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Martin Stephen: The English Public School

Martin Stephen: The English Public School

Book Tickets

Tuesday 11 Sep 20187:45pm Book Now (Early Bird £1 off till 4th Sept.)

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


Martin Stephen: The English Public School


Tuesday, 11th September


7:45pm - 8:45pm


The Great Hall

Oundle School, New St., PE8 4GH


Tickets: £8 / £6


The English Public School is a study of the positives and negatives of the private school system, what has gone wrong, and what needs to change.


Until his retirement in 2011, Dr Martin Stephen was High Master of St Paul’s School and before that of Manchester Grammar School, two of the most academically successful independent schools in the world.

Stephen’s experiences mean that he is uniquely placed to write a study of that extraordinary phenomenon, the English public school, institutions that are as admired in some quarters as they are despised and vilified in others.


His book pulls no punches when it comes to the author's views on the failings of private educational establishments, while also showing that their benefits can be, and increasingly are, harnessed for a much wider good. His often scathing and satirical view of public schools make his book a must read for anyone who is thinking of putting little Tarquin down for Eton or, conversely, for anyone who would like to see the places razed and their ruins sown with salt. But, as the author writes, 'If you are English and reading this now, a public school boy or girl is influencing your life.'



Andrew Bibby: Back Roads Through Middle England

Andrew Bibby: Back Roads Through Middle England

Book Tickets

Friday 21 Sep 20187:45pm Book Now (Early bird £1 off till 14th Sept)

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


Andrew Bibby


Back Roads Through Middle England


Friday, 21st September 2018


7:45pm - 8:45pm


St Peter's Church, Oundle

North Street, PE8 4AL


Tickets £8 adult/ £6 concession

Early bird £1 off till 14th September


Author Andrew Bibby sets out to cycle from the English Channel to the Humber, following the great stone belt of ‘cotswold’ limestone which has left its mark so powerfully on the countryside.


This is a journey of discovery into a very special landscape, and the author draws on themes as varied as social history, literature, land usage, agriculture and rural life today to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that shape the land. This wonderful book celebrates the beauty of this area of England, but also does very much more. Thoughtful, well-informed, sometimes provocative, Andrew goes beyond the superficial to reveal a Middle England which is considerably more complex than many might imagine. Includes chapters on Wellingborough, Corby and Oundle, and Stamford.


‘lf you asked your friends what route they'd recommend for an eight-day ride in the UK, pedalling the 430 miles from the Dorset coast to the Humber would probably not feature in their suggestions. That's one of the fascinating aspects of Andrew Bibby's journey to try to discover 'middle England', Duncan Dollimore, Cycle Magazine, (Book of the Month Feb/March 2018)




W. B. Bartlett: Richard the Lionheart - The Crusader King

W. B. Bartlett: Richard the Lionheart - The Crusader King

Book Tickets

Friday 5 Oct 20187:45pm Book Now (Early Bird £1 off till 28th Sept)

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


W. B. Bartlett


Richard the Lionheart - The Crusader King of England


Friday, 5th October


19:45 - 20:45


St Peter's Church - Oundle

North Street, PE8 4AL


Tickets: £8 / £6



This is the first full length biography of Richard I for forty years. He was known to history as 'Richard the Lionheart', after his reputation for bravery exhibited fighting the 'Saracens' whilst crusading in the Holy Land.


Whilst Richard I is one of medieval England’s most famous kings he is also the most controversial. He has variously been considered a great warrior but a poor king, a man driven by the quest for fame and glory but also lacking in self-discipline and prone to throwing away the short-term advantages that his military successes brought him. In this reassessment W B Bartlett looks at his deeds and achievements in a new light. The result is a re-evaluation of ‘The Lionheart’ which finds that the King is every bit as remarkable as his medieval contemporaries found him to be.


W. B. Bartlett has worked across the globe in almost twenty countries and has spent time in over fifty. He is the author of many history books for Amberley Publishing including titles on the Titanic, Medieval History and Dam Busters.


Benedict Allen: Ultimate Explorer

Benedict Allen: Ultimate Explorer

Book Tickets

Thursday 1 Nov 20187:30pm Book Now

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


Benedict Allen: Ultimate Explorer


Thursday, 1st November 2018


19:30 - 21:30


The Great Hall, Oundle School

New Street, Oundle, PE8 4GH


Tickets: Adults £16 / Concessions £13


We are delighted to announce that Benedict Allen, one of the world’s most renowned adventurer-explorers, will be coming to Oundle as part of his brand-new tour of the UK.


Benedict Allen will tell the whole unvarnished truth of his most recent adventure – a solo expedition to Papua New Guinea, during which he filmed his journey to visit a community he had befriended thirty years earlier – when he hit the headlines after failing to turn up for a flight to Hong Kong, prompting his friends and family, and eventually the world media, to become    concerned for his wellbeing.


Benedict will recall the highs and lows of this awe-inspiring trip, tell exhilarating tales from his life as an explorer and show never-before-seen material from his travels across the globe.


‘Part of history of television’ – Mark Thompson, Former Director General, BBC


‘This is a hugely exciting venture for me. I can’t wait to travel the UK and share my experiences of some of the most testing, but also wonderfully inspiring, corners of the globe’  - Benedict Allen                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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


Adam Hart-Davis, Very Heath Robinson

Adam Hart-Davis, Very Heath Robinson

Book Tickets

Wednesday 5 Dec 20187:45pm Book Now (Early Bird £1off till 28th Nov.)

Oundle Festival of Literature present


Adam Hart-Davis


Very Heath Robinson


Wednesday, 5th December, at 19:45


St Peter's Church, Oundle

North Street, PE8 4AL




This book takes a nostalgic look back to the imaginative world of William Heath Robinson, one of the few artists to have given his name to the English language. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the expression Heath Robinson is used to describe ‘any absurdly ingenious and impracticable device’. Very Heath Robinson is full of quirky contraptions for lighting cigars, making coffee, extinguishing candles and generally making everyday life easy. You can even mow the lawn in comfort thanks to the super deluxe Ransomes’ motor mower, complete with wireless, drinks cabinet and tiffin table.

 

A dozen collections of Heath Robinson’s work have been published over the last 80 years, starting in his lifetime, but most have been compilations of pictures with minimal text. Very Heath Robinson is the first to explain the technical and social background out of which the pictures grew and to weave art and history into a connected story.


Adam Hart-Davis is the perfect person to set the artist’s mechanical fantasies in context, to tell the stories of rapid technological and social change that lay behind Heath Robinson’s idiosyncratic brand of satire and to laugh along with the jokes. He has even built his own Heath Robinson-style machine.