The Festival: 3rd - 9th November 2019 | Tickets: 01308 424901|bridport.tic@bridport-tc.gov.uk

An illustrated talk

//An illustrated talk
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  • Marking 80 years since the start of WWII, Tim Bouverie gives a compelling reappraisal of one of the most controversial episodes in British history. Appeasing Hitler is the exciting debut of a young historian who sweeps us through a period of history beginning with the advent of Hitler in 1933, the early days of the Third Reich to the beaches of Dunkirk. In September 1938, Neville Chamberlain announced that his visit to Hitler had averted a crisis and assured the nation of ‘peace in our time’. A year after returning from Munich, Germany invaded Poland and determined the fate of Europe. Bouverie charters the timeless lesson on the challenges of standing up to aggression and authoritarianism  - and the calamity that results from failing to do so.

    When: Sunday 3rd November 2019 @ 10.00am
    Where: Electric Palace, 35 South Sreet, Bridport DT6 3NY
    Sponsor: Richard and Liz Strang
  • Operation Chastise, the destruction of the Mohne and Eder dams in north-west Germany by the RAF’s 617 Squadron on the night of 16/17 May 1943, was an epic onslaught that has become legendary in Britain’s military history. Max Hastings grew up embracing the story, the classic 1955 movie and the memory of Guy Gibson, the 24 year old Wing-Commander who led the raid. In the 21st century, Hastings urges that we should re-evaluate the Dambusters. He vividly describes the evolution of Barnes Wallis’s bomb and the Squadron which broke the dams, and equally portrays in harrowing detail all those swept away by the devastating torrents. The narrative is a dramatic retake of familiar history. £2 of this event is to go to READ EASY – a national charity founded ten years ago in Dorset to combat illiteracy. Trained volunteers give free, private coaching to adults who struggle to read, using a structured course imaginatively tailored to each learner.
    When: Sunday 3rd November 2019 @ 11.30am
    Where: Electric Palace, 35 South Sreet, Bridport DT6 3NY
    Sponsor: Sue and Hugh Robinson
  • When Christopher Somerville set out to explore Britain’s cathedrals, he found his fixed ideas shaken to the roots. Cathedrals – Britain possesses over 100 – great unmoving bastions of tradition. He tells the stories of monarchs and bishops who ordered the building of these massive edifices and the masons whose genius created them. He chronicles the pomp and prosperity that follows these Ships of Heaven, the towns that grew up in their shadow, the Reformation, icon smashing Puritanism and the revival brought about by the Industrial Revolution, and the hope and disillusion of two world wars.

    When: Sunday 3rd November 2019 @ 5.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 East St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: Jean Edwards
  • In May this year, it was announced that the West Yorkshire poet, Simon Armitage, one of the most celebrated poets of his generation, had been appointed the UK’s 21st Poet Laureate. Armitage said then that he had no hesitation in accepting the role. “It’s a big commitment and I feel I’ve been writing the kind of public-facing, public-occasion poetry that this role will require, for quite a long time”.  His exciting new volume of poems brings together a selection of work  which stands outside of his mainstream publications. Contents include single set pieces such as Zodiac T Shirt, several are site specific – some set in the Pennine landscape, and others developed from collaborations with film directors and visual artists together with  large scale literary projects such as the poet’s troubadour journeys walking across the UK.  As well as representing the nature and scale of his output,  Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic demonstrates Armitage’s commitment to collaboration, his role of public engagement and a belief in poetry as an act of communication.

    When: Sunday 3rd November 2019 @ 6.30 pm
    Where: Electric Palace, 35 South St, Bridport DT6 3NY
    Sponsor: Martin and Lindsay  Bowdery
  • Award-winning travel writer, Nicholas Jubber, journeys across Europe  exploring the continent’s epic poems, from The Odyssey to Beowulf, The Song of Roland to The Nibelungenlied and their impact on European identity in turbulent times.  These enduring epic poems were inspired by moments of seismic change. Shaped by their times they have stirred passions ever since, motivating arms and revolutionaries just as they continue today. Jubber takes us on a fascinating adventure which illuminates so much of the story of Europe and why it is constantly changing.

    When: Monday 4th November 2019 @ 11.30 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 East St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: Francesca Radcliffe
  • In 1621, fifty-six English women crossed the Atlantic in response to the Virginia Company of London’s call for maids ‘young and uncorrupt’ to make wives for the planters of its new colony in Virginia, North America.  The English had settled there just fourteen years previously and the company hoped to root its unruly menfolk to the land with ties of family and children. While the women travelled of their own accord, the company was in effect selling them at a profit for a bride price of 150 lbs of tobacco. Jennifer Potter tells extraordinary story of the British women who made the perilous journey to become bartered brides.

    When: Monday 4th November 2019 @ 2.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 East St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: Anon | Jim Bartos
  • Louis XIV, King of France and Navarre, dominated his age.  In the second half of the seventeenth century, he extended France’s frontiers into the Netherlands and Germany, and established colonies in America, Africa and India.  Louisiana, which once occupied a third of the territory  of the present day United States, is named after him. Louis was also one of the greatest patrons of European history – Moliere, Racine , Lully, Le Brun, Le Notre all worked for him – and his stupendous palace built at Versailles became the envy of monarchs throughout Europe.  Many tried to imitate but with little success. As well as entertaining lavishly, Louis was obsessed by the details of government and travelled extensively throughout his kingdom, though his choice of ministers and generals often proved disastrous. Louis’s extravagance in building palaces, entertaining and persistently waging wars  devastated French finances and set France on the path to revolution.  Dr.Mansel’s new book: King of the World is much the most comprehensive biography of this hypnotic, charismatic and flawed King.

    When: Monday 4th November 2019 @ 4.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 East St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: Tim Clarke
  • Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900-1979) is one of the major British historical figures of the twentieth century. As one obituary noted: ‘It seemed almost unbelievable that one human being could have touched history at so many points’ including Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia during WWII  and the last Viceroy of India. He was also a major figure behind his nephew Philip’s marriage to Queen Elizabeth II and instrumental in the royal family taking the Mountbatten name. He also became an influential mentor to Prince Charles. No biography of Mountbatten can be told without also examining that of his wife, Edwina.  Once the richest woman in Britain, her aimless pre-war life as a playgirl who enjoyed numerous affairs, she emerged from WWII as a magnetic and talented charity worker. From prize-winning and best-selling historian Andrew Lownie, comes a nuanced portrayal of two very unusual people and their complex relationship. Rich in texture and a cast list including Churchill, Roosevelt, Chianng Kai-Shek, Charlie Chaplin and Laurens van der Post. This marks the 40th anniversary of Lord Mountbatten’s assassination by the IRA.

    When: Monday 4th November 2019 @ 6.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 East St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: Anthony and Val Pitt-Rivers
  • Many have remarked on the poetic names of our butterflies and moths.  Their beauty fires our imagination. Some are named after human occupations – emperors, footmen, rustics – and still more named after animals – tigers, hawks, goats. There are species named after jewels, musical instrument, fabrics,  heraldry.  Some names are baffling. Scientific names too contain many allusions. Peter Marren has writen widely on the natural world and this beautifully illustrated book is put together with insight and wit.

    When: Tuesday 5th November 2019 @ 10.00 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 East St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
  • Henry Hemming examines one of the most extraordinary stories of a propaganda campaign: the covert British operation to manipulate American public opinion and bring America into WWII. Those campaigning against America’s entry into the war had many theories about who or what was behind this shift in public opinion. Hemming, one of our favourite historians, returns to Bridlit to reveal the truth, and a truth that involves his own grandparents  who worked for William Stephenson - Our Man in New York.  From establishing a forgery hothouse and seeding false information about Nazi plans and plots, Stephenson’s office masterminded an operation of daring brilliance. This contributed to the founding and early operations of what is now the CIA.

    When: Wednesday 6th November 2019 @ 10.00 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 South St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: John and Sue Bradberry
  • Isabel Bannerman and her husband Julian have, over the years, taken the world of garden design by storm. It all started when they bought a derelict baroque mansion in Wiltshire and restored the house and created a garden on the hoof.  Since then they have won gold medals at Chelsea and established a practice, working with discerning clients such as HRH The Prince of Wales, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, George and Amal Clooney, Sting and Trudie Styler. Isabel’s new book: Scent Magic is a romantic and extremely practical book in which Isabel immerses the reader in the luscious fragrance of a gardening year. Hers is a compelling personal journey, which evokes personal memories and practical knowledge.

    When: Wednesday 6th November 2019 @ 11.30 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 South St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: Allen and Rachel James | David and Sue Orr
  • Award-winning writer, Celia Brayfield, has written the first book about a generation of women writers who changed the world. In London in 1958 A Taste of Honey written by the 19 year old Shelagh Delaney, redefined women’s writing in Britain. She was the first of young women – aged 17-28 who dazzled the world with their honesty – rebelling against sexism, inequality and prejudice. They rejected masculine definitions of what writing and a writer should be. After Delaney came Edna O’Brien, Lynne Reid Banks, Nell Dunn, Virginia Ironside, Charlotte Bingham and Margaret Forster.

    When: Wednesday 6th November 2019 @ 2.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 South St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: Dorset Magazine
  • Old fault lines are reappearing in Spain: extremist groups are on the rise, a region pushes for independence, society is fragile and polarised. This is nothing new: a long view of Spanish history shows the country is returning to its old ways. Can democracy ever work in a Spain which has spent hundreds of years in civil war. In his controversial  new history of Spain: Violencia,  Spanish expert Jason Webster, charts its history from its origins to the present day, uncovering its darkest events and its genius for enlightened thought. He shows how events are in danger of being repeated and argues that Spain has long predicted crisises in the West.

    When: Wednesday 6th November 2019 @ 6.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 South St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: David and Annabelle Nabarro
  • Through fascinating encounters with the bird kingdom and the rich cast of characters responsible for coming up with their names Stephen Moss, the naturalist and broadcaster, gives an  entertaining  illustrated talk about his new book: Mrs. Moreau’s Warbler. A treasure trove of folk history, tracing the tracks of bird life. A must for any bookshelf

    The Kenneth Allsop Memorial Talk - Kenneth Allsop, was a broadcaster, writer and champion of conservation who lived near Bridport until his death in 1973.

    When: Thursday 7th November 2019 @ 10.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 South St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: Anon
  • Reynolds Stone CBE (1909-1979) was one of the most distinguished wood engravers of the 20th century.  He spent his childhood in Bridport and lived in Litton Cheney from 1953 until his death. His son, Humphrey Stone, has put together this richly illustrated memoir providing a long overdue account of his father’s life and work.He was a champion of the Renaissance in good printing and type design and an accomplished watercolour painter and letter cutter in stone. His legacy endures in much that remains familiar, including postage stamps, £5 and £10 notes and the coat of arms on a British passport.

    When: Thursday 7th November 2019 @ 11.30 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 South St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
  • The Summer Isles, the small group of Scottish islands off Scotland’s north-west coast, captivated writer Philip Marsden when he and his aunt looked upon them from the tops of mountains they loved to climb in the Highlands. Decades after his aunt’s death, he sets sail in a beautiful wooden boat from his home in Cornwall, up the west coast of Ireland, through the Hebrides, to reach those islands of his imagination. Sailing single-handed, he tackles the full force of the Atlantic, hopping from island to island exploring early Irish and Scottish history and learning the stories and songs, myths and legends and their place in the Celtic tradition.

    When: Friday 8th November 2019 @ 10.00 am
    Where: Electric Palace, 35 South St, Bridport, DT6 3NY
    Sponsor: Sally Inchbald and Peter Lee
  • Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp Experiment’, a pioneering re-wilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife.  Part enthralling memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is considered to be one the landmark ecological books of the decade. Forced to accept that intensive farming at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella and her husband made a spectacular leap of faith, deciding to let nature take over.  Free-roaming animals over 3,500 acres has seen huge increases in wildlife numbers over a decade.

    When: Saturday 9th November 2019 @ 11.30 am
    Where: Electric Palace, 35 South St, Bridport, DT6 3NY
    Sponsor: Georgia Langton | John and Ros Senior