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

Biography

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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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