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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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