Those Wild Wyndhams: Three Sisters At The Heartland of Power
10am | 19 Sept 2014 | Temple Church | Tickets: £7.50
Claudia Renton gained a First at Oxford and was awarded the Gibbs Book Prize for Modern History. She was identified as one of the Guardian’s ‘new history girls’ and is the co-author of Heroes with Simon Sebag Montefiore. A former actress, she has appeared on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Based on extensive research and correspondence, her biography Those Wild Wyndhams is a rich and compelling portrait of Mary, Madeleine and Pamela Wyndham. The subjects of John Singer Sargent’s landmark 1899 painting, the Wyndhams were born into the wealthy aristocracy. Their parents were intimate friends with the Pre-Raphaelites and the sisters themselves were at the centre of cultural and political life in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Combining social and historical insights with a novelist’s flair, Claudia’s biography charts the Wyndham’s secrets and scandals, their personal triumphs and heartbreaking tragedies.
Claudia will be in conversation with author and Observer writer Rachel Cooke.
Apple Tree Yard
12pm | 19 Sept 2014 | Temple Church | Tickets: £7.50
Louise Doughty is the author of seven novels including Whatever You Love, Stone Cradle and Crazy Paving. A courageous writer, she creates compelling narratives with strong characters that are often at a moral and emotional crossroads in their lives. The Observer called Whatever You Love ‘a brilliant and brutal novel that continues to unsettle long after the final page has been turned,’ whilst Hilary Mantel suggests ‘Louise Doughty, more sure footed with each novel, leads her unnerved reader into dark territory.’
Louise’s latest novel Apple Tree Yard is both a chilling courtroom drama and a brilliant psychological thriller about choice, double standards, deceit and consequences. Told in a series of flashbacks, it features a high-flying geneticist who meets a stranger at the Houses of Parliament and impulsively begins a passionate affair that puts her marriage, her future and freedom at risk.
Louise will be in conversation with Helen Taylor.
The Retold Ramayana
10.30am | 19 Sept 2014 | St Peter's High School, Exeter | Tickets: £7.50
When poet Daljit Nagra was a little boy, his grannies told him stories of Rama’s quest to rescue his wife Sita from abduction by Raavana, Lord of the Underworld. These stories – The Ramayana – have enchanted Eastern audiences for centuries. Now Daljit has reinterpreted them for a modern, multi-cultural, multi-faith audience with his brilliant show, The Retold Ramayana. Presented by Jaybird Live Literature, Nagra’s one-man performance will include wild monkey battles, tender technicolour love scenes, brilliant animations and a Bollywood pantomime fizz.
One of Britain’s most exciting poets, Daljit is also a captivating performer known for his vibrant verse and energetic delivery. His debut collection Look We Have Coming to Dover! won the 2007 Forward Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Prize. His second book, Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!!, was an equally comic and hard-hitting collection written in his own inimitable, linguistic bhaji. His latest book, Ramayana, was published in 2013 and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.
N.B: This is a schools only event for pupils aged 11 years and upwards.
New Voices: Jessie Burton & Naomi Wood
The Miniaturist & Mrs. Hemingway
2.30pm | 19 Sept 2014 | Temple Church | Tickets: £7.50
Erica Wagner introduces two aspiring and ambitious new voices.
Jessie Burton studied at Oxford and now divides her time between writing and acting. She was selected as one of the Observer’s debut authors of 2014 and SJ Watson described her wonderful debut The Miniaturist as ‘haunting, magical and full of surprises.’ Set in Amsterdam in 1868, it’s a magnificent story of two women’s different quests for freedom in a repressive society. It’s also a sophisticated tale of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution.
Naomi Wood studied at Cambridge and UEA. Her extraordinary debut The Godless Boys was recently optioned for film and she spent 2012 as the British Library’s Writer in Residence. She visited Chicago, Key West, Cuba, Antibes and Paris as research for her second novel Mrs. Hemingway. Beautifully written, it chronicles the lives of the four dazzling women who met and fell hopelessly in love with the great American writer Ernest Hemingway. The Daily Telegraph called Mrs. Hemingway ‘a wonderful book; carefully written, richly imagined and emotionally wise’ whilst Marie Claire described it as ‘luminous and intoxicating.’
How To Speak Money
4.30pm | 19 Sept 2014 | The Public Hall | Tickets: £7.50
John Lanchester is a British author and journalist who was born in Hamburg and brought up in Hong Kong. He writes extensively about literature and technology and is a regular contributor to Esquire, the Daily Telegraph and London Review of Books. His novels include Capital, Mr Phillips and The Debt to Pleasure. His non-fiction book Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay was a Sunday Times bestseller.
John’s forthcoming book How To Speak Money is a funny, entertaining and crystal clear guide to the language of money. Written with his characteristic wit and candour, it penetrates the jargon of the economic elite and explains hundreds of common economic terms from GDP and IMF to hedge funds, high frequency trading and amortisation. It argues that we need to learn to speak money to stop ourselves being fooled and misled by those who write the financial rules for themselves.
John will be introduced by Charles Ward.
Love & Inheritance: The New Countess
4.30pm | 19 Sept 2014 | Temple Church | Tickets: £7.50
Fay Weldon is a prolific novelist, playwright and screenwriter who has written over 30 novels, 5 collections of short stories and a memoir. One of the most popular writers of her generation, she chronicles the turbulence and drama of her characters’ lives with a trademark wit, sharp psychological insights and many narrative twists and turns. Her television credits include the pilot of Upstairs, Downstairs and her books include Wicked Women, Growing Rich and The Life and Loves of a She-Devil. She was awarded a CBE for services to literature in 2001.
Essential reading for Downton Abbey fans, Fay’s Love & Inheritance trilogy brings an aristocratic Edwardian household to life in a witty tale of manners and morals, commoners and Countesses. Set between 1899 and 1906, it focuses on the colourful Dilberne family as they embrace not only a new century, but a new generation with somewhat radical views.
Fay will be in conversation with Helen Taylor.
Flappers: Six Women of A Dangerous Generation
7.30pm | 19 Sept 2014 | The Public Hall | Tickets: £12.50
Judith Mackrell is a dance critic for the Guardian. She broadcasts regularly for television and radio and is the co-author of The Oxford Dictionary of Dance. Her biography of Russian ballerina Lydia Lopokova, Bloomsbury Ballerina, was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award.
Judith’s latest book Flappers: Six Women of A Dangerous Generation is a colourful and compelling account of six women who between them exemplified the range and daring of the Flapper generation. Brilliantly narrated with real insight into each character, she illustrates how dancer Josephine Baker, actress Tallulah Bankhead, author Zelda Fitzgerald, artist Tamara de Lempicka, actress Diana Cooper and poet and heiress Nancy Cunard reinvented themselves with ambition and audacity. Each of them experienced their fair share of heartache, hardship, loneliness and scandal but they also gained a wealth of good friends, lovers, independence, glamour and a legacy for being amongst the icons and heroines of their age.
Judith will be in conversation with author and Observer writer Rachel Cooke.
NB. Admission will include a complimentary drink and canapes.