Virtual Seminars For Booklovers About Austen, Ferrante and Hemingway

Last updated on July 11th, 2021

(Lead Image Photo Credit: Mat Napo on Unsplash)

Going behind the scenes with some of our favorite writers

by Carolyn Ray, JourneyWoman Publisher and Editor-in-Chief 

“Such was the Paris of our youth, the days when we were very poor and very happy.”
– Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Several years ago, after reading Paula McLean’s Paris Wife, I began an odyssey to follow the steps of Ernest Hemingway. I started in Pamplona after reading Death in the Afternoon, and then made my way to Cuba and Key West (which has now become an annual retreat). Although I’ve been to Paris several times, I haven’t yet visited 74 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine, where Hemingway lived in Paris with his first wife. 

Books feed our curiosity and they also inspire us to explore, to roam.  But as we’ve learned in our book club, context is everything.  In these sessions, you can dive deeper into the ‘why’ and understand the story behind the story, thanks to these expert-led seminars from Context Travel. I hope you enjoy them and don’t forget to use your JourneyWoman-exclusive discount code (directions are at the end of this article).  

Join us at our next Book Club Meeting (third Wednesday of each month!)

Expert-led seminars about writers who inspire us

From Austen to Ferrante to Hemingway, these expert-led sessions from our partner Context Travel spotlight great writers who have inspired us to travel and explore the world. 

Photo Credit: Context Travel

Hemingway and Paris with Samuél Lopez-Barrantes

Mar 3, 2021 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm EST

No writer can discuss literature in Paris without mentioning Ernest Hemingway, and it’s impossible to mention Hemingway without discussing the art of storytelling. In this cross-disciplinary seminar that combines literary history, biography, and lessons in the craft of writing, Paris-based novelist Samuél Lopez-Barrantes offers a new way to think about the nature and shape of storytelling by recounting the lesser-known tales of the men and women who helped turn Hemingway into a legend.

TIP: If you haven’t already, read Paula McLain’s novel The Paris Wife, which explores the relationship between Hemingway and his first wife Radley Richardson.

Travels with Jane Austen: England in Literature 

Mar 6, 2021 1:00 pm – 02:30 pm EST

Jane Austen (1775-1817) lived in a time of elegance but also a period of conflict in Europe and further afield. The seminar will explore the places where Jane lived, stayed, or visited, which served as inspiration for events and locations described in her six novels.

Although Jane spent most of her early life in a modest country parsonage and her later life in a country cottage, she had the advantage of invitations from more affluent friends and relations to visit grand houses and mix with a range of society from servants to nobility. Jane was an acute observer of manners and socials interactions between the different levels of society and experienced those who were generous with the advantages they had inherited and those who were haughty and disdainful.

Video Credit: YouTube/BBC

Video Credit:  HBO/YouTube

Elena Ferrante’s Naples  

Mar 18, 2021 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm EST
April 13, 5:00 – 6:30 pm

I loved reading “My Beautiful Friend” by Elena Ferrante, which took me right into the streets of Naples. Ferrante (a pseudonymous Italian novelist) has taken the literary world by storm in more recent years, exposing stories of the female experience in postwar Italy up until today. Her depictions of friendship, violence, love, poverty, and determination have resounded among millions of readers while the vivid settings of her Neopolitan novels have caused a wave of Ferrante pilgrims visiting this characterful city. 

This conversation will use the novels to understand how the various neighborhoods–where the critical scenes are set–help to define the narrative. We’ll visit the Rione Luzzati where the books are primarily set, as well as the Piazza dei Martiri, the Retifilo, and the island of Ischia. We’ll learn more about the culture of Naples in the 1950s to better understand the characters and their positions in life. Knowing this Neopolitan history will give readers deeper insight into the protagonists and stories. We’ll also discuss how the Neapolitan language (described as dialect) and the Italian language each evolved and their social implications.

To Book A Context Travel Seminar

JourneyWoman Readers

JourneyWoman readers receive a 15% discount on your first purchase. Please include code TRAVELJWCC when signing up for your first experience. 

Disclaimer: We’re so happy that you’re checking out this page! We are committed to being transparent about all content that we publish.

Should you decide to purchase a seminar or course from Context Travel using a link from our site, JourneyWoman may earn a small commission, which helps us maintain this website and continue to produce our free monthly magazine and other free services. This commission does not come out of your pocket, it is paid by Context Travel to us. 

We only recommend things that are suggested by our community or through our own experience that we believe will be practical and helpful for you. We welcome your questions and feedback about any articles published on our site. 


Carolyn is the Publisher + Editor-in-Chief of JourneyWoman and a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC). A Canadian raised in South Florida, Carolyn loves all things Spanish, historic destinations and always has her backpack ready to go.



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