Mr. Gandy’s Grand Tour, Alan Titchmarsh’s Voyage of Rediscovery

One fractured family, one surprise redundancy, one big leap, and one huge world just waiting to be seen. Alan Titchmarsh‘s novel, Mr. Gandy’s Grand Tour, is a touching story of a one-man mission to finally connect with his home planet, and delve into the wild, whimsical and joyous experiences that all corners of it offer.

Presenter of Gardener’s World and Ground Force, all-round national treasure Alan Titchmarsh brings forth a novel of personal and global exploration. His protagonist, Timothy Gandy, feels stumped. His role in life appears stagnant, useless, and there seems to be something just out of reach. After tragedy strikes, he finds the motivation to change his fate; to no longer resign himself to an uninspiring, uneventful existence. Perfect for the globetrotting reader and for those who dream about our own peregrinations, Alan offer’s Mr. Gandy’s adventure to sate our thirst. Stumbling across J Addison’s account of his own Grand Tour in the early 18th century, Mr. Gandy sets off with a renewed sense of purpose. Leaving a family’s worth of mixed opinions, his doldrum life, and embracing the world with open arms, it’s a story not about the destination, but about the journey. This is an enchanting and empowering novel.

Miss his talk at your own peril, it’s set to be a fantastic journey.

Wednesday 9th November / Event 15
Time: 6.30 pm
Tickets: £10
Location: The Electric Palace

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

alan titchmarsh

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

Cousins, a Story of Family Matters by Salley Vickers

Spanning the time between the outbreak of World War Two and the present day, the boundaries between reason and instinct, and the perspectives of three different narrators, this novel is an adventure. From Bestselling author of Miss Garnet’s Angel, Salley Vickers’ new book, Cousins, is a thoughtful account of the shifting senses of love and duty; one that explores the nature of both tragedy and transgression.

Born in Liverpool to parents who she terms “ardent activists”, Salley has been a cleaner, a runaway, a psychoanalyst, a dancer, an artist’s model and an alumni of Newnham College Cambridge. As an author, Salley’s work deeply considers and reflects life and its intricacies, knowing the confusion at the crux of human beings. Appraised by Michael Dirda of The Washington Post, “Vickers is a novelist in the great English tradition of moral seriousness. Her characters suffer, they struggle to be true to both themselves and the promptings of the human heart.”

Cousins begs the question; how much can love ask of us?

See Salley in conversation with Boris Starling while tickets are still available.

Sunday 6th November / Event 4
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

salley-vickers

Shakespeare in Swahililand – Edward Wilson Lee’s Lingual Exploration

It is undeniable that the “ever-living” poet has (perhaps mistakenly) a Eurocentric reputation. With his works based in settings such as Greece, Italy, Scotland, and France, should it seem surprising to imagine Hamlet’s troubles set a world away from Denmark? Or to imagine Romeo and Juliet torn apart by politics that aren’t Italian? When the work of the Bard was found far-removed from its home hemisphere, Edward Wilson Lee began his quest of discovery.

Returning to East Africa where he grew up, Edward set about recovering the historical reasons and motives for the global sharing of Shakespeare’s works, as well as their profound effects out of context. Called “vivid and full of insights” by The Independent, this book seeks to find out why the work of one man may be so globally adored and admired. An in-depth examination of the politics of “colonization and decolonization” as Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o puts it, Shakespeare in Swahililand investigates the presence and popularity of Shakespeare’s words, and their ability to travel from his pen in London to the tongues of travelling Indian troupes in Mombasa.

Edward’s sumptuous illustrated talk is not one to miss for any lover of Shakespeare.

Monday 7th November / Event 6
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

wilson lee

Being a Beast, Charles Foster’s Foraging Foray

What is the quintessential difference between humans from their co-inhabiters of Earth? Is the line between man and animal one so easily drawn? And could a man, with enough conviction, turn himself into a beast?

Charles Foster‘s book, Being a Beast, wonders too. Called “wild and whimsical” by The Times, and “funny and profound” by The Guardian, this book is a unique find. Dedicating himself to the task of understanding the private lives of beasts, Charles lived (and ate) as a badger for weeks, hid in rivers like an otter, and lay waste to the content of London bins like an urban fox. An Oxford Fellow, Charles specialises in anthropology, evolutionary biology, philosophy and natural history. The result of his wild adventure and wilder curiosity is this memoir, filled to the brim with outrageous anecdotes coupled with species study and neuro-scientific explorations. This is an intimate study of the all things bright and beautiful and the human animal. Really beastly business.

Part of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Common Ground, the West Dorset based environmental arts charity.

Book tickets to see Charles Foster in conversation with James Crowden, prepare for something special.

Saturday 12th November / Event 24
Time: 2.30 pm
Tickets: £12
Location: The Electric Palace

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

charlesfosteranimals

How to Read Water – A Leaf out of Tristan Gooley’s Book for Nature Lovers

Interpreting ponds, identifying dangerous water, reading the sea and navigating by puddle. For Tristan Gooley, understanding nature is second nature.

His New York Times Bestseller, How to Read Water, is a comprehensive guide to the ever-changing element, and an indispensable one to the curious explorer. Drawing on his personal adventures, Tristan offers us a greater understanding of water and its relationships with the earth below and the stars above, as he explains tides, cosmic pulls, and the secret language of beaches. Called “breathtaking” by the Sunday Times, “revelatory” by The Royal Institute of Navigation, and “seriously fascinating” by The Times, this book is a jewel in its field for the nature-lover.

Catch Tristan’s illustrated talk during the festival, and learn more about the world we live in.

Tuesday 8th November / Event 8
Time: 11.00 am
Tickets: £10
Location: The Bridport Arts Centre

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

Tristan Close

Birth of the Blog!

Welcome to the Bridport Literary Festival blog!

This is a new platform for us to share festival information, explore literary curios and read up on authorial tidbits. You’ll find links to our social media sites at the bottom of the page, along with a link to the 2016 festival brochure in the navigation menu. Fast approaching its twelfth year in action, this is our grand debut in the world of blogging, and we have plenty to shout about. Watch this space for features on some fantastic novels, our wonderful guest authors, and a few miscellaneous gems to satiate England’s adventurous bookworms.

See you all in November!

 

Any queries? Contact esmeraldawrites@gmail.com, 2016 Blog Director.