Thanks to everyone who made the 2014 Chiswick Book Festival such a success – authors, helpers, sponsors and audiences. You can see the photographs here. And the videos (Chiswickbuzz.net: see Books section). And the quiz answers and draw winners. And the winners of the Young People’s Poetry Competition. And you can download the 2014 leaflet.
Do join us this year – the Festival will run from September 10th to 14th 2015.
Thanks also for your comments on Twitter @W4BookFest. Please keep them coming.
Below left: Colin Field (manager, Waterstones Chiswick) with Bryony Gordon and Charles Spencer, after their talks on Sunday afternoon. Below right: Simon Thurley signs books after his lecture on Thursday evening.
Our prize competitions and draws closed at the end of September. A 9-volume History of the Great War, £150 of chair accessories, a £20 book voucher and Salter’s kitchen scales were won!
Authors included Bryony Gordon, Simon Mayo, AN Wilson, Charles Spencer, Toby Young, Jane Thynne, Elizabeth Buchan, Peter Oborne, Malcolm Gluck,Chris Bryant MP, David Hempleman-Adams, Helen Macdonald, Sarah Boseley, Stephen Grosz, Andy Miller, Elizabeth Speller, Juliet West, Graham Holderness,Jessie Childs, Judith Flanders, Caroline Moorehead, Elisa Segrave, Fanny Blake,Ross Biddiscombe, Tim Moore, Alice Peterson, Paul Bailey, Oscar Coop-Phane, James MacManus, Paul Keers and Charles Jennings . See full programme.
Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, spoke at the opening event at Chiswick House on Thursday September 11th. He talked – with slides – about his book The Building of England: How the History of England has Shaped our Buildings. Simon was closely involved in the restoration of Chiswick Housewhich he describes as a ‘jewel’ in The Building of England.
In a special The Books That Built Me salon for the Chiswick Book Festival, Harper’s Bazaar’s Helen Brocklebank was in conversation with Sasha Wilkins, fashion journalist, former magazine editor and founder of the award-winning LibertyLondonGirl.com. Sasha is a social media phenomenon, with over 100,000 Twitter followers. She also attended the Festival Drinks Reception (from 6pm), and there was a prize draw for all ticket-holders and a free copy of Harper’s Bazaar. Supported by Bown Design and Build and others.
Three of this year’s authors were longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2014. Congratulations to Jessie Childs, Helen Macdonald and Caroline Moorehead. You could see them all on Saturday September 13th, for the price of a Saturday Day Pass. Helen and Caroline both went through to the shortlist of six.
Three sessions focussed on Women at War. Jane Thynne and Elizabeth Buchan talked about their fictional heroines going undercover in World War II, and Elisa Segrave and Caroline Moorehead discussed real-life wartime heroines.Juliet West and Elizabeth Speller spoke about their books set in World War I in the closing session, at Chiswick Library at 6pm on Monday September 15th.
Below is the Programme as published last year.
Admission is by Saturday or Sunday Day Pass – £10 per day or £17.50 for both days – excluding the following events which are charged individually:
– Simon Thurley at Chiswick House – £12, or £10 for Friends of Chiswick House (Thursday September 11th)
– Through the Westminster Looking Glass – £10 (Friday September 12th)
– Children’s Day Pass – £3 for adults and children 5+ (Saturday September 13th)
– Simon Mayo – £3 (Saturday September 13th)
– The Books That Built Me: Sasha Wilkins – £10, or £20 with year’s subscription to Harper’s Bazaar (Saturday September 13th)
– Nigel Pickford at Syon House – £4 (Sunday September 14th)
– The Great War at Chiswick Library – £3 or £1.50 for Library members (Monday September 15th)
Please click on the links below each session to book tickets – Tickets for most events will be available on the door, unless already sold out.
– Those who booked tickets before September 1st 2014 were entered into a draw to win two tickets to see Jeeves and Wooster’s Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York’s Theatre. The winner has been notified.
– Watch this page for updates, including extra events, further photographs and web-links.
**Three of this year’s authors have been longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2014. Congratulations to Jessie Childs, Helen Macdonald and Caroline Moorehead.
thursday september 11th 2014
6pm for 7pm Simon Thurley at Chiswick House: The Building of England: How the History of England Has Shaped Our Buildings
A special event in the splendid surroundings of Chiswick House in the Burlington Pavilion. Historian and Chief Executive of English Heritage, Simon Thurley, explains the significance of this country’s architectural history and its inextricable links to our cultural past – and present – in his book The Building of England: How the History of England Has Shaped Our Buildings. His most recent TV series was Heritage! The Battle for Britain’s Past for BBC 4. He was closely involved in the restoration of Chiswick House which he describes as a ‘jewel’ in The Building of England. Book on sale at a special reduced price. Supported by Hubbard Pegman & Whitney LLP. The Burlington Pavilion, Chiswick House. £12 (£10 Chiswick House Friends) Book now
friday september 12th 2014
6.30pm for 7pm: Through the Westminster Looking Glass, chaired by Ann Treneman, parliamentary sketchwriter of The Times
– 7pm: Parliament: The Biography: Ancestral Voices and Reform: Chris Bryant MP Chris Bryant’s two volume history tells the epic tale of Parliament from its earliest days in the 13th century through to the extraordinary transformations of the last 200 years. A riveting story – with a vivid, colourful cast of characters whose passions and obsessions, strengths and weaknesses laid the foundations of modern democracy – culminating in today’s party politics with its growing focus on political scandal.
– 8.15pm: Disraeli: or The Two Lives: Edward Young Historian Edward Young, co-author with Lord Hurd of Westwell, examines the paradoxes at the heart of Disraeli’s ‘two lives’ – as the most gifted parliamentarian of the 19th century and a superb orator, writer and wit. They reveal in a ‘gripping, succinct and lethal’ way the vast chasm between the real Disraeli and the myth. Supported by Savills. Refreshments from 6.30pm and in the interval canapés, kindly provided by Sam’s Brasserie (020 8987 0555).
St Michael & All Angels Church, £10 Book now
saturday september 13th 2014
Children’s Book Festival – Three action adventure series for girls and boys – and poetry!Admission to the first two Saturday morning events, upstairs in the Parish Hall, is by Children’s Day Pass – £3 for adults and children age 5+. Sessions last 45 minutes. Refreshments available. Books on sale and for signing afterwards. Age guidance is approximate – all are welcome.
9.30am: Christopher William Hill: Tales from Schwartzgarten Christopher William Hill has created a gruesomely funny upside-down world in which clever children get to wreak delicious revenge on bullies and adults, with colourful characters and ghastly goings-on. For ages 7-11. Supported by Fleet Tutors. St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall upstairs, Children’s Day Pass Book now
10.30am: Marcus Alexander: Keeper of the Realms Mischievous Marcus Alexander has created a thrilling fantasy realm of myth, magic and danger. Young Charlie Keeper is thrust from her home to untangle the mysteries of Bellania. For ages 8-12. See more on this YouTube video. Supported by Fleet Tutors. St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall upstairs, Children’s Day Pass Book now
11.30am: Simon Mayo: Itch Craft BBC Radio’s Simon Mayo launches the third book in his explosively clever series about accident-prone Itch, whose weapon is science, whose gadgets are elements in the periodic table and whose sidekicks are his sister Chloe and tomboy cousin Jack. For ages 9-12. Supported by Fleet Tutors. St Michael & All Angels Church £3 Book now
12.30pm to 12.50pm: Oscar Kolkowski : Performance Poetry Ahead of the poetry competition prize-giving, Chiswick Library presents a session for 8 to 12-year-olds by professional storyteller and performance poet Oscar Kolkowski. Making use of traditional folk stories, poetry, myths and legends, he transports children’s imaginations to magical worlds through spoken imagery. Supported by Fleet Tutors. St Michael & All Angels Church, Admission free (no need for Children’s Day Pass)
1pm -1.20pm: Prize-giving: Young People’s Poetry Competition Following his earlier session Simon Mayo will present the prizes to the winners of the Festival’s competition for 8-13 year olds. The chair of the judges, James Priestman, will comment on the winning entries. Supported by ChiswickW4.com. Prizes donated by Disney and Random House Children’s Publishing. St Michael & All Angels Church, Admission free (no need for Children’s Day Pass)
saturday september 13th 2014
11.00am: **Jessie Childs and Graham Holderness: God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England A riveting account of resistance in an age of intolerance, bringing alive the story of the men and women of the defiant Vaux family. A true tale of plots, priest holes and persecution – a battle to save Catholicism. Jessie Childs will be joined by Professor Graham Holderness (Tales from Shakespeare, Nine Lives of William Shakespeare) to examine the period and the people who risked all. Supported by Killik & Co Tabard Theatre, Saturday Day Pass Book now
12.15pm: Sarah Boseley, Jane Michell: The Shape We’re In The Guardian’s Health Editor Sarah Boseley, author of The Shape We’re In, and Jane Michell, nutritionist and creator of The Jane Plan Diet, discuss the widespread problem of obesity – how junk food and diets are shortening our lives. Chaired by Anne Elliott, lecturer, University of Middlesex School of Health and Education. St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall upstairs, Saturday Day Pass Book now
12.15pm: Judith Flanders: The Making of Home: ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ The idea that home is a special, separate place is so obvious to us today that we barely pause to think about it. Historian Judith Flanders shows that over 500 years our concept of home has changed, while investigating the development of ordinary household items and dismantling many domestic myths. Chaired by David Shreeve. Supported by Killik & Co Tabard Theatre, Saturday Day Pass Book now
1.30pm: Paris: An Eternal Inspiration for Literature: Paul Bailey, Oscar Coop-Phane and James MacManus These celebrated novelists discuss Paris as a setting for their recent works – The Prince’s Boy, Zenith Hotel and Black Venus. Each skilfully explores the city, creating a vivid portrait of Paris while their characters act out their complex and disturbing lives in its embrace. Chaired by Anne Sebba, Chair of The Society of Authors. St Michael & All Angels Church, Saturday Day Pass Book now
1.30pm: Toby Young and Miranda Thomas: What Every Parent Needs to Know Education reformer and founder of two local free schools, Toby Young, and teacher Miranda Thomas (with nine children between them) discuss how parents can help their children to get the most out of primary school, including explanations of the new curriculum and the thinking behind it. Chaired by Karen Bastick-Styles, Executive Head – London. Supported by Killik & Co Tabard Theatre, Saturday Day Pass Book now
1.30pm: Paul Keers and Charles Jennings: Sediment: Two Gentlemen and Their Mid-Life Terroirs Enjoy a glass of wine with the authors of Sediment, the book (and blog) about the trials and tribulations of wine drinking. Discover how, as The Guardian said of Sediment, “in the right hands wine and comedy can go together”. Like authors CJ and PK, you don’t need to know much – or, indeed, anything – about wine to enjoy their forays into buying, serving, drinking, sharing, and, quite often, ruining it. Wine courtesy of The Good Wine Shop, Chiswick (020 8994 8184). St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall upstairs, Saturday Day Pass. Book now
2.45pm: Stephen Grosz: The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves Practising psychotherapist Stephen Grosz’s Sunday Times bestselling book is about learning to live through his simple stories of encounters between a psychoanalyst and his patients, Stephen Grosz’s insight will illuminate complicated stories of our everyday lives – the people we love and the lies we tell. Introduced by agent and author David Miller. St Michael & All Angels Church, Saturday Day Pass. Book now
2.45pm: Real Heroines: Experiences of Women during the Second World War When Elisa Segravediscovered one of her mother’s wartime diaries she found a very different woman from the one she thought she knew – The Girl from Station X. Her mother’s experiences at Bletchley Park in Bomber Command and in newly liberated Germany will be discussed with **Caroline Moorehead’s fascinating Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France (Sunday Times top five hardbacks, August 2014) and A Train in Winter: A Story of Resistance, Friendship and Survival in Auschwitz. Chaired by Anne Sebba, author of Battling for News: The Rise of the Woman Reporter. Women At War sessions sponsored by Orchards of London St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall upstairs, Saturday Day Pass Book now
4.00pm: **Helen Macdonald: H is for Hawk Destined to be a classic of nature writing, H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey. Waterstones’ Book of the Month in August, it has gone straight into the Sunday Times top three hardback list. Helen Macdonald will give an unflinchingly honest account of her struggle with grief during the difficult process of goshawk Mabel’s taming and her own untaming. Interview by writer and journalist Caroline Sanderson. Supported by Young Veterinary Partnership St Michael & All Angels Church, Saturday Day Pass Book now
4.00pm: Fictional Heroines: Undercover Women in the Second World War Elizabeth Buchan’s novel I Can’t Begin to Tell You set in Denmark in 1940 and Jane Thynne’s The Winter Garden – sequel to Black Roses and set in Berlin in 1937 – provide the basis for lively discussion of the appeal of putting fictional heroines into the dangerous theatre of subterfuge and violence. Chaired by novelist Fanny Blake. Women At War sessions sponsored by Orchards of London St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall upstairs, Saturday Day Pass Book now
5.15pm: Read Y’Self Fitter with Andy Miller Andy Miller, author of The Year of Reading Dangerously, presents a ten- step programme to cure oneself of bad reading habits. In what promises to be a riotous session, Andy uses his year’s reading experience to inspire the audience to take the plunge, read dangerously and perhaps discover what The Da Vinci Code and Moby Dick have in common. Introduced by agent and author David Miller (no relation). Refreshments available from 4.45pm. St Michael & All Angels Church, Saturday Day Pass Book now
5.15pm: Peter Oborne: Wounded Tiger: A History of Cricket in Pakistan Political commentator Peter Oborne details the triumph and tragedy of cricket in Pakistan, from 1947 to the present day. Despite the disruptions of scandal and violence, Oborne finds hope for Pakistan’s cricketing future – a cause for national pride and the chance to excel. Chaired by Sky News diplomatic editor Tim Marshall, author of Dirty Northern Bastards. St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall upstairs, Saturday Day Pass Book now
From 5.30pm, Meet Local Authors in the Marquee
Local authors will be selling and signing books, including food writer and broadcaster Lucy McDonald of Crumbs TV, whose new book is The Crumbs Family Cookbook; crime novelist Colette McBeth, whose first book Precious Thing is out in paperback; Sky News diplomatic editor Tim Marshall, author of Dirty Northern Bastards (from 6.15, after Peter Oborne session); the Guardian’s crossword columnist Alan Connor, whose history of crosswords Two Girls, One on Each Knee, is just out in paperback; crime writer Karin Salvalaggio, whose Bone Dust White has just been published in the US; photographer Andrew Wilson of the Wild About… Chiswick series of books; and more.
6.00pm: Festival Drinks Reception followed by keynote Festival event Our annual Festival celebration with some of this year’s authors, including a chance to meet local authors – who’ll be signing their books – and representatives of our three reading-related charities. St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall downstairs, admission free, drinks on sale (profits to reading charities).
7.00pm: The Books That Built Me: Sasha Wilkins of LibertyLondonGirl.com In a special The Books That Built Me salon for the Chiswick Book Festival, Harper’s Bazaar’s Helen Brocklebank will be in conversation with Sasha Wilkins, fashion journalist, former magazine editor and founder of the award-winning LibertyLondonGirl.com. Sasha is a social media phenomenon, with over 100,000 Twitter followers. They’ll talk about Sasha’s life as a writer; the journey that led her to write her first cookery book, Friends Food Family: Recipes and Secrets from LibertyLondonGirl; and the books that have nurtured and nourished her along the way. Don’t miss the Festival Drinks Reception (from 6pm), goody bags, a free copy of Bazaar, a prize draw for all ticket-holders, and the chance to tell us your own Books That Built Me. Supported by Bown Design and Build. St Michael & All Angels Church, £10 (or £20, to include a year’s subscription to Bazaar) Book now
sunday september 14th 2014
11.00am: Creative Workshop: Getting Started on a Novel Rachel Hore (A Week in Paris, The Silent Tide), UEA tutor in Creative Writing, is publishing her seventh novel, and shares her experiences of developing an initial idea. Have you ever thought you’d like to write a novel, or are you curious to learn about the processes involved? Bring paper and pencil and come and find out one writer’s approach. ArtsEd, Sunday Day Pass Book now
11.00am: Ross Biddiscombe: Ryder Cup Revealed: Tales of the Unexpected Sports journalist and author Ross Biddiscombe reveals the previously untold story of golf’s most iconic team contest, taking golf fans into the minds of the key personalities and behind the scenes into the team rooms, meeting rooms and locker rooms. A fresh and intriguing look at nine decades of Ryder Cup history. Chaired by BBC sports presenter Jonathan Legard. Supported by Killik & Co Tabard Theatre, Sunday Day Pass Book now
12.15pm: A N Wilson: Victoria: A Life Queen Victoria – a figurehead to an all-male imperial enterprise shrouded in myth, but also one of the most passionate, humorous and unconventional women who has ever lived. Award-winning biographer A N Wilson presents a fascinating portrait of Britain’s longest reigning monarch as she has never been seen before. Supported by Winkworth Chiswick. St Michael & All Angels Church, Sunday Day Pass Book now
12.15pm: Friends, Families and Feuds in Fiction Three of our finest contemporary novelists: Fanny Blake (With A Friend Like You), Tamar Cohen(Broken, Someone Else’s Wedding) and Veronica Henry (The Beach Hut Next Door) join forces to discuss their themes, inspirations and whether all’s fair in love and war. Chaired by writer and reviewer Cathy Rentzenbrink. ArtsEd, Sunday Day Pass Book now
12.15pm: E-books and self-publishing: Experience and Expertise Find out from a panel of authors and experts how budding authors can realise their ambitions – what to do, what to expect and what to avoid. The panel includes Mardibooks’ Martin Godleman, Avalon Weston (The Disappearing Snake) and Alice Peterson (Monday to Friday Man, One Step Closer To You)). The session will be chaired by Different for Girls author Jacquie Lawrence, who was inspired by last year’s e-book session to take the plunge. Supported by Fingertips St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall upstairs, Sunday Day Pass Book now
12.15pm: Tim Moore: Gironimo! Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy A 3,162km race. A 48-year-old man. A 100-year-old bike. Made mostly of wood. That he built himself. The intrepid author of French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France set himself a new and greater challenge – to recreate personally the 1914 Giro when 81 competitors set off and only eight made it back. Tim Moore’s own adventure is bold, brave and recklessly incompetent. A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. Interviewed by BBC sports presenter Jonathan Legard. Supported by Killik & Co Tabard Theatre, Sunday Day Pass Book now
1.30pm: David Hempleman-Adams: No Such Thing As Failure: The Extraordinary Life of a Great British Adventurer David Hempleman-Adams is the first person in history to achieve the ‘Adventurers’ Grand Slam’ by reaching the geographic and magnetic North and South Poles, as well as climbing the highest peaks on all seven continents. What drives him on? Why risk his life time and time again? These and many more questions will be answered during his lecture. Supported by Winkworth Chiswick. St Michael & All Angels Church, Sunday Day Pass Book now
1.30pm: Malcolm Gluck: A Life in Wine Bestselling wine writer and broadcaster Malcolm Gluck gives voice to the bottles of wine featured in his book: Chateau Lafite 1953 and Other Stories. In some, the thin veil of obfuscation surrounding the wine industry is ripped apart. In others, the romance, the hype, the rituals of wine are exposed and ridiculed. Join Malcolm for a glass of wine and encounter all human failings and vices along the way. St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall upstairs, Sunday Day Pass. Wine courtesy of Vinoteca, Chiswick (020 3701 8822) St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall upstairs, Sunday Day Pass
1.30pm: Katie Waldegrave of First Story:
The Poets’ Daughters: Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge Dora and Sara were life-long friends and the daughters of the two poetic geniuses of the Romantic Age. Their fathers’ fame brought great privilege, but at a terrible cost. Katie Waldegrave’s “remarkable first book” (Sunday Times Pick of the Paperbacks) brings these women out of the shadows of anorexia, drug addiction and depression to demonstrate their own important legacies. Former BBC broadcaster and arts executive Susannah Simons will interview Katie about the book and her role as co-founder of the creative-writing charity First Story. ArtsEd, Sunday Day Pass Book now
1.30pm: David Miller: That Glimpse of Truth – a celebration of the short story Agent and author David Miller invites lovers of the short story to celebrate its glory with him. Editor of That Glimpse of Truth: The 100 Finest Short Stories Ever Written, David will share his enthusiasm and inspire both the reading and writing of this special form. Supported by Killik & Co Tabard Theatre, Sunday Day Pass Book now
2.45pm: Charles Spencer: The Killers of the King Bestselling historian Charles Spencer examines the retribution inflicted by Charles II against all members of the tribunal who disregarded the Divine Right of Kings and ordered the execution of his father in January 1649. The stories of these men provide a fascinating insight into the dangers of political and religious allegiance. Supported by Savills. St Michael & All Angels Church, Sunday Day Pass Book now
2.45pm: Bryony Gordon: The Wrong Knickers: A Decade of Chaos Journalist and author Bryony Gordon grew up in Chiswick dreaming of the perfect life she would have in her 20s. The reality – a decade of chaos – was something of a shock. Bryony busts open the glamorous myth of being a single girl about London town. Her ridiculous life and ultimate redemption will be laid bare. Interviewed by writer and reviewer Cathy Rentzenbrink. Supported by John D Wood. St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall upstairs, Sunday Day Pass Book now
3.30pm: Poetry is served A panel of poets and experts including Robert Seatter (Writing King Kong), James Priestman of the Pitshanger Poets, Agnieszka Studzinska (What things are) and Susan Stanley-Carroll of Pass on a Poem invites the audience to bring along a poem on the broad theme of food and drink – max 24 lines – to read aloud. The poems can be favourites or of your own work. Chaired by Malcolm Gluck, who writes poetry as John Orland. ArtsEd, Sunday Day Pass Book now
Sunday event at Syon House 3pm: N.A. Pickford: Lady Bette and the Murder of Mr Thynn When 14 year old heiress Lady Bette is married to dissolute Thomas Thynn (a man who is three times her age) a gripping true story of plots, escape and murder unfolds. Historian Nigel Pickford tells the tale of Lady Bette and the Murder of Mr Thynn: A Scandalous Story of Marriage and Betrayal in Restoration England in one of the settings of the action – a beautiful, hidden treasure of London – Syon House. Assemble before 2.45pm at the Visitor Centre at Syon House, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Tickets (talk only): £4. You may upgrade your ticket to visit the House and Gardens that day for an additional £5. Book now
monday september 15th 2014
6pm: The Great War: Life, Death and Love Novelists Elizabeth Speller (At Break of Day, The Return of Captain John Emmett) and Juliet West (Before the Fall) discuss their work against the backdrop of the First World War. Shattered dreams, altered futures and impossible choices – powerful themes in powerful literature. Chaired by Torin Douglas. Women At War sessions sponsored by Orchards of London Chiswick Library, Duke’s Avenue, W4 2AB £3 or £1.50 for library members. Book now
** Book tickets before September 1st and you could win a pair of tickets to Jeeves & Wooster in ‘Perfect Nonsense’ – ticket purchasers will be entered into a draw for two tickets. Join James Lance as the effervescent, aristocratic fool Bertie Wooster and John Gordon Sinclair as his dutiful valet, Jeeves, with Robert Goodale as Seppings in the critically acclaimed stage play Jeeves & Wooster in ‘Perfect Nonsense’. Enjoy an evening of raucous comedy in the company of Gussie Fink-Nottle, Madeline Bassett, Sir Watkin Bassett, Dahlia Travers, Roderick Spode and Constable Oates! Tickets are valid Monday-Thursday until 18 September, subject to availability.