ESU New York City Branch

Message from the New York Branch

Dear Fellow New York Branch Members,

With the summer of 2019 winding down, we turn our attention back to the ESU New York Branch and what the fall season will bring.  Again, the Branch will offer monthly Mystery Book Cub meetings (see calendar for titles the group will read), and the ESU Players are pulling together a series of staged readings of plays that will continue to engage a diverse group, including current and former ARNIC (Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center) members, with the English language. 

In addition to these regularly scheduled members' events, there will be a few lectures as well as a film screening, and a special curated tour of the Treasures from Chatsworth: The Exhibition at Sotheby's.  The Branch is continuing its partnerships with the Art Deco Society of New York, Royal Oak Foundation and Historic Royal Palaces.  And in December, (save the date: December 5, 2019) we will hold our annual Yuletide Party in collaboration with the British Schools and Universities Club.

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News And Events

Art Deco Across Canada

Thursday,November 21, 2019
6:30 p.m.
The English-Speaking Union
144 East 39th Street, New York City

$25 for ESU National Patrons
$30 for ESU Members
$40 for Non-members

Join The English-Speaking Union and ADSNY for an engaging illustrated talk exploring the Art Deco style in Canada. In this presentation, Tim Morawetz demonstrates how, like Art Deco buildings everywhere, Canada's examples display a rich array of decorative motifs unique to the country's geography, history, and culture. He shows how various types of Deco architecture––ranging from high-profile office towers, city halls and department stores, to apartment buildings, neighborhood movie theaters, private homes, churches––utilize Canadian archetypes such as hockey, beavers, and maple syrup to reflect Canada's identity and history. Morawetz features many structures that boast stunning bas-relief carvings and decorative elements representing uniquely Canadian flora and fauna, industry, and daily life.  This presentation also includes entertaining stories that paint a picture of the legendary entrepreneurs, politicians, and everyday Canadians who made their mark during the interwar era.

Buy tickets online here. 


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A Comedy of Tenors

"A Comedy of Tenors" features one hotel suite, four tenors, two wives, three girlfriends, and a soccer stadium filled with screaming fans. What could possibly go wrong? It's 1930s Paris, and the stage is set for the concert of the century—as long as producer Henry Saunders can keep Italian superstar Tito Merelli and his hot-blooded wife, Maria, from causing runaway chaos. Prepare for an uproarious ride, full of mistaken identities, bedroom hijinks, and a madcap night of humor and music. 

Reception at 6 pm at the ESU; group procession to the Amateur Comedy Club at 7:15 for an 8 pm curtain. 

$15 for ESU Members $20 for Non-members

Register by Monday, October 28 by mail by downloading this form or online here. 


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Brexit – Do or Die?

Thursday, September 26, 2019
6:30 p.m.
The English-Speaking Union
144 East 39th Street, New York City

ESU National Patrons: $20
ESU Members: $25
Non-members: $30
ESU National Patrons are invited to enjoy a private champagne reception with Ms. Scheppele in the Executive Director's office at 6 p.m.

Click here to reserve online. 

No issue in recent memory has consumed the United Kingdom like the move, known colloquially as "Brexit." With yet another deadline fast approaching, there still remains much confusion and speculation about the ramifications of the UK's departure from the European Union. In this riveting and informative illustrated talk, Kim Lane Scheppele reprises and updates her fascinating presentation on Brexit, which she initially delivered in two separate talks for the ESU Princeton Branch. For those who don't fully get all the fuss about Brexit, Scheppele covers the basics and explains the potential repercussions for the United Kingdom. How does a "soft" Brexit differ from a "hard' Brexit? Explaining these and myriad other Brexit-centric terms and concepts, she clearly illustrates the potential impact of this "divorce" on all aspects of the British economy as well as on the UK's relationship with Europe and the world. More importantly, her presentation includes updates reflecting recent developments, including the ascension of Boris Johnson as UK prime minister, who has held out the threat of a "no deal" Brexit on October 31, 2019, which will create a complete break. She outlines anticipated outcomes and impacts of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU clearly and succinctly. Boris Johnson has claimed that "Do or Die, Come What May" Brexit will happen by October 31. Can he keep his pledge?


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Treasures from Chatsworth: The Exhibition

Chatsworth, the fabled estate in the United Kingdom, is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family. Rich with thousands of objects, spanning four centuries, the Devonshire Collection is widely celebrated as one of the most significant collections of art and objects in Europe.

Click here to register online

Thursday, September 12, 2019
Sotheby's, 1334 York Avenue
3:00 p.m. Sant Ambroeus Reception
4:00 p.m. Docent-led Tour

ESU National Patrons: $40
ESU Members: $45
Non-members: $50


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England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey

Tuesday, October 1 | 6:15 p.m. 
reception following lecture

Abigail Adams Smith House Auditorium,
417 East 61st Street, New York, NY

In July 1553, Tudor England plunged into political and military crisis. Henry VIII's young son, Edward VI, died at the age of just fifteen, leaving no male heir. For the first time, a woman would wear the English crown, but who: Edward's Catholic half-sister Mary, or his Protestant cousin Jane Grey? On his deathbed, Edward named sixteen-year-old Jane as his heir. As fierce a Protestant as Edward, Jane was proclaimed queen and taken to the Tower of London to await her coronation. But Mary would not accept her disinheritance - and neither would the country. Nine days later, Jane's brief reign was over, and seven months after that, she lost her head on the block. Author and Historian Helen Castor explores this dramatic story, examining key events, documents and characters, and assessing Jane's role in the coup that cost her life. The tragic tale of the Nine Days' Queen is a breathless political thriller as well as a defining moment in the history of England.


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The English-Speaking Union

New York City Branch

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The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.

To find out more about our programs click here.