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

The Bull Ballroom

//The Bull Ballroom
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  • In the depths of winter in 1705, the young Johann Sebastian Bach, then unknown as a composer and earning a modest living as a teacher and organist, set off on a long journey on foot to Lubeck to visit the composer Dieterich Buxterhude, a distance of more than 250 miles.  This journey was pivotal in the life of the Master of the Baroque. More than three hundred years later, Horatio Clare set off to recreate the walk, following in Bach’s footsteps. Something of his Art is an evocation of what the young composer would have experienced.

    When: Sunday 3rd November 2019 @ 4.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ball Room, East St, Bridport DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: John and Felicity Fairbairn
  • 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
  • Moving, compassionate, powerful and of international significance, Christy Lefteri’s novel was born out of her time working as a volunteer for UNICEF. Based in Athens at a refugee centre, Lefteri met and got to know so many of those escaping from harrowing war torn regions. Her story of Nuri a beekeeper and his wife Afra an artist, living a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo, is cataclysmic. When all around them is destroyed  by war, they are forced to escape, embarking upon a perilous journey through Turkey to Greece – intent on survival.

    When: Monday 4th November 2019 @ 10.00 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 East St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: Nick Pearson
  • 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
  • Best known for The Railway Children and Five Children and It, Edith Nesbitt is considered the first modern children’s author and the inventor of the children’s adventure story.  Her life was much more complicated than her books would imply.  A staunch socialist and founding member of the Fabian Society, Edith incorporated her avant-garde ideas into her writing.  She  was a feminist, and  a close friend of HG Wells and her love life was somewhat complicated – George Bernard Shaw being one of her many lovers.

    When: Tuesday 5th November 2019 @ 11.30 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 East St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: Rosa Bartlett
  • There are many ways of studying the tumultuous twentieth century – but one of the most revealing must be through the key books of the time. Christopher Tugendhat shows how literature both shaped and reflected public concerns over the decades – from Lord of the Flies to A Room of One’s Own to Heart of Darkness. After a long and distinguished career in government, business and public service, Lord Tugendhat has included in his fasinating book many of the writers who have influenced him including, CP Snow, Noel Coward, Ernest Gombrich.

    When: Tuesday 5th November 2019 @ 2.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 East St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: Buffy Sacher
  • Max Porter’s first novel, Grief is the Thing with Feathers won the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, the International Dylan Thomas Prize and was shortlisted for many others. It has been translated in to 27 languages. His new best selling novel: Lanny focuses on a village outside London and no different from many others. Yet it belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present. Porter’s story is exhilarating, disquieting and deeply affecting. The plot bowls along in a compulsive way – in search of the boy, Lanny and Porter’s genius with words leaves you breathless.

    When: Tuesday 5th November 2019 @ 4.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 East St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
    Sponsor: Carol Hammick
  • 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
  • Olivia Glazebrook is a journalist, screenwriter, film and book critic. Her first novel The Trouble with Alice met with great critical acclaim. Olivia is one of Dorset’s rich seam of talented writers and we are delighted to have her with us to talk about her latest book: The Frank Business. Frank drops down dead at Heathrow Arrivals on Christmas Eve. His estranged daughter is called to identify the body and is left wondering why he was travelling to London from France in the first place. So begins a story of the chaotic nature of relationships when pasts are unmasked.

    When: Wednesday 6th November 2019 @ 4.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom, 34 South St, Bridport, DT6 3LF
  • 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