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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.


Joe Shute, The Shadow Above: The Fall and Rise of the Raven

Joe Shute, The Shadow Above: The Fall and Rise of the Raven

Book Tickets

Friday 18 Jan 20197:45pm Book Now (Early bird £1 off till 11th Jan.)

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


Joe Shute


The Shadow Above: The Fall and Rise of the Raven


Friday, 18th January, 7:45pm


The Oundle Suite, Fletton House, Oundle

Glapthorn Road, Fletton Way, PE8 4JA


Legend has it that the fate of the nation rests upon the raven, and should the resident birds ever leave the Tower of London then the entire kingdom will fall. While so much of our wildlife is vanishing, ravens are returning to their former habitats after centuries of exile, moving back from their outposts at the very edge of the country, to the city streets. In the past decade there has been a remarkable comeback. Raven numbers have increased by 134% since the turn of the millennium and there are now well over 12,000 breeding pairs across the country.


In A Shadow Above, Joe Shute follows ravens across their new hunting grounds, travelling to every corner of the UK, examining our complicated and challenging relationship with these birds. He meets people who live alongside the raven in conflict and peace, unpicks their fierce intelligence, and ponders what the raven’s successful return might come to symbolise for humans.


Joe Shute is an author and journalist with a passion for the natural world. He studied history at Leeds University, and currently works as a senior staff feature writer at The Telegraph. Before joining the newspaper, Joe was the crime correspondent for The Yorkshire Post.


Rupert Shortt, Does Religion Do More Harm Than Good?

Rupert Shortt, Does Religion Do More Harm Than Good?

Book Tickets

Friday 26 Apr 20197:45pm Book Now (Early bird £1 off till 19/04)

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


Rupert Shortt


Does Religion Do More Harm Than Good?


Friday, 26th April, 7:45pm


St Peter's Church, Oundle

North St, PE8 4AL



History is littered with wars and atrocities apparently inspired by religion, and today there seems no end to reports of cruelty and violence carried out in the name of God. But is it belief in God that motivates these evils? Or do they spring from other motives?


At the same time, history testifies to numerous benefits to humanity brought about by religious individuals and movements. But despite these positive outcomes might it be true, as some atheists suggest, that religion in general does more harm than good? Is religion itself inherently toxic?


Or could it simply be that there is good religion and there is bad religion, and we just need to learn to tell the difference?


Are the major spiritual traditions greater sources of discord than harmony? Or are conflicts widely blamed on faith differences fundamentally social and political?


In this rich but highly succinct book, Rupert Shortt offers even-handed guidance on one of the most disputed questions of our time.


Rupert Shortt is religion editor of The Times Literary Supplement.


Come along and see if you agree with Rupert Shortt’s views.


Duncan Barrett: Hitler's British Isles

Duncan Barrett: Hitler's British Isles

Book Tickets

Thursday 9 May 20197:45pm Book Now (Early bird £1 off till 2nd May)

Oundle Festival of Literature presents


Duncan Barrett: Hitler's British Isles


Thursday, 9th May at 7:45pm


St Peter's Church, Oundle


North Street, PE8 4AL


Tickets: £8/£6 (early bird £1 off till 2nd May)


In the summer of 1940, Britain stood perilously close to invasion. One by one, the Allied nations of Europe had fallen to the unstoppable German Blitzkrieg, and Hitler had his sights set on Britain. The attack was being exhaustively planned by the Nazis under the codename ‘Operation Sealion’. Yet the promised invasion never happened due to our success in the Battle of Britain, and the prospect of German jackboots on British soil retreated into the realm of collective nightmares – and mainland Britain never had to face the reality of life under the Nazis.


For the residents of the Channel Islands, occupation wasn’t just the terrifying outcome if the war against the Germans was lost, it was the day-to-day reality of their lives. The story of how these men and women, and their children, coped under such difficult and dangerous circumstances is an important, but neglected, part of our own history of the Second World War. This book tells the story of life under Nazi occupation.


Duncan Barrett studied English at Cambridge University and now works as a writer and editor, specialising in biography and memoir. He is also the author of The Sugar Girls, GI Brides, and, The Girls Who Went to War, all of which were top 10 Sunday Times bestsellers.