgian costumes!

Standard admission fees apply.

The House at Twilight

end of section

An Introduction to the Bluestockings

Saturday 23 June - 2pm

Join the Deputy Curator, Helen Woollison, for a free talk about the literary gatherings of the Bluestocking Society. Find out more about the members of this predominantly female society, and learn how they supported one another in their endeavours into the traditionally male field of literature. Many members struggled to convince their families that their education and careers would not endanger their reputations, with some buckling under societal pressure to marry or leave the London literary scene to protect their reputation. This talk will look into the reasons why female writers had to fight to have their voices heard during the 18th century and beyond.

No need to book, talk is included in standard admission charge.

Elizabeth Montagu

end of section

Dr Johnson's Guide to Life

Thursday 28 June - 7pm (Doors open at 6.30pm)

The subjects that preoccupied Johnson are enduring ones: the power of the imagination, the importance of self-knowledge, ambition, human fallibility, the nature of pleasure and boredom, family life and marriage, friendship, the dangers of obsession, what it means to be a writer and a reader, how to lead a meaningful existence. A lot of his judgements have had remarkable staying power and can seem startlingly modern. Join author Henry Hitchings for an entertaining tour of some of his ideas and opinions, considering what we can learn from them, and how they can help us negotiate life’s challenges. Henry is the author of six books, including two on Dr Johnson. His latest is The World in 38 Chapters, or Dr Johnson’s Guide to Life (published by Macmillan in June).

Tickets: £10 (includes a complimentary glass of wine)


end of section


Follow in Johnson's footsteps and explore the courts and alleys off Fleet Street with an experienced City Guide.

1st Wednesday of each month (except Jan.), 3pm

Next walk:

2 May

Groups may also book walks at alternative times. For any enquiries please contact us.

Dr Johnson's Fleet Street - Discover Johnson's life and work in and around Fleet Street and his acquaintances in the area.
Dr Johnson's City - Explore the Fleet Valley, Ludgate Hill and St Paul's Churchyard areas as Johnson knew them.

£5/£4 concessions. No booking required. Meet outside Dr Johnson's House.

This is a joint venture between Dr Johnson's House and the City Guides.

City of London Guides logo End of section

Johnson and Boswell 'Walking down the High Street' by Rowlandon

Events information

Most events sell out and tickets must be bought in advance. Card payments are processed by PayPal. We regret that we are unable to take card payments over the phone.

Customers wishing to pay by cheque should send a cheque payable to 'Dr Johnson's House Trust Ltd' to Dr Johnson's House, 17 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE. Please include your contact details. We will let you know when your cheque arrives.

Please note the House contains unavoidable steps. For more information about access, please visit our Facilities page.

LondonShh. Small Historic Houses Link to London Shh website Accredited Museum