Historian Charles Spencer makes a welcome return to Electric Palace next month as part of Bridport Literary Festival.

His talk last year on his book about King Charles II’s six weeks on the run – which featured time hiding in West Dorset – was a sell-out. This time, he’ll be in conversation with Sally Laverack about The White Ship on Thursday 5 November at 4.30pm at the Electric Palace.

He’s a great speaker – knowledgeable and chatty all at the same time. He’s a man who gets to know his subject inside out and tells the story in such a compelling, easy way that you can’t fail to be hooked.

This time, Charles Spencer goes further back in history, to 25 November 1120. He wrote The White Ship to mark the 900th anniversary of a disaster which changed English history forever.

Henry I’s only legitimate heir, William, Duke of Normandy, together with the cream of Norman society, drowned when their ship foundered off Brittany. The tragedy led to decades of civil war of untold violence and rebellion, and the collapse of Henry I’s legacy of stability and wealth.

In The White Ship, Charles Spencer evokes the brutal story of the Normans from the Conquest to Anarchy.

Charles Spencer, the ninth Earl Spencer and younger brother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, has developed a reputation for fast-paced, historical writing.

Says The Daily Mail of The White Ship: ‘How a drunk teenager shipwrecked the monarchy … As colourful and racy narrative history goes, this absolutely gallops. The White Ship whips through a hundred years of complex history from the Norman Conquest to Henry II.’

Stay safe.