Book Discussion

28th September

The President and Committee of the Oxford University Society of Belgium invite you to a novel event on Friday 28th September at 7.00 P.M.

This will take the form of an interactive literary evening, during which we will discuss Sir Max Beerbohm’s book “Zuleika Dobson” (1911), under the expert guidance of  Keith Richardson, a well known and active member of our Society.

Keith proposes to introduce the discussion by reviewing “this amazing book” under three headings :

1.A feast of the English language, erudite (even difficult), pictorial, comic.

2.The fairy tale, the extraordinary characters, the complete love story, the element of magic.

3.A satire on Oxford: grand, clever, beautiful, and supremely self-obsessed, just like Zuleika.

We hope many participants will have the opportunity to read the book in preparation for the evening, and encourage you to offer your thoughts and opinions both on the areas covered in the headings above and on areas pertaining to the novel itself, from rowing to the position of men and women in pre-first World War Oxford. It will be particularly interesting to see whether it inspires any comments on members’ own experience at Oxford (or Cambridge for that matter), whether in terms of contrasts or of similarities.


As usual, members’ families and friends are most welcome, as well as our friends from the Cambridge Society.


A few practicalities :

Venue :Michel and Chantal Van den Berghe’s home, 42, rue de l’Abbaye 42, 1050 Brussels.

Time : drinks from 7 pm onwards.

Introduction by Keith Richardson : 7:45 to about 8:15

General discussion from 8:15 to about 8:45

Dinner : at a nearby restaurant (probably l’Armagnac which we have used several times before) around 8:45 – 9 pm.

Cost : no charge for drinks and participation in the meeting

dinner : maximum 35 € per head, to be paid directly to the restaurant.  The menu will consist of three courses with a choice of two dishes at each course.  The menu will be sent out later. 

How to acquire the book : for those who do not already own it or find the book in their favourite bookshop (it is also available on Amazon), it is possible to download the text, free of charge, through the Internet : either by searching for “Zuleika Dobson” in Google ( the fourth item of the first page enables you to access the text of the book from the university of Virginia library), or by going directly to

We trust preparing for this promising evening will be a lot of fun !

Please register with me at the address below or by e-mail, , indicating whether or not you want to come to the dinner, by Monday 24th September.

Carol de Lusignan,

Secretary, Oxford University Society of Belgium

Avenue Herbert Hoover 149

1030 Brussels


02 732 33 28