December 8 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Former Conservative cabinet minister Gillian Shephard and actress Jenny Agutter are two of the well-known personalities in Norfolk this weekend for the popular Burnham Market Book Festival.
Taking place in the Garden Room at The Hoste the festival, now in its fourth year, also welcomes the former head of MI6 Sir John Scarlett, graveyard historian Peter Stanford and wildlife author Patrick Barkham among others over the three-day event.
Gillian Shephard kickstarts the event on Friday by revealing what it was like working with Margaret Thatcher, which is the subject of her book The Real Iron Lady.
She will discuss some of the myths and “unbearable clichés” surrounding Mrs Thatcher and gives a first hand account of Thatcher’s ferocious work ethic, her insecurities, her glamour, her rudeness, her courage and conviction.
The programme continues with Guardian columnist John Mullan, a specialist in 18th century fiction at UCL, with his latest work illuminating the themes that matter most to the workings of the fiction of Jane Austen.
On Saturday Norfolk writer and filmmaker Jim Ring discusses Storming the Eagle’s Nest, his latest venture into Alpine history with his account of how the war was conceived and directed from the Führer’s mountain retreat, and how Switzerland became the Nazi’s banker and Europe’s spy centre.
Peter Stanford then gives an entertaining and informative tour of the graveyards around the Burnhams with their stone carvings and beautiful views over the surrounding countryside.
The Wells-based features writer for the Guardian Patrick Barkham has reported on everything from the Iraq War to climate change and last spoke at the festival about his quest to see every butterfly species in the British Isles. He returns with his account of the latest wildlife controversy - Badgerland.
Actor and writer Simon Gough talks to Jenny Agutter about his book The White Goddess, a moving and vivid account of his time as a young man in the company his great uncle Robert Graves.
Persephone Books founder Nicola Beauman recounts the story of the publishing company she set up in 1998 to reprint and showcase women writers of the inter-war period. It now has 102 titles in print.
The evening highlight is former MI6 chief Sir John Scarlett chairing a panel with BBC Security correspondent Gordon Corera and writer Michael Smith who wrote The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park.
Sunday starts with historian Anna Whitelock talking Henrietta Bredin about her latest exploration into the intimate history of the Virgin Queen’s Court, from her book Elizabeth’s Bedfellows.
Author and journalist Harry Mount discusses How England Made the English, offering a novel take on the shaping of our national psyche: “Hospitable weather conditions, easily fordable rivers, and a shortage of marshes and unconquerable mountains made England the rich, advanced country it just about remains today.”
Broadcaster, writer and historian Diarmaid MacCulloch introduces Silence in Christian History, his latest work on Christianity, looking at silence throughout the church’s past: not only prayer and mystical contemplation, but also shame, evasion and careless and purposeful forgetting.
Closing the event is the hugely popular actress Jenny Agutter, fresh from filming the most recent series of the hit BBC show Call the Midwife. She joins her producer, Pippa Harris and series creator, Heidi Thomas to talk about the companion book to the series.
* Tickets cost £10 per lecture
* For bookings and other enquiries contact the Whitehouse Book Shop, 01328 730 270, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.burnhambookfestival.co.uk.