King’s Speech authors launch new Voewood literature festival at High Kelling

Writers, readers, singers and music fans have gathered for a new 'garden party' arts event in north Norfolk.

Tents on the lawns of the stunning 'butterfly' style Voewood House at High Kelling near Holt are hosting a range of literary and music events over all three days of the Bank Holiday weekend.

It is the brainchild of house owner Simon Finch, a rare book dealer with a rock and roll twist through his connections in the music world.

So as well as well-known, established and up-and-coming authors talking about their work, there was also punk music from a former Sex Pistol band member.

Mr Finch said the aim was to make the weekend 'entertaining rather than just a discussion of literature' and it was 'not necessary to be a bookworm to enjoy the event.'

It was opened on Saturday morning by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, authors of the Kings Speech, who then explained the background to the book that turned into an Oscar winning film.

Mr Finch also gave a presentation In Praise of Older Books, which hailed the attraction of print's design, feel and even smell, as it battles against electronic media.

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Other writers on the opening two days include Daisy Goodwin, Diana Athill, DBC Pierre, Louis de Bernieres, and Elspeth Barker.

About 1,200 people are expected to visit the sessions with authors, poets, performance artwork and music over the weekend, and literary agent Clare Conville, who organised the line-up, confirmed another festival would be happening against next year.

Music on Saturday night will feature Norfolk singer songwriter Beth Orton, while on Sunday night 1980s pop legend Adam Ant was due to be on stage, and Mr Finch aiming to play along on Pretty Vacant with Glen Matlock from the Sex Pistols.

The festival continues on Monday with The Country House Revealed author Dan Cruickshank, and Allison Pearson, whose I Don't Know How She Does It novel been turned into a Hollywood film.

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