Through a Glass Darkly: Power of The Past for Two Bestselling Authors

At any point, the past may seem distant and unreal; the tendency of history to replay like a fairytale tells us so. The truth, as bestselling novelists Michèle Roberts and Lucy Hughes-Hallett know, is that the past is always entangled with the present. No one could be what, where, or who they are without those that came before. In their novels, The Walworth Beauty and Peculiar Ground, Michèle and Lucy teach a masterclass in capturing the delicacy of humanity, the passage of time, and the threads of fate that bind and set free characters.

At the festival, both of these writers will be sharing the stage to discuss their common ground, their methodology, inspiration and vision. Author and poet, Michèle’s book The Walworth Beauty tells of two cities – two Londons – to be precise. Connecting Victorian London to the present day and exploring the fallout of history on a personal level between two characters, the story is elegant, haunting, vivid, and expertly told in a way that The Times commends as comparable to “Woolf and Keats”. Lucy, a cultural historian as well as writer, uses her debut novel Peculiar Ground to delve into the ghosts of generations within one house – a richly detailed and excellently crafted story of isolation, human connection and intricate heritage that The Guardian calls both “ambitious and accomplished”.

Don’t miss your chance to hear the imaginations of these novelists laid bare in conversation – tickets are still left, but it’s only a matter of time.

 

Monday 6th November / Event 7
2.30PM
£10
The Bull Hotel

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

 

The Rise of the Outsiders – Peculiar Politics by Steve Richards

The Western world has been shaken, tricked, emboldened, and disgusted in turns by its own modern politics. Whether an individual’s alignment is left or right, centrist or self-removed, one thing is clear in this new era; the rule book is being rewritten. With legislation debuting on Twitter, and ministers cheered by football chants as if Question Time might be held on a pitch, where may countries turn in their messes of information and morality? Posited by award-winning political commentator Steve Richards in his new book, The Rise of the Outsiders, the answer is that the old giants have failed to evolve alongside the rest of the world, and, seeing this, the shadowy figures at the fringe of politics chose now to enter the spotlight. As a journalist for The Guardian and The Independent – between appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and BBC1’s Sunday Politics – Steve definitely knows the nature of this particular beast.

Armed with knowledge and truth – one commodity that can’t be overvalued today – Steve’s The Rise of the Outsiders is illuminating in a time of confusion. To understand how mainstream politics has become so lost, he will shine a light on not only “the outsiders” that have taken centre stage in our lives, but the reasons that systems, having functioned previously, have given platform to this international entanglement of occasionally-dumbfounding spectacles…

Set to be a controversial, stimulating and informative talk, Steve will be featuring at the festival – don’t miss your chance for a seat.

 

Saturday 11th November / Event 32
4.30 PM
£10
The Electric Palace

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

To Catch A King – Charles Spencer’s Action-Packed History

Acclaimed by Julian Fellowes as a “history with the pace of a thriller”, Earl Charles Spencer’s gripping new book, To Catch A King, might seem too good to be true, but it isn’t. Many historical events are legendary; fables of kings and queens are taught in schools and stories are often dramatized for entertainment, but, as Charles retells how King Charles II ran for his life from assassins and a crumbling Monarchy, we’re reminded that sometimes the truth is wild enough.

Using Pepy’s account, verified by Charles II himself, to testify for the verity of this jaw-dropping series of events, Charles plunges readers into a whirlwind of fast-paced action and deadly stakes as he unpacks the chase that took place three hundred years ago. Escaping enemies of he throne by disguising himself as one half of an eloping couple, hiding inside an oak tree (an event responsible for the “Royal Oak” name of countless British pubs) and even bringing the action down here to this part of West Dorset, Charles II restored the monarchy despite ridiculous odds. In an unpredictable and unbelievable tale that stunned the entire country, To Catch A King is a historical text quite unlike any other.

Do not miss Charles’ talk about this mind-boggling tale, effecting even the ground we walk on! To secure your seat for an incredible event, booking information is below.

 

Thursday 9th November / Event 24
6.30 PM
£10
The Electric Palace

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

Ascent – Sir Chris Bonington’s Mountainous Memoir

In 1985, iconic British mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington climbed to the summit of Mount Everest. This was neither his first nor his last climb, but inarguably one of the most dangerous, poignant and rewarding physical feats any human might achieve; and Chris is no stranger to that. Having spent six decades climbing, Chris knows everything there is to know about calculated risk and unfathomable reward. In his new memoir, Ascent: A Life Spent Climbing on the Edge, Chris recounts his electrifying adventures conquering seemingly insurmountable peaks, and casts an eye back over his life – his childhood love of the outdoors, his term in the army, and the drive that still fuels him today.

This book tells first-hand accounts of his climbs, including the first British ascent of the North Wall of the Eiger, and his leadership of the expedition that completed the first ascent of the South Face of Annapurna. With true stories of bravery in the face of despair and survival simply by incredible determination, Chris bares his experiences from all areas of his life – inconceivable elation in mountaineering, and heart-rending loss in love. Ascent: A Life Spent Climbing on the Edge is the story of human willpower and the capacity for incentive that hope bears. In detailing this incredible life it reminds us all that absolutely anything is possible and may be achieved – despite every odd.

Chris will be speaking about his remarkable life and memoir at the festival, in conversation with Luke Hughes, Chair of the Mount Everest Foundation. Book now, to avoid disappointment:

 

Friday 10th November / Event 28
4.30 PM
£10
The Electric Palace

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

Micromastery – Robert Twigger on The Art of Happiness

Why are Nobel Prize-winning scientists 22 times more likely to dabble in an art or craft than the ordinary scientist? It might have something to do with the fact that in this modern age, in which we are expected to choose one pursuit and dutifully pursue it, we too-often disregard the niggling sense that we are boxing ourselves in. After all, settling the human brain into a rut is a terrible waste of imagination. Robert Twigger asks in his new book, Micromastery, a playful, enlightening and surprising manual on how to pursue happiness and success in perfect harmony, “why stop there?

Robert is a local author whose research into micromastery has yielded wonderful tips from local maestros such as Madame Tussaud’s Mike Wade, and woodworker Peter Southall of Slader’s Yard. The secret to happiness doesn’t lie in stagnation, but in stimulation. Robert uses his experiences and findings to explain why we don’t need to limit ourselves to be fulfilled, yet specificity itself can be the very key to joy. You could be an accountant moonlighting as a pastry chef, or a pastry chef moonlighting as a cultivator of small potted plants – it doesn’t matter. Pick something that makes you happy, and give it room in your life to grow. Championing chances for creativity and the pleasure of progress through its eclectic and wonderful ideas, Micromastery encourages us to learn – and master – a new skill as often as we can. Be it cocktail-crafting, nail-painting, glass-blowing, or even just perfecting the ultimate tea-to-milk ratio, everything is good enough and there is everything to try! Let yourself live outside of your box little by little, and start small. Micro, in fact.

Micromastery is a life-changer in the most exciting way. There are no wrong answers, just your own personal stars to reach for, and happiness isn’t the finish line – it’s the entire journey.

Don’t miss your chance to attend Robert’s talk about life’s joys and positivity, while tickets are still available the information you need is below…

 

Wednesday 8th November / Event 15
10.00 AM
£8
The Bull Hotel – Ballroom

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

 

Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit – Boris Starling’s Tribute to Resilience

As Boris Starling‘s Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit is published, the third Invictus Games will be held in Toronto. The games may only be still in their infancy, but the impact of their meaning, the opportunity of their purpose, and their growing legacy transcends age. The games are a chance for servicemen and women to compete in a prestigious multisport competition, but to each competitor the games’ existence also symbolises a different sort of challenge. To qualify, you must have already been through hell and back, and it’s reaching your mark that signifies your first victory. The servicemen and women who compete for glory at the Invictus Games are those who have been injured, wounded, and halted in their service in ways unfathomable, and are now proving to the world that not only is recovery an option – so is excellence.

At the Invictus Games the starting line marks more than just the racetrack. It marks a whole new beginning. The unconquerable spirit and unbreakable will of competitors uplifts everyone lucky enough to watch, and Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit tells the stories of some of these heroes. Be it racing with triple amputations, or firing arrows with one’s teeth – the awesome stories of the people we see in the arena and how they came to be there will humble you.

The games are spearheaded by Prince Harry, and, only fittingly, Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit bears a foreword by him. Proving that ‘change’ never has to mean ‘end’, Boris perfectly celebrates the servicemen and women who define ‘unconquerable’.

Do not miss your chance for tickets to Boris’ incredible talk. The information you need is below:

Sunday 12th November / Event 35
3.00 PM
£10
The Electric Palace

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

War Stories – Tales from Beyond the Front Line by Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan

War breeds conflict, destruction and division, but amidst its wreckage Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan have fostered unity. Compelled by the manmade phenomenon – the consequences of which push limits of imagination – the partners set about writing War Stories, a collection of tales, some untold until now, from people whose lives have been touched by war.

Gathering 34 individual’s accounts, Peter and Ann breathe life into unbelievable memories and give voice to forgotten events, each more fascinating, terrifying and amazing than the last; and all true. Ranging from Waterloo to the Crimea, from both World Wars to Syria; War Stories narrates moments of heroism, compassion, horror and heartbreak. Through these glimpses into incomprehensible situations, strange and stunning human actions become a degree more comprehensible. Passed like medals down through generations or even recounted firsthand – what unifies each expertly told memory is the palpable force of human spirit.

Don’t miss Peter and Ann when they come to the festival! To celebrate the launch of War Stories, the duo will be discussing the process of chronicling these tales, and the stories themselves; full of the highs and lows of human capability.

 

Sunday 5th November / Event 4
5.30 PM
£10
The Electric Palace

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

The Music Shop: Rachel Joyce’s Story of Harmonies and Second Chances

Rachel Joyce, the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, spins a new story of community, tenderness, and spirit in her fourth novel; The Music Shop.

With a cast of characters as recognisable as they are truthfully complicated, The Music Shop plays a tune of hope in the face of change, and of companionship in the face of isolation. Frank, the music shop owner, has a gift for selecting music that will soothe, encourage, comfort or cheer his clients when they need it the most; and when Ilse in her pea-green coat faints in front of his shop one day, their lives are drawn together.

As the idiosyncratic members of the community band together to protect their haven from encroaching property developers, Frank and Ilse find that they need to save themselves too, and face change and transformation on their own terms. Warmed with musical wisdom, and made brilliant by intricate human connection, The Music Shop is a tangible experience; making the everyday extraordinary. Or… simply demonstrating that it already is.

Rachel Joyce will be discussing her sparkling novel at this year’s festival. Treat yourself to something truly special that has the whole country singing along, while tickets are still available.

 

Thursday 9th November / Event 23
4.30 PM
£10
The Bull Hotel – Ballroom

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

Windblown – A Dark and Stormy Memoir by Tamsin Treverton Jones

Thirty years ago the British Isles were struck without warning by a storm the likes of which were last documented in 1703 by Daniel Defoe. Trees were rent from the earth, buildings crumbled, and eighteen lives were lost in this gale that took the country by surprise. It ravaged all in its path in a way not seen since war held the landscape – and, Thirty years on, Tamsin Treverton Jones invokes the memory of this monumental night in 1987.

After discovering an old photograph of a sculpture her father designed, made from the patchwork of fallen trees from Kew Gardens, Tamsin set about creating a lyrical memoir to the landscape created by destruction and the stories left windswept in its wake. Windblown weaves Tamsin’s own memories of fishermen, refugees, sculptors and lighthouse keepers with the past, present, and future of the storm and its legacy.

The land has forever changed, but could it be for the better? A beautiful and exhilarating example of Nature Writing, Tamsin’s Windblown is set to release this year, and you can find her at an enchanting illustrated talk in conversation with James Crowden.

To explore the soul of the land we live on and what it means to survive both in hardship and memory, book tickets while they are still available.

 

Friday 10th November / Event 27
2.30 PM
£10
The Town Hall

Facebook Event Page and Online Ticket Portal

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited – Philip Eade’s Revealing Biography

Described as ‘the greatest novelist of my generation’ by Graham Greene but thought to have been possessed by the devil by the likes of Hilaire Belloc, early twentieth-century author Evelyn Waugh can perhaps only be agreeably called unforgettable.

Having tasked himself with the biography of someone so controversial and complicated, Philip Eade presents Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited. Philip has researched and chronicled story after story, secret after secret. By accessing Waugh family archives and unearthing primary sources, he offers a new perspective of someone known by history as notoriously undefinable. The Financial Times writes that ‘Eade shows just how hard-won his effortless brilliance really was’, and The Wall Street Journal commends the book with the promise that ‘Mr Eade does not fail to entertain’. Dancing between the characters on and off paper that were instrumental to Waugh’s life, Philip leaves no stone unturned in his quest to straighten out the cacophony of rumours that surround such an impressive figure.

Truly fascinating, do not miss out on this intricate, admiring exposé.

Thursday 10th November
Time: 11.00 am
Tickets: £10
Location: The Bull Hotel

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

eade