To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
West London for literature, not the west of England
The fourth Chiswick Book Festival takes place again this September, supported by many local businesses, not all of them literary. Even the most reluctant of readers could not fail to be impressed by the abundance of literary genres: fiction, crime, sport, biography, gardening, history, poetry, thrillers, food and children's books. There are also dedicated creative writing events. Who knows - you could even pick up enough knowledge to be a guest at the Chiswick Book Festival yourself one day.
Chiswick Book Festival (picture courtesy of the Festival website)
Authors have lived in, and been inspired by, Chiswick and its environs: Georgiana, the duchess of Devonshire, made famous by Amanda Foreman, lived in Chiswick House, and Vanity Fair's Becky Sharp threw a dictionary out of her carriage in Chiswick. I'm sure there is far less contempt for the written word in Chiswick these days. The events will all take place at the Turnham Green End of Chiswick at St Michael & All Angels Church & Parish Hall and at the Tabard Theatre. Michael Palin, ex-Python, travel writer and television presenter, will speak at a special pre-festival event at the neo-Palladian Chiswick House.
Michael Palin (picture courtesy of the Festival website)
Day passes are available from the website, and tickets are free for the Children's Book Festival. Just to whet your appetites you could listen to Cressida Cowell, author of the How to Train Your Dragon series of books
How to Train your Dragon (picture courtesy of cressidacowell.co.uk)
or Eve Katzler, author of Florentine and Pig. Adults are more likely to draw interest from Anne Sebba and her biography of Wallis Simpson, That Woman
That Woman (picture courtesy of annesebba.com)
Rose Prince's The Pocket Bakery (as well as samples to savour)
Rose Prince (picture courtesy of roseprince.co.uk)
military historian Antony Beevor on The Second World War
Antony Beevor (picture courtesy of the Festival's website)
Laetitia Maklouf teaching you How to Create a Garden in a Year and TV and radio presenter Jeremy Vine's memoir, It's All News to Me. In addition Val Bott will be relating the story of the house occupied by the painter Hogarth, the man famous for his caricatures and who is immortalised in the roundabout that now bears his name.
All the writers will be available to sign copies of their books following the individual events. It may not be the Hay Festival, but at least it's in West London and not in the west of England.
You can view a map of all the festival locations here.