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Ursula Buchan: Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps

Ursula Buchan: Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps

Book Tickets

Thursday 1 Aug 20197:45pm Book Now (Early bird till 25th July)

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


Ursula Buchan

Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps


Thursday, 1st August


7:45pm - 8:45pm


St Peter's Church

North Street, PE8 4AL


Tickets: £8/£6

Early bird £1 off till 25th July


Ursula Buchan will be in conversation with Adam Begley, author of Updike and The Great Nadar, on her life of John Buchan and the art of writing biography.


Written with unprecedented access to documents, papers and photographs held by Buchan’s family, Ursula Buchan brings her grandfather John Buchan to life in a major new biography of the man who created the modern spy thriller.


John Buchan's name is known across the world for The Thirty-Nine Steps. In the past one hundred years the classic thriller has never been out of print and has inspired numerous adaptations for film, television, radio and stage, beginning with the celebrated version by Alfred Hitchcock.


Yet there was vastly more to 'JB'. He wrote more than a hundred books - fiction and non-fiction - and a thousand articles for newspapers and magazines. He was a scholar, antiquarian, barrister, colonial administrator, journal editor, literary critic, publisher, war correspondent, director of wartime propaganda, member of parliament and imperial proconsul - given a state funeral when he died, a deeply admired and loved Governor-General of Canada.


Ursula is an award-winning journalist and author, having written eighteen books and contributed regularly to the Spectator, Observer, Independent, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Telegraph and The Garden.


Prize-winning Poet Charles Bennett: Cloud River

Prize-winning Poet Charles Bennett: Cloud River

Book Tickets

Friday 20 Sep 20197:00pm Book Now (Ticket includes light supper)

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


Prize-winning Poet Charles Bennett


Cloud River


Friday, 20th September


19:00 - 20:30


The Old Barn at Wadenhoe

Mill Lane, PE8 5XD


Tickets £10 to include light supper


Tickets are  non-allocated


Tables seat  4 - 6 and a couple of tables seat two. If you purchase 4 tickets you might appreciate that if tables of 4 are fully booked then another couple may be added to your table.


Cloud River is a book of lyrical landscape poetry set in the Cambridgeshire Fens.The startling originality of the book stems from its mission to revise and overturn these impressions.


Through an examination of lines (on fields, maps, the sky and the page), it slowly but powerfully reveals the intrinsic interest, peculiarity and dynamism of the Fens and in its flowing music, exemplifies how a confrontation with level lands, straight rivers and big skies can result in a balancing of spirit and a fresh appreciation of England’s lowest and newest landscape.


“Charles Bennett writes so beautifully: a poet who really seems to have his own kingdom, with its quiet moments- of sun, fruit and weather - which he catches with a peculiar loveliness.” Alison Brackenbury


Before establishing himself as an academic Charles Bennett was the Creative Director of Ledbury Poetry Festival and has acted as writer-in-residence for Wicken Fen. Additionally, his work with choral composer Bob Chilcott has seen him hailed as a memorable and mesmerising librettist. He is currently Associate Professor of Poetry at the University of Northampton where he leads the BA in Creative Writing.


A light supper is included, and you may take your own drinks or purchase hot or soft drinks at the venue.



Terry Waite: Travels with a Primate

Terry Waite: Travels with a Primate

Book Tickets

Friday 27 Sep 20197:45pm Book Now (Early Bird £1 off till 20th Sept)

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


Terry Waite


Travels with a Primate


Friday, 27th September, at 7:45pm


St Peter's Church, Oundle

North Street,  PE8 4AL


Tickets:


General £9/ Concessions £7


Early bird discount £1 till 20th September.


We join the Archbishop, Terry and a host of other colourful characters as they travel around the world. Along the way, the Archbishop meets the Pope in Ghana, has a photo call with koalas, and meets the crowd via an ‘archmobile’ in Canada. He and his staff experience extreme weather conditions as well as some rather unusual local customs, entertainment and souvenir gifts, and an array of unfamiliar food and drink.


Whether navigating huge crowds or temperamental sound systems or dealing with the fact that their party has arrived at the wrong place or on the wrong day, the Archbishop remains affable and good natured, even when, despite Terry’s and the team’s best efforts, events descend into – in Runcie’s own words – ‘a bit of a shambles’. Terry’s engaging narrative also sheds light on the history of Lambeth Palace and the way in which the role of Archbishop of Canterbury has evolved over the years.


Terry Waite CBE was Advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1980 to 1992.


He is the author of Taken on Trust, Solitude, and, We join the Archbishop, Terry and a host of other colourful characters as they travel around the world. Along the way, the Archbishop meets the Pope in Ghana, has a photo call with koalas, and meets the crowd via an ‘archmobile’ in Canada. He and his staff experience extreme weather conditions as well as some rather unusual local customs, entertainment and souvenir gifts, and an array of unfamiliar food and drink.


Whether navigating huge crowds or temperamental sound systems or dealing with the fact that their party has arrived at the wrong place or on the wrong day, the Archbishop remains affable and good natured, even when, despite Terry’s and the team’s best efforts, events descend into – in Runcie’s own words – ‘a bit of a shambles’. Terry’s engaging narrative also sheds light on the history of Lambeth Palace and the way in which the role of Archbishop of Canterbury has evolved over the years.


Terry Waite CBE was Advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1980 to 1992.


He is the author of Taken on Trust, Solitude, and Out of the Silence, a cofounder of Hostage UK and Y Care International, and President of Emmaus UK.


Terry Waite will be in conversation with Viv Gascoine, Head of Laxton House, teacher of Religious Studies and lay chaplain at Oundle School.


a cofounder of Hostage UK and Y Care International, and President of Emmaus UK.


Terry Waite will be in conversation with Viv Gascoine, Head of Laxton House, teacher of Religious Studies and lay chaplain at Oundle School.


An Evening with Alice Roberts: Digging into Britain's Past

An Evening with Alice Roberts: Digging into Britain's Past

Book Tickets

Monday 7 Oct 20197:30pm Book Now

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


An Evening with Alice Roberts:


Digging into Britain's Past


Monday, 7th October


7:30pm - 9:30pm


The Great Hall, Oundle

New Street, PE8 4GH


Tickets: General £20/ Concessions £18



We are delighted to announce that anthropologist, author and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts is coming to Oundle as part of her national tour.


Alice has been delving into Britain’s past, and making archaeology programmes, for nearly twenty years. She joined Time Team as a bone expert before going on to present anthropology and archaeology stories on BBC Two’s immensely popular Coast series and co-presenting The Celts in 2015. Alice has presented seven series of Digging for Britain, sharing new archaeological discoveries from across the UK on BBC Four, and she has explored the history of our towns and cities in Britain’s Most Historic Towns on Channel 4 - which will be back with a second series in 2019.


She has written eight popular science and archaeology books, including Tamed: Ten species that changed our World and The Celts: Search for a Civilisation.


In this exclusive tour, Alice will share insights, anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stories from her personal journey to explore Britain’s past, with footage from her programmes and excerpts from her books. Each show will finish with 20 minutes Q&A.


This is a two-hour event including a twenty-minute interval. Suitable for all ages.


Keir Giles, Moscow Rules:What Drives Russia to Confront the West

Keir Giles, Moscow Rules:What Drives Russia to Confront the West

Book Tickets

Friday 8 Nov 20197:45pm Book Now (Early bird £1 off till 1st Nov.)

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


Keir Giles


Moscow Rules: What Drives Russia to Confront the West


Friday, 8th November 2019, at 7:45pm


Fletton House, The Oundle Suite

Glapthorn Rd, Oundle, PE8 4JA


Tickets: £8/£6

Early bird discount £1 off till 1st November


This book is for anyone that cannot understand why Russia and its leaders behave as they do.


Russia and the West are like neighbours who never seem able to understand each other. A major reason, this book argues, is that Western leaders tend to think that Russia should act as a "rational" Western nation.


Keir Giles describes how Russian leaders have used consistent doctrinal and strategic approaches to the rest of the world. These approaches may seem deeply alien in the West but understanding them is essential for successful engagement with Moscow. Giles argues that understanding how Moscow's leaders think--not just Vladimir Putin but his predecessors and eventual successors--will help their counterparts in the West develop a less crisis-prone and more productive relationship with Russia.


“Keir Giles has explained with clarity, concision, and deep knowledge why Russia cannot be understood by Western criteria alone. His book is a much-needed antidote to simplistic judgements. It should be required reading for all who deal with Western policy towards Russia.”

—Sir Roderic Lyne, UK ambassador to Moscow 2000–04


Keir Giles's work has appeared in a wide range of academic and military publications across Europe and in North America, and he is a regular contributor and commentator on Russian affairs for international print and broadcast media. He is a Senior Consulting Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), as well as the Director of the Conflict Studies Research Centre (CSRC), a group of deep subject matter experts on Eurasian security formerly attached to the United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defence.


Sonia Purnell, A Woman of No Importance

Sonia Purnell, A Woman of No Importance

Book Tickets

Tuesday 3 Dec 20197:45pm Book Now (Early bird £1 off till 26th Nov)

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


Sonia Purnell


A Woman of No Importance


Tuesday, 3rd December at 7:45pm


Fletton House, Oundle Suite

Glapthorn Rd, Oundle, PE8 4JA


Tickets: £8/£6


Early bird £1 off till 26th November




This book is a true-life thriller and breath-taking account of female heroism in WWII. It is a rich, deeply researched exploration of how the most unlikely of spies defied all the odds to triumph over the Gestapo; and how one woman broke through convention and prejudice to save Allied intelligence in France.


In 1942, the Gestapo would stop at nothing to track down a mysterious 'limping lady' who was fighting for the freedom of France. The Nazi chiefs issued a simple but urgent command: 'She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.'


Their target was Virginia Hall, a glamorous American with a wooden leg who broke through the barriers against her gender and disability to be the first woman to infiltrate Vichy France for the SOE. In so doing she helped turn the course of the intelligence war.


Based on years of painstaking research and the release of previously secret sources, the incomparable story of Virginia Hall reveals how she confounded her detractors to become one of the greatest Allied agents of the war and an inspiration to her successors in the field to this day.

Sonia Purnell is a biographer and journalist who has worked for The Economist, Daily Telegraph, and Sunday Times. Her book First Lady: The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill was chosen as a book of the year by the Daily Telegraph, Independent and Lenny Letter, and was shortlisted for the Plutarch Award for Best Biography. Her first book, Just Boris: A Tale of Blond Ambition, was longlisted for the Orwell prize.