The last event of the year - taking place in the beautiful parish church of Aylsham - promises to round 2016 off with great style. The Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy will be reading from collections spanning her whole career, and with the humour and charm which are the hallmarks of her public appearances she will once again remind us of the importance that poetry can play in all our lives. She will be joined by the musician John Sampson who travels with a collection of wired and wonderful instruments: Together they present a show which is by turns uplifting, touching and hugely entertaining. A perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit! Carol Ann will sign books, which will be for sale, after the reading. This event will be popular so book early to avoid disappointment! Tickets are available from the Book Hive online shop HERE or by phone, email or in person. £15, £12 for under 18s.
North Norfolk Events
Starting in February 2016 The Book Hive will be hosting a new series of literary events and talks in the market town of Aylsham, 11 miles north of the city. Taking place in the Town Hall in the centre of the Market Place these events will see a range of authors from different genres giving talks, reading from their work or in conversation discussing their latest titles. The initial programme runs from February to June. If successful we will expand this throughout the year and broaden the list to include children's authors, with a view to hosting a week long or long weekend festival of writers and books.
The price for all events is £12 which is redeemable against the purchase of books on the night, as well as including a free drink on arrival. There will be a liscenced bar to buy more drinks throughout the night.
A Season ticket for all five events is £45, including the free drinks and still with £12 off books at each event.
Tickets are available by calling, emailing or dropping into The Book Hive.
For spring 2016 the programme is:
Louis de Bernieres – February 25th
Alison Weir – March 23rd
Dan Cruickshank – April 11th
Simon Armitage – May 10th
Prof. David Crystal – June21st
Join us in Aylsham Town Hall for an evening with the much respected and well renowned writer and broadcaster Nicholas Crane. Perhaps best known for his co-presenting of the long running BBC series Coast, Nick is also the president of The Royal Geographical Society as well as a writer and explorer. His new book, The Making of the British Landscape is published this October. Tickets are £12 in advance in our online shop HERE, by phone, email or in person.
Nicholas Crane's new book brilliantly describes the evolution of Britain's countryside and cities. It is part journey, part history, and it concludes with awkward questions about the future of Britain's landscapes. Nick Crane's story begins with the melting tongues of glaciers and the emergence of a gigantic game-park tentatively being explored by a vanguard of Mesolithic adventurers who have taken the long, northward hike across the land bridge from the continent. The Iron Age develops into a pre-Roman 'Golden Era' and Crane looks at what the Romans did (and didn't) contribute to the British landscape. Major landscape 'events' (Black Death, enclosures, urbanisation, recreation, etc.) are fully described and explored, and he weaves in the role played by geology in shaping our cities, industry and recreation, the effect of climate (and the Gulf Stream), and of global economics (the Lancashire valleys were formed by overseas markets). The co-presenter of BBC's COAST also covers the extraordinary benefits bestowed by a 6,000-mile coastline. The 12,000-year story of the British landscape culminates in the twenty-first century, which is set to be one of the most extreme centuries of change since the Ice Age.
David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Bangor. His many books range from clinical linguistics to the liturgy and Shakespeare. He is the author of The Story of English in 100 Words and Spell It Out: The Singular History of English Spelling. His Stories of English is a Penguin Classic. He will be delivering a talk called 'The pernickety story of English punctuation' based on his current best-selling book, Making a Point:
Behind every punctuation mark lie a thousand stories. The punctuation of English, marked with occasional rationality, is founded on arbitrariness and littered with oddities. For a system of a few dozen marks it generates a disproportionate degree of uncertainty and passion, inspiring organisations like the Apostrophe Protection Society and sending enthusiasts, correction-pens in hand, in a crusade against error across the United States. Professor Crystal leads us through this minefield with characteristic wit, clarity and commonsense. He gives a fascinating account of the origin and progress of every kind of punctuation mark over one and a half millennia, and he offers sound advice on how punctuation may be used to meet the needs of every occasion and context.
Simon Armitage is one of our best known poets. He was born in West Yorkshire and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield. He has published ten collections of poetry, is the author of two novels as well as the bestselling memoir, All Points North. In 2010 he received the CBE for his services to poetry. Armitage's 2012 book Walking Home, an account of his troubadour journey along the Pennine Way, was a Sunday Times best-seller for over a month. He has now followed up that journey with a walk of the same distance but through the very opposite terrain and direction far from home. In Walking Away Simon Armitage swaps the moorland uplands of the north for the coastal fringes of Britain's south west, once again giving readings every night, but this time through Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, taking poetry into distant communities and tourist hot-spots, busking his way from start to finish. From the surreal pleasuredome of Minehead Butlins to a smoke-filled roundhouse on the Penwith Peninsula then out to the Isles of Scilly and beyond, Armitage tackles this personal Odyssey with all the poetic reflection and personal wit we've come to expect of one of Britain's best loved and most popular writers.
Simon will also be publishing his new translation of Pearl at the time he comes to Aylsham. A follow up to his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl is another of the poems from that manuscript.
Dan Cruickshank is a writer and architectural historian who has made numerous history and culture programmes for the BBC. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, was an editor on the Architects' Journal and The Architectural Review, was visiting Professor of Architecture at the University of Sheffield, has served on the executive committee of the Georgian Group and on the Architecture Panel of the National Trust, is a founding Trustee of the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, of SAVE Britain's Heritage and of the campaign to rebuild the Euston Arch.
His new book is A History of Architecture in 100 buildings. Featuring over 200 photographs, this stunning book by renowned television historian Dan Cruickshank tells the history of architecture through the stories of 100 iconic buildings. Journeying through time and place, from the ancient Egyptian pyramids to the soaring skyscrapers of Manhattan, renowned architectural historian Dan Cruickshank explores the most impressive and characterful creations in world architecture. His selection includes many of the world's best-known buildings that represent key or pioneering moments in architectural history, such as the Pantheon in Rome, Hagia Sophia in Turkey, the Taj Mahal in India and the Forbidden City in China. But the book also covers less obvious and more surprising structures, the generally unsung heroes of an endlessly fascinating story. Buildings like Oriel Chambers in Liverpool and the Narkomfin Apartment Building in Moscow. Dan Cruickshank has visited nearly all the buildings in the book, many in locations that are now inaccessible and under serious threat. A History of Architecture in 100 Buildings is an eloquent and often moving testimony to the power of great architecture to shape, and be shaped by, world history.
Alison Weir is the biggest-selling female historian (and the fifth best-selling historian) in the United Kingdom. She has published twenty-one books and sold more than 2.7 million - over a million in the UK and more than 1.7 million in the USA.
She will be delivering a talk in Aylsham about local heroine Anne Boleyn:
THE LADY IN THE TOWER: THE FALL OF ANNE BOLEYN
The imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII`s second wife, in 1536 was unprecedented in the annals of English history. It was sensational in its day, and has exerted endless fascination over the minds of historians, novelists, dramatists, poets, artists and film-makers ever since. It is also the stuff of which myths and legends were made – indeed, a spin was being put on the tale within a fortnight of Anne`s death. Anne was imprisoned in the Tower on 2nd May 1536, and tried and found guilty of high treason on 15th May. Her supposed crimes included adultery with five men, one her own brother, and plotting the King`s death. She was executed on 19th May. Mystery surrounds the circumstances leading up to her arrest. Alison Weir tells the story of one of the most tragic, cataclysmic and romantic episodes in history, and examines the circumstances of Anne's fall. Hers is a thoroughly gripping story, and at its centre is one of the most charismatic, controversial, courageous and tragic heroines in history.
Louis de Bernieres is the award winning author of many novels, including Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Birds Without Wings and most recently The Dust That Falls from Dreams:
In the brief golden years of King Edward VII's reign, Rosie McCosh and her three very different sisters are growing up in an eccentric household in Kent, with their neighbours the Pitt boys on one side and the Pendennis boys on the other. But their days of childhood adventure are shadowed by the approach of war that will engulf them on the cusp of adulthood. When the boys end up scattered along the Western Front, Rosie faces the challenges of life for those left behind. Confused by her love for two young men - one an infantry soldier and one a flying ace - she has to navigate her way through extraordinary times. Can she, and her sisters, build new lives out of the opportunities and devastations that follow the Great War? This magnificent and moving novel follows the lives of an unforgettable cast of characters as they strike out to seek what happiness can be built from the ruins of the old world.
Louis will be publishing a brand new collection of poetry the week he comes to Aylsham.
Of Love and Desire is a rich collection of love poems, written over a lifetime and capturing its many forms - from rapture, infatuation, urgency, to sorrow, heartache and disillusion. Poetry was de Bernieres' first and greatest literary love, a passion evident in the musicality and emotion of his poems, which are full of stories and the truth of lived experience. This, his second collection, bears the mark of many influences, from the classical Persian poets, to Neruda, to Quintus Smyrnaeus, to Brian Patten. Beautifully illustrated by Doland Sammut, this is an indispensable companion on the lover's journey.