The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books – Edward Wilson Lee Introduces Young Columbus

While everyone has heard of Christopher Columbus, few know of his son Hernando. Dr Edward Wilson Lee intends to change that, and his new book The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books gives us insight to the incredible life and accomplishments of one of the most under-discussed historical figures to date. Born in 1509 in Spain as the bastard son of the coloniser Christopher Columbus, Hernando Colón was determined to surpass his father’s world-altering legacy, and he set about making a mark before he died at the age of just 49. In that short time, Hernando made possible the unbelievable.

Travelling all across Europe and buying every book he could get his hands on, Hernando put into motion his dream of creating one huge, universal library, in which all information would be available to everyone. Essentially, Hernando worked tirelessly to make what Edward Wilson Lee calls “the world’s first search engine”, and his collection reached 15,000 books which was completely unprecedented. As well as this, Hernando formed a dictionary and geographical encyclopaedia of Spain, and lent his skill to creating the first modern maps of the world, setting the basis for cartography today.

Edward’s talk will be a voyage of discovery into one of the most influential yet unspoken minds, and just how modern seemingly ancient ideas really are. Be sure to book tickets while you still can!

Friday 9th Nov / Event 29
11.30 AM
£10
The Bull Hotel

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 Very White of Love – Love Letters in Wartime by Simon Worrall

The year is 1939 and the world is, for the second time, at war. Oxford student Martin Preston is torn away from the love of his life, Nancy Whelan. In Simon Worrall’s debut novel that everyone’s talking about, The Very White of Love, love is both found and tested;  told through the letters between Nancy and Martin. Far from life in Buckinghamshire, Martin is sent to fight in France, and a correspondence that transcends nations, situation, and confinements is born. When Nancy is left waiting in 1940 with no word from Martin for months, her own world threatens to crumble like the one outside her door – but she knows that he is alive, and what follows is a testament to the endurance of love.

A story told with such empathy and imbued with soul, this novel is based on incredible genuine letters that Simon found hidden in a chocolate box, written between his mother and her fiancé. Praised for its stunning detail and tangible storytelling, the book is a reminder that in the trenches of man’s most vicious hour, something innocent and pure may still flourish. Simon has visited over 70 different countries, speaks six languages, and has enjoyed countless adventures. His appetite for the vastness of the human experience can be felt in his book, and you can catch Simon in conversation with Sally Laverack this year at the BridLit festival, discussing The Very White of Love and the incredible true story that inspired Martin and Nancy’s narrative.

Book tickets while they are still available – the talk will be a stirring exploration of the human spirit and the nature of love.

Thursday 8th Nov/ Event 22
10.00 AM
£10
The Bull Hotel Ballroom

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

Oscar Wilde: A Life – Matthew Sturgis Chronicles an Icon

Poet, author, social iconoclast and cultural icon, Oscar Wilde left his mark on the world with literary masterpieces such as The Ballad of Reading Gaol, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Known for his hedonism and artistry, Wilde’s writing changed our 19th century culture and his ideas impacted countless creatives to come. Acclaimed biographer Matthew Sturgis brings Oscar Wilde’s own story to life in the first major biography written for thirty years, in Oscar Wilde: A Life.

A recent addition to the fantastic BridLit roster, Sturgis brings his research on Wilde to the table, as truth, in Wilde’s case, is as compelling as fiction. Sturgis will be giving a talk and presenting his biography this year, and he will be discussing Wilde’s life. As one of the first people to experience “celebrity culture”, one of the first men to break the 19th century taboo of homosexuality, and one of the most controversial figures of his day, Wilde’s history both reflects and generates much of our own culture today. The man who declared “I don’t regret for a single moment having lived for pleasure”, and ultimately died in a tragic way.

Chronicled with compassion and thorough attention, Matthew’s wealth of knowledge is eye-opening and reverential – do yourself a favour and don’t miss this event!

Thursday 8th Nov / Event 24a
2.30 PM
£10
The Bull Hotel Ballroom

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

Owl Sense – An Ode to Owls by Miriam Darlington

Owls have been mythic heralds, ancient hunters, and have struck a balance in the animal kingdom between a reputation of fable and fact. Miriam Darlington, bird-watching aficionado and expect owl finder, has made it her mission in her new book Owl Sense to capture the entwined truth and tale about these iconic birds. With one clawed foot in the barns and trees of the world we know, owls have always had the other talon upon the shoulder of ancient goddesses, carrying brooms to young wizards, or watching fairytales unfold from high boughs.

How did owls come to loom so large in our lives, and the ecosystems around them? Owl Sense is the book that asks and answers what sets them apart and what makes them special; from their prowess as birds of prey, to their legendary repute, to the magnificence of the creatures close up. At this year’s BridLit Miriam will be giving an illustrated talk, introduced by James Crowden, sharing her wisdom and passion for these brilliant birds in a celebration of the animal world and life on Earth. It will be enchanting and memorable, just like the birds.

Don’t miss your chance to secure tickets to this natural treat – book now!

Monday 5th Nov / Event 7
2.30 PM
£10
The Bull Hotel Ballroom

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

The Crime Thrillers – Dark Tales from Sophie Hannah and Janet Ellis

Agatha Christie once said that “very few of us are what we seem“. Sophie Hannah and Janet Ellis are two writers that know this well, and we welcome them together to the festival lineup this year.

Bestselling author of 10 books, Sophie Hannah presents two novels. The Narrow Bed revolves around a string of murders; best friends are killed with only a series of little books containing cryptic poetry to link them all. Sophie’s protagonist Kim has one of these books, yet no best friend. Running out of time and answers, she must discover why she has been singled out in a journey that The Independent thinks treads “the delicate line between the ordinary and the monstrous”. Secondly, and with the blessing of the Agatha Christie Estate, Sophie contributes an instalment of Hercule Poirot’s adventures. Termed “delicious” by The Financial Times, Closed Casket sees the famous detective struggle to understand the motive behind a murder victim’s apparent desire to provoke the crime.

Joining these books is the debut novel from multi-accomplished Janet Ellis. Praised by bestseller Hannah Kent for being “strange, dark, and utterly mesmeric”, The Butcher’s Hook is a compelling historic thriller set in Georgian London. Taken advantage of by her mentor, Janet’s protagonist Anne is brought face to face with her powerless reality. She is comforted by the presence of butcher’s apprentice, Fub, and when she resolves to pursue him despite her parent’s wishes, Anne must prepare for the consequences. Dealing with the obsessive, destructive and ensnaring nature of love and envy, this novel climaxes in an enthralling denouement. Neither of these authors are to be missed and luckily they are set to speak together – so you needn’t fear.

Catch them while you can, tickets are still available for a limited time. Be prepared for an utter treat.

Wednesday 9th November / Event 14
Time: 2.30 pm
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

crime-thrillers

White Mountain, Robert Twigger’s Journey Through Himalayan History

Hotbed of myths, setting of wars and kindler of expeditions, the Himalayas have always loomed large over humans. Regarded with reverence by Sherpas and wonderment by travellers, it is undeniable that there is something quite astonishing about Asia’s greatest mountain range.

Robert Twigger embarked on a quest to get to the heart of their fantastic history. Seeking out the Nagas who had once helped his grandfather build a camp for Allied soldiers at the time of the Second World War, Robert began a journey that would lead him through surprising discoveries and moments of awe. He has been praised as “our greatest travel writer” by Anthony McGowan and a “daredevil with brains” by The Daily Telegraph; not a storyteller to miss. Robert’s biographical memoir of his time adventuring in the Himalayas, White Mountain, is strange, wonderful and extraordinary. It is set to enthral any curious person who knows the pull of wanderlust.

There are limited tickets left to this fabulous talk illustrated with sublime photographs, so book quickly!

Monday 7th November / Event 7
Time: 6.30 pm
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

robert-twigger