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Voewood Summer Salon

August 25, 2018 - 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

Over the weekend of Satruday the 25th and Sunday the 26th of August 2018, the great Arts and Crafts house Voewood is throwing open its gates for The Summer Social Festival!

There are a whole host of incredible music, craft, literary and music events lined up on both days (and nights!)

But the Saturday Summer Salon (a literary event extravaganza happening alongside the PBFA Summer Book Fair in the gardens) will see the Book Hive’s very own Henry Layte chairing a number of the book-related talks…


12pm – Willie Athill

Countryman, accidental soldier, salvageman and Africa trader, Willie Athill is talking to Henry Layte from The Book Hive in Norwich about the road to publication of his first book. These short stories, edited by one the of finest, certainly the oldest, editor of the twentieth century, Diana Athill, tell tales from the sprawling front line, the soaring heights, the darkest shadows and the raw interaction between nature and humanity of the Dionysian continent that is Africa.

Ipm – Hugh St Clair

Hugh St Clair is an experienced arts and design journalist with work published in numerous British and international newspapers and magazines. His has written the books Millers Guide to Art and Buying Affordable Art. He works with public relations firms to promote galleries and exhibitions.

Hugh has just completed the first biography of artists Cedric Morris and Arthur Lett Haines who were first held in high regard in the mid twentieth century – Morris for his flower painting and Haines for his Surrealist work. Together for sixty years they founded the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing in Hadleigh, Suffolk where freedom of expression was encouraged. The studio was the extraordinary garden created by Morris that has inspired so many gardeners and painters including Lucian Freud and Maggi Hambling.

2pm – Lauren Child

Current Children’s Laureate and creator of Clarice Bean, Charlie and Lola and Ruby Redfort in conversation with Alexandra Derbyshire, executive producer of the Paddington films and Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, discussing film and the art of storytelling in words and pictures.

3pm – Jessica Douglas-Home

Painter, writer and theatre designer, Jessica Douglas-Home will be in conversation with Andrew Taylor of Voewood Rare Books discussing her new book which uncovers the world of William Simmonds, one of the forgotten originals of the Arts and Crafts movement.  Inspired by his pastoral surroundings in the Cotswolds, Simmonds became a master of woodcarving and Europe’s most renowned puppet master, the silent heart among the poets, artists and musicians of a lost world.

4pm – Moin Mir

In conversation with Henry Layte, Moin Mir is introducing his new book The Prince who Beat the Empire.  How an Indian ruler took on the might of the East India Company, published in Britain by Amberley.  The actor Dominic West described it as “A moving story and a deeply sympathetic hero: courageous, gentle and magnificently stylish who took on and defeated a monolithic tyrant. A story of an Indian Prince who won over Victorian England with charm and decency and went onto find love in 19th century England. This is a wonderful book.”

Moin, who is currently working on a new book, was born in India and lives in London. He is a member of the Nawab family of Surat, a direct descendant of Meer Jafar AlI Khan and next in line to succeed as the Darbar of Kamandiyah in Gujarat, India.

5pm – Simon Finch 

Simon Finch bought his first rare book aged 12 and was instantly hooked. At 15 he ran away to join the counterculture but eventually made his way to university aged 21.  He did not get a very distinguished degree largely because he started his rare book selling business instead of studying.  He went on to have shops in Notting Hill and Mayfair dealing in a diverse range of material from Erotica to the First Folio of Shakespeare.

In 1998 he bought Voewood.  One of the great Arts and Crafts houses in England.  It was an old people’s home at the time, previously having been a convalescent home and various incarnations of the Health Service.  Thus began several years of restoration and decoration.

Simon will be talking about his adventures in the Book Trade and a bit about Voewood in conversation with Andrew Taylor.


There will also be an all day gourmet BBQ, ice cream, afternoon teas and a bar in the gardens!


10am-5pm Gardens and Book Fair

Midday – Talks begin

Adults £10 (Tickets cover all talks to come and go as you please)

Under 14s Free

​Tickets are available to buy here.


Note: entry to the Book Fair and Gardens is £5 payable on the gate.  Under 14s free.


Be sure to check out the rest of the weekend’s goings-on here.


August 25, 2018
11:00 am - 6:00 pm


The Book Hive
01603 219268


Cromer Road
Holt, NR25 6QS United Kingdom
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01263 713802