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  • THE STORY OF SCOTTISH ART journeys through 5,000 years of Scottish Art. Since the Neolithic era, creativity has played a vital role in shaping the course of Scotland’s history. The first tribal leaders, chieftains and Kings of the emerging nation used art to cement their authority. Over the turbulent centuries that followed, artists were always at the heart of action – holding a mirror to the faces, places and events that defined Scotland’s story. Its a tale of radicals and visionaries , artists with an international mind-set and a bold sense of their heritage who resolved to create work on the frontline of Western Art and Culture.

    Each event is £12 OR £30 for all three.

    Tickets can be purchased through the Bridport Information Centre 01308 424901

    Become a friend.  
    When: Monday 20th September 2021 @ 11.00am
    Where: Bridport Arts Centre
  • CASTING SHADOWS is the history of freshwater fishing since time began. It was initially discovered as a bountiful source of sustenance. Since prehistoric times man has exploited the rich food source available in lakes, rivers, estuaries, lochs, ponds and brooks. Man has trapped, netted, speared, noosed, stunned, tickled and lured every special of fish to be found. Thereafter, the need to fish became big business and the fish, a trading commodity. This business soon gave birth to the desire to pursue, outwit and catch fish for pleasure – angling was born. TOM FORT explores the secret, silent world of the freshwater fish to be found in Britain and the art and industry of fishing which spans thousands of years. He also assesses the dangers facing many species and water environments with an appeal to protect the underwater world from industrial fishing and farming.

    Each event is £12 OR £30 for all three.

    Tickets can be purchased through the Bridport Information Centre 01308 424901

    Become a Friend  
    When: Monday 20th September 2021 @ 2.30pm
    Where: Bridport Arts Centre
  • THE STONEMASON’s story of the building of Britain is part archaeological history and yet a deeply personal insight into an ancient craft. In his thirty-five year career ANDREW ZIMINSKI has worked on many of our greatest monuments. From Neolithic monoliths to Roman baths and temples; from the tower of Salisbury Cathedral to the engine houses, mills and aqueducts of the Industrial Revolution up to the present day. This is a personal history of how Britain was built – from the inside out and takes us on an unforgettable journey by river, road and sea with a new vision of our island history.

    Each event is £12 OR £30 for all three.

    Tickets can be purchased through the Bridport Information Centre 01308 424901

    Become a friend.  
    When: Monday 20th September 2021 @ 4.30pm
    Where: Bridport Arts Centre
  • Tim Bouverie - Perfect Pitch - 100 pieces of classical music to know and love

    Nearly all of us have the capacity to enjoy classical music but too often we are put off by not knowing where to look, or what we are actually looking for. We need a guide to help us navigate this artistic terrain.  Historian Tim Bouverie, drawing upon his lifelong passion for music, has selected 100 favourite classical pieces from which he will introduce an eclectic selection – audibly – to inspire and comfort; some are well known, some are idiosyncratic, others just secret gems that need to be brought out into the light.

    An Illustrated Talk with Music
    When: Sunday 7th November 2021 @ 10.30am
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Johnnie and Sophie Boden
  • Jonathan Sumption - Law in a Time of Crisis - What is the right relationship between the law and politics, judges and politicians?

    Brexit, the possible break-up of the UK, pandemics – this is a country in crisis. In crises the law sets the boundaries of what the Government can and should do. But in a country without a written constitution such as the United Kingdom, the precise limits between legal obligation and convention can be hazy. What are the limits of law in politics? What is the relationship between law and the constitution? Is having a constitution a hindrance or a help in a time of crisis?

    In conversation with Howard Davies
    When: Sunday 7th November 2021 @ 12.30pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Kitson & Trotman, solicitors
  • Harbottle and Jonas - An entertainment in words and music

    Dave and Freya are both partners in life and in music. This dynamic duo combine the richness of traditional folk with their own original and powerful song-writing. They have developed a distinct and compelling signature sound blending concertina, harmonium, banjo, stomp box, acoustic guitar and cittern with their magical and closely intertwined vocal harmonies. We welcome them to Sladers Yard to perform songs from their latest album On the Beacon which they wrote during lockdown in their home on Dartmoor.

    Tickets: £12/37 (including lunch)
    When: Sunday 7th November 2021 @ 12 noon
    Where: Sladers Yard
  • Stephen Moss - Biographies of Birds - A family event with Stephen Moss

    Over recent years, best selling nature writer and broadcaster, Stephen Moss has published biographies of some of our best loved birds – The Robin, The Wren, The Swallow and that most majestic of birds, The Swan.  He traces the life cycle of the swan from its arrival in the UK in Spring to its extraordinary migration to warmer climates, and its place in popular culture, myth and literature across the centuries.  Moss will also touch on his timely works: The Accidental Countryside and Skylarks with Rosie which has been nominated for the Wainwright Prize and will also reveal his Twelve Birds of Christmas.

    Tickets: £12 per adult and £2 for accompanied children 16 yrs and under

    A Illustrated Talk
    When: Sunday 7th November 2021 @ 3.00 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Emma Farquharson Interior Design
  • Marina Wheeler - The Lost Homestead

    This is a story about loss and new beginnings, personal and political freedom.  Its central event is the Partition of British India in 1947 when Marina’s mother and her Sikh family were forced to flee their home, never to return.  Some years after Partition, the family was again ‘displaced’ this time by choice when Marina’s mother, Dip Singh, married Marina’s father, the distinguished British journalist, Charles Wheeler, when he was the BBC’s South East Asia Correspondent based in Delhi.  The book is a timely read.  It touches on global themes that strongly resonate today; political change, religious extremism, migration, minorities, nationhood, identity and belonging.

    In conversation with Susannah Simons
    When: Sunday 7th November 2021 @ 5.30 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Lawrences Auctioneers
  • Roland Philipps - Victoire - A Wartime Story Of Resistance, Collaboration and Betrayal

    Roland Philipps relates the incredible story of heroism, complicity and survival about the charismatic double-agent who plays a major role in WWII – Agent Victoire.  Paris, half–occupied Nazi Germany in 1940, was also half governed by the collaborationist Vichy regime.  These were dark days for France and also for Britain, isolated and under threat of invasion.  Yet Mathilde Carre – codenamed ‘the Cat’ – is driven by a sense of destiny that will be her nation’s saviour.  Victoire is the story of a passionate, courageous spy.

    In conversation with John Dean
    When: Monday 8th November 2021 @ 10.00 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
    Sponsored by: Tim Clarke
  • Lisa Jewell - The Night She Disappeared

    Nancy Tucker - The First Day of Spring

    Lisa Jewell’s latest bestseller tells what happens when a teenage single mother disappears without trace. Where do you start to search?

    Nancy Tucker’s debut novel explores nature or nurture and the devious mind of the child on child murderer.

    A lively discussion on the issues involved in writing psychological thrillers is irresistible. How easy is it to get behind the criminal mind; why are women writers so successful at this genre of fiction; why are readers so addicted to the‘whodunnit'?

    In conversation with Sally Laverack
    When: Monday 8th November 2021 @ 12 noon
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
  • All ticket holders 

    Due to health matters, Professor Grayling is unable to be with us ‘live’ on Monday 8th November. He is, however, delighted to give his talk on Zoom and respond to our audience with interactive Q/A. We hope you will all be able to attend the event at the Ballroom of the Bull at 2.00 pm but may wish to. take up a nominal refund of £2  which can be obtained from the Bridport TIC office: 01308 424 901 A. C. Grayling - Frontiers of Knowledge -What we know about Science, History and the Mind

    In recent times, humanity has learnt a vast amount about the universe. But through remarkable successes in acquiring knowledge we have learned how much we have yet to learn: the science we have, for example, addresses just 5% of the universe; pre-history is still being revealed and the neurosciences of mind and brain are just beginning.  The celebrated polymath and philosopher A.C. Grayling seeks to answer three crucial areas: science, history and psychology.

    An Illustrated Talk  - This is a special event where we welcome staff and students from Sir John Colfox School
    When: Monday 8th November 2021 @ 2.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
    Sponsored by: Siobhan and Charles Blundell
  • Parm Sandhu - Black and Blue - One Woman’s Story of Policing and Prejudice

    At the point of her retirement from the Metropolitan Police Service in 2019, Parm Sandhu was the most senior BAME woman in the capital’s police force. She was the only non-white female to be promoted from constable to Chief Superintendent.  In this enthralling memoir, Parm chronicles her journey from life on the outskirts of Birmingham as a child of immigrants and after an arranged, abusive marriage at sixteen,  her escape to London with her son to embark upon a career in the Met.

    In conversation with Stuart Prebble
    When: Monday 8th November 2021 @ 4.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
  • Emma Soames - Mary Churchill's War - The Wartime Diaries of Churchill’s  Youngest Daughter edited by her daughter

    Mary Churchill’s diaries provide a unique, front-row view of the great events of war, as well as exchanges and intimate moments with her father.  They reveal an impulsive spirited writer free of self-censorship or nostalgia. In 1939, at seventeen, Mary found herself in an extraordinary position and time: the outbreak of WWII and her father, Winston Churchill, appointed Prime Minister within months.

    In conversation with Susannah Simons
    When: Monday 8th November 2021 @ 6.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
    Sponsored by: Sally and Peter Lee
  • Dr. Jim Down - Life Support - Diary of an ICU Doctor on the Frontline of the Covid Crisis

    Jim Down had spent his life as a doctor running the intensive care unit at one of London’s top hospitals, but nothing prepared him for Spring 2020, when the pandemic hit.  In Life Support, he tells the extraordinary story of how he and colleagues donned PPE, received an influx of patients, and faced down the biggest challenge in NHS history.  With warmth, honesty and humour his is gripping personal account of the everyday heroism of the NHS staffing a global crisis.

    In conversation with Deirdre Coates
    When: Tuesday 9th November 2021 @ 10.00 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
    Sponsored by: Carol Hammick and Adam Tindall
  • Cancellation It is with huge regret that BridLit has to announce the cancellation of Event 12. Colin Thubron has had to postpone his visit to Bridport due to ill health. He promises to be back with us in the new year to talk about The Amur River when he will, hopefully, be fully recovered. Ticket holders are asked to contact either Bridport TIC  Tel: 01308 424901 or email (depending on where they bought their tickets) to exchange tickets or get a refund.     

    Colin Thubron - The Amur River - Between Russia and China

    In his 80th year, Colin Thubron made a dramatic and ambitious journey along the 3000 mile river that divides China and Russia.  The Amur River is almost unknown and Thubron’s journey from the river’s secret source to its giant mouth charts a tremendous journey of adventure.  The book is a shining masterpiece by the acknowledged laureate of travel writing, a lesson in history and offering a unique perspective of two of the world’s superpowers.

    In conversation with Christian Tyler
    When: Tuesday 9th November 2021 @ 12 noon
    Where: The Electric Palace
  • Hugo Vickers - Malice in Wonderland - My Adventures with Cecil Beaton

    Hugo Vicker’s life took a dramatic turn in 1997 when the legendary Sir Cecil Beaton invited him to be his authorised biographer.  The excitement of working with the famous photographer was dashed days later when Beaton died.  Vickers was entrusted with Beaton’s papers, diaries and access to friends and contemporaries.  Vickers has edited the witty and perceptive diaries which reveal the photographer’s many fascinating encounters and his observations of cultural figures of the time as well as members of the Royal Family.

    In conversation with Boris Starling
    When: Tuesday 9th November 2021 @ 2.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
    Sponsored by: Rosi and Clive de Ruig
  • Max Porter - The Death of Francis Bacon

    A bold and brilliant short work of fiction by the author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers and Lanny. In a burst of literary brilliance, Max Porter translates into seven extraordinary written pictures the explosive final workings of the artist’s mind. The Death of Francis Bacon is set during the last days of Francis Bacon’s life as he lies dying in Madrid and is written in visceral poetic language which corresponds to Bacon’s style of painting.  One of our most lyrical novelists brings his rich facility for language and psychological insight in this majestic tour de force.

    Tickets: £12/£20 for events 14 and 15 combined

    In conversation with Jon Woolcott
    When: Tuesday 9th November 2021 @ 4.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
    Sponsored by: Max McKay-James
  • Natasha Brown - Assembly

    In our new writer slot at BridLit, Natasha Brown’s novel Assembly, follows a black British woman as she prepares to attend a lavish garden party at her boyfriend’s family estate, set deep in the English countryside.  At the same time, she is considering the carefully assembled pieces of herself. Assembly is about the stories we live within - those of race and class, safety and freedom, winners and losers. It is about one woman daring to take control of her own story, even at the cost of her life.

    This can be purchased as an exciting double event with Max Porter, event 14.

    Tickets: £12 /£20 for events 14 and 15 combined

    In conversation with Max Porter
    When: Tuesday 9th November 2021 @ 6.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
  • The Journey from Restaurant Empire to Fish Truck – and back again….. During lockdown Dorset born chef,  foodwriter and restaurateur Mark Hix embarked upon exciting new ventures. Since the Spring of 2020, with his characteristic positivity, energy and creativity he opened The Oyster and Fish Truck pitched outside his favourite farm shop on the A35;  reopened his famous Oyster and Fish House in Lyme Regis;  and opened a new restaurant at The Fox Inn, a hidden gem nestled in glorious countryside near Beaminster.  His astonishing  library of cookbooks can also be found there.   Mark’s talent to bring an abundance of foods from local farmers, gamekeepers and fishermen as well as local beers and spirits is unrivalled, as is his reputation. If you purchase a ticket including the meal afterwards, this will be provided by the venue, Slader's Yard, not Mark Hix himself.

    Tickets: £12/37 (including dinner)

    In conversation with Prue Keely
    When: Tuesday 9th November 2021 @ 6.30 pm
    Where: Sladers Yard
  • Boris Starling - The Law of the Heart

    In his ninth novel, Starling’s three protagonists confront emotions they’ve all tried to suppress. For rollercoaster designer, Theo, life is living on the edge, immune to commitment. In North Korea he meets tour guide, Min, who has a soul that wants to soar but feels safer to have walls around her heart and mind. Min’s grandmother, Cuckoo, hides her own heartbreak. How much are all three prepared to risk?

    In conversation with Olivia Glazebrook
    When: Wednesday 10th November 2021 @ 10.00 am
    Where: The Bull Hotel
  • James Crowden - Cider Country - How an Ancient Craft Became a Way Of Life

    Cidermaking has been at the heart of country life for hundreds of years. James Crowden traces an elusive history of how this drink came into existence and why it became so deeply rooted in the nation’s psyche. From the ancient myth infused civilisations of Central Asia and the Mediterranean, to Britain where it was warmly embraced by monastic communities; from the nation's love-affair with cider after the Reformation to the present day, and to the next generation of cider makers.  Full of subtle flavours and fascinating characters, Cider Country is the unusual and enthralling story of cider and the remarkable people who make it.

    An illustrated talk followed by Cider Tasting

    When: Wednesday 10th November 2021 @ 11.30 am
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Morrish and Banham
  • Dame Marina Warner - Inventory of a Life Mislaid - An Unreliable Memoir

    Marina Warner charts her childhood in the tumultuous Egypt of the 1950s. Her beautiful, penniless young mother, Ilia, leaves Italy in 1945 to travel to London alone. Her husband, Esmond, is still away at war in the East. Upon his return, and without prospect, they move to Cairo and open an English bookshop, a branch of WH Smith’s. But growing resistance to foreign interests, especially British, erupts in the 1952 uprising in which the bookshop burns. Both historical and speculative, Marina’s memoir powerfully resurrects the fraught union and unrequited hopes of her parents where memory intertwines with myth.

    An illustrated talk, in conversation with Prue Keely

    When: Wednesday 10th November 2021 @ 2.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
    Sponsored by: Jim Bartos
  • Patrick Barkham - Wild Child - Coming Home to Nature

    In Wild Child, part memoir, part polemic, Barkham argues for greater access to nature for all children.  He considers the lives his own children are leading : whether there was more diversity of nature in urban Norwich than in rural Norfolk.  He spends a year volunteering in his local Forest School, run by two pioneering teachers, watching children learn and play in a wilder environment. His book is an inspiration for all parents, grandparents and teachers. Barkham has also edited an Anthology of British and Irish Nature Writing – The Wild Isles -  from which he will also select entrancing and irresistible stories of the Wild to delight everyone.

    An illustrated talk

    When: Wednesday 10th November 2021 @ 4.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
  • Alan Johnson - The Late Train to Gipsy Hill

    Alan Johnson abandoned his glittering career in politics to free himself to do ‘other things’.  He has subsequently become a best selling writer, winning the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Orwell Prize for his childhood memoir: This Boy. His second and third volumes of memoirs: Please Mr. Postman and The Long and Winding Road were also award winning.  The Late Train to Gipsy Hill is a warm-hearted debut thriller with a masterful plot about, on the surface, very ordinary people.  The truth is quite opposite.

    In conversation with Jason Webster

    When: Wednesday 10th November 2021 @ 6.30 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Nick Pearson
  • Dr Hilary Jones - Frontline

    In the midst of the pandemic, ITV’s Doctor Hilary Jones launches his epic historical series – a sweeping sumptuous WWI medical drama which features the Spanish Flu pandemic when only the strongest survived. Grace, a nurse, and Will, a young soldier, meet in a field hospital in France. Rumours of Armistice abound but hopes of peace are threatened by the deadly virus. Dr Hilary discusses the challenges posed by writing romantic fiction and plotting the course of a family saga across the twentieth century. Are there parallels with Covid 19, which has affected global well-being?

    In conversation with Sally Laverack

    When: Thursday 11th November 2021 @ 10.00 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
  • Tristan Gooley - The Secret World of Weather - How to Read Signs in Every Cloud, Breeze, Hill, Street, Plant, Animal and Dewdrop

    The weather changes as we walk around a tree or turn down a street. There is a secret world of weather – one that we all live in but very few of us see. Best-selling author, navigator and adventurer, Gooley gives a fascinating account of how to discover the simple rules that explain the weather signs in order to learn skills that enhance every minute you spend outdoors. By understanding the microclimate, you can predict weather easily.

    In conversation with James Crowden

    When: Thursday 11th November 2021 @ 11.30 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
    Sponsored by: Maggie and John Mills
  • Anne Sebba - Ethel Rosenberg - A Cold War Tragedy

    Anne Sebba is one of Britain’s most distinguished biographers and has been critically acclaimed for books about iconic women. Her latest is the tragic and gripping story of Ethel Rosenberg, loving mother of two small children and an idealist, whose life was barbarically cut short for a crime she almost certainly did not commit. Sebba shines a spotlight on a woman who was victim of a catastrophic failure of humanity and justice in the US and which continues to haunt the national conscience.

    An illustrated talk

    When: Thursday 11th November 2021 @ 2.00 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Angela and David Neuberger
  • Andrew Lownie - Traitor King - The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in Exile

    Andrew Lownie examines the years following the abdication of Edward VIII when the former king was kept in exile, feuding with his family over status for his wife, Wallis Simpson, and denied any real job. Traitor King reveals the true story behind the German attempts to recruit the Duke as a British Pétain; the Duke and Duchess were not the naïve dupes of the Germans but actively intrigued against Britain in both war and peace. Lownie also shines a light on the assumed love story of the Windsors with extraordinary revelations.

    An illustrated talk
    When: Thursday 11th November 2021 @ 3.30 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Diana and Robert Clarke, Barry Mawhinney
  • Tim Marshall - The Power of Geography - Ten Maps that Reveal the Future of Our World

    If you don’t know what’s happening in the world, look at a map. Tim Marshall’s global bestseller: Prisoners of Geography shows how every nation’s choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas and concrete. Geography hasn’t changed but the world has. Marshall explores ten regions that are set to shape global politics in a new age of power rivalry. The refugee crisis is critical; trouble brews in the Sahel; the Middle East must look beyond oil to secure a future and the eastern Mediterranean is a flashpoint of the 21st century. The Earth’s atmosphere is to become the next battleground.

    An illustrated talk
    When: Thursday 11th November 2021 @ 5.00 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
  • Christopher Reid - The Late Sun

    Christopher Reid’s new book of poetry The Late Sun sustains a delicate balance between memorialisation of the recently dead and a celebration of the vitality of the living. Early in this evocative collection is a set of poems about the poet’s mother, who died in great age after a life of exotic travel, and his own travels and his sense of both place and displacement. He explores London, where he lives and the Mediterranean, which he loves. We are delighted to have a poet of his stature with us who will talk about his work and read from his collection. A delicious dinner afterwards is optional.

    Tickets: £12/37 (including dinner)

    In conversation with James Crowden
    When: Thursday 11th November 2021 @ 6.30 pm
    Where: Slader Yard
  • Sir Peter Westmacott - The George Millar Literary Dinner

    We are delighted that the distinguished diplomat, Sir Peter Westmacott, can be with us this year to talk about his latest book: They Call It Diplomacy: Forty Years of Representing Britain Abroad. Sir Peter was British Ambassador to the United States from January 2012 until January 2016 during Obama’s Presidency. He was also British Ambassador to France from 2007-2012 and to Turkey from 2002-2006. His 43 year diplomatic career has included four years in Iran before the 1979 Revolution and a secondment to the European Commission in Brussels. Sir Peter was the Foreign and Commonwealth’s Director of the Americas from 1997-2000 and Deputy Under Secretary of State for the Wider World from 2000-2001. From 1990-1993, he was Deputy Private Secretary to HRH The Prince of Wales. As well as offering an engaging and insightful account of a forty-three year career spent in the upper echelons of the diplomatic and political worlds, They Call It Diplomacy sets out to explain what diplomats actually do. He mounts a vigorous defence of the continuing relevance of the diplomat in an age of instant communication, social media and special envoys and details what he sees as some of the successes of recent British diplomacy. A committed Internationalist, Sir Peter offers trenchantly Europhile views on the Brexit Referendum and its aftermath, and voices his concerns about Britain’s ability to continue to bring its influence to bear on the wider world now that it has left the European Union.

    Guest Speaker: Sir Peter Westmacott George Millar DSO MC, Croix de Guerre and Legion d’Honneur The Literary Dinner is held every year in memory of George Millar who for 50 years lived in West Dorset until his death in 2005. His war memoirs and his books on sailing are still in print and continue to be enjoyed by generations of readers of all ages.
    When: Thursday 11th November 2021 @ 7.00 pm
    Where: Tithe Barn
    Sponsored by: The Electric Pub Company, Poundbury Wealth Management, The Symondsbury Estate
  • Samantha Knights QC - Law, Rights, and Religion

    Local barrister and co-director of the Shute Festival, Samantha Knights, discusses her book Law, Rights, and Religion. Given that we live in an increasingly diverse country, this relevant and thoughtful work explores the relationship between our legal system, religion and cultural diversity. At a practical level, the debate is fascinating - ranging from the issue of whether businesses can decline services on religious grounds, through to clashes between the school curriculum and faith.

    In conversation with Caroline Montagu

    When: Friday 12th November 2021 @ 10.00 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
    Sponsored by: Felicity Fairbairn
  • John Preston - The Fall - The Mystery of Robert Maxwell

    The embodiment of Britain’s post-war boom, Maxwell, born an Orthodox Jew, escaped the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, fought in WWII and was decorated for his heroism with the Military Cross. He went on to become an MP and an astonishingly successful businessman, owning a number of newspapers and publishing companies. But in 1991 he disappeared from his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, leaving chaos in his wake. John Preston gives a fascinating and gripping account of a man who was to become reviled as the embodiment of greed and corruption.

    In conversation with Jason Webster

    When: Friday 12th November 2021 @ 11.30 am
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Sue Robinson
  • Saul David - SBS – Silent Warriors - The Authorised Wartime History

    Britain’s SBS – or Special Boat Section – was the world’s first maritime special operations unit. Founded in the dark days of 1940, it started as a small inexperienced outfit that leaned heavily on volunteers’ raw courage and enthusiasm. It would become one of the most effective fighting forces of WWII and has served as a model for Special Forces ever since. Award winning historian, Saul David, has written the first authorized history of the SBS and he gives and enthralling narrative about some of the most audacious and legendary missions of the war.

    An illustrated talk

    When: Friday 12th November 2021 @ 2.30 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Antony Hichens
  • Dave Goulson - Silent Earth - Averting the Insect Apocalypse

    Insects are essential for life as we know it. As their numbers decline at a shocking rate, our world will slowly grind to a halt. Both revealing and alarming, Silent Earth is a rousing manifesto for a greener planet. It is a call to arms for change – in agriculture, government policy, industry and ourselves. Goulson will also talk about his previous book, Gardening for Bumblebees, which shows how to provide a refuge for a pollinator friendly haven.

    An illustrated talk

    When: Friday 12th November 2021 @4.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
    Sponsored by: Sue and David Orr
  • Jonathan Coe - Mr Wilder & Me

    Jonathan Coe’s dazzling new novel based on his admiration for the films of Billy Wilder. It is both a coming of age story and an intimate portrait of one of cinema’s most intriguing figures. Coe evaluates the nature of time and of fame, of family and the treacherous lure of nostalgia. Followed by a screening of Billy Wilder’s 1972 film: AVANTI – a much underrated American comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills. In conversation with Boris Starling
    When: Friday 12th November 2021 @6.00 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
  • Jonathan Drori - Around the World in 80 Plants

    Drori takes readers on a trip across the globe, bringing to life the science of plants by revealing how their worlds are intricately entwined with our own history, culture and folklore. From the seemingly familiar tomato and dandelion to the eerie mandrake and Spanish ‘moss’ of Louisiana, via the early histories of beer and the contraceptive pill, each of these stories is full of surprise. Drori wears his scientific knowledge lightly and writes with passion and humour. Lucille Clerc’s illustrations are utterly spellbinding. An illustrated talk
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 10.00 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
    Sponsored by: Georgia Langton
  • Peter Hain - A Pretoria Boy - The Story Of South Africa’s ‘Public Enemy Number One’

    Veteran, anti-apartheid activist, Peter Hain, tells his extraordinary journey from his native South Africa to the House of Lords. This powerful and timely account of Hain’s political life starts with his vivid description of his parents’ arrest in the early 1960s followed by his own enforced London exile in 1966. Narrowly escaping jail for disrupting all-white South African sports tours, he was framed for a bank robbery and nearly assassinated by a bomb. Later, using British parliamentary privilege, Hain exposed corruption in the Zuma administration which influenced the President’s resignation. In conversation with Clive Stafford Smith
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 12 noon
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Lindsay and Martin Bowdery
  • James Rebanks - An English Pastoral

    James Rebanks is the Winner of this year’s Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing for his Masterpiece: ENGLISH PASTORAL: An Inheritance

    “James Rebanks’s story of his family’s farm is just about perfect.  It belongs with the finest writing of its kind.” Wendell Berry

    A very personal book, ENGLISH PASTORAL is the story of an inheritance: one that affects us all. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. Yet this elegy from the northern fells of Cumbria is also a song of hope; of how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage his tiny corner of England. JAMES REBANKS is doing his best to restore the life that had vanished, to leave a legacy for the future for our green and pleasant land.

    James’s book is about what it means to have love and pride in a place, and how, against all the odds, it may still be possible to build a new pastoral: not a utopia, but somewhere decent for us all.

    In conversation with Elizabeth Wainwright
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 7.30pm
    Where: Electric Palace
  • Adam Nicolson - The Sea is not made of Water

    Few places are as familiar as the shore and few as full of mystery and surprises. Acclaimed nature writer, Adam Nicolson, explores the natural wonders of the intertidal and our long human relationship with it. The physics of the seas, the biology of anemone and limpet, the long history of the earth; all interconnect in this zone where the philosopher scientist and poet can meet. Twice a day, every day, change dominates its existence. Every part of life here is dedicated to surviving and thriving in a world of alteration. An illustrated talk
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 1.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
  • Polly Toynbee and David Walker - The Lost Decade - 2010 – 2020 and What Lies Ahead for Britain

    From two critically acclaimed authors and journalists, we have an authoritative survey of the last decade including this tumultuous year of change. From austerity to Brexit, food banks to Grenfell and ending with Covid 19 – the worst global pandemic in recent history, the decade has been gloomy and life-changing. Progress in renewable energy, legalisation in same-sex marriage and an awareness of environmental issues might be considered progress, but how can we gain optimism for the future. What went wrong? What went right? And where do we go from here? Both Toynbee and Walker want to share their views with the audience. An illustrated talk
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 3.00 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
  • Horatio Clare - Heavy Light - A Journey through Madness, Mania and Healing

    This is Horatio Clare’s very personal journey through mania, psychosis and treatment in a psychiatric hospital, and onwards to release, recovery and healing. This is a story of the intensity of manic experience as well as its peril and strangeness. It is also a story of love, kindness, humour and care of those who deal with someone who becomes so dangerously ill. At a critical time, when society is at last facing the issues of mental health that can affect each and every one of us, this is a timely memoir which can give compassion to those who suffer and support to those who care. In conversation with Jon Woolcott
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 4.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
  • Christina Lamb - Our Bodies Their Battlefield

    With the recent, devastating and ongoing tragedy of Afghanistan, we have invited Christina to talk about her book: Our Bodies Their Battlefield – a searing and angry reckoning of the scale of assault against women as a weapon of war. Christina Lamb has worked in combat zones for over 30 years moving between conflicts that affect the livelihood and wellbeing of all women.  Her earlier book Farewell Kabul considers the longest war fought by the United States in its history and by Britain since the Hundred Years War.  Will the current plight of the nation under the Taliban regime lead to more worldwide terrorism?   Christina and Malala Yousafzai, Winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, combined to write I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, a fascinating insight into what has gone before and what could re-ignite. In conversation with Samantha Knights QC
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 6.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom

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