To mark 25 years of the Richmond Literature Festival, some of today’s most esteemed authors will be talking about their work. There is also an exciting range of events and workshops throughout November, such as writing masterclasses for those who would like to improve their writing style and weekend events for children and young adults.
Kate Summerscale – The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer
Friday 4 November: 7.30pm
In 1895, a 13-year-old boy, Robert Coombes, and his 12-year-old brother, cold-bloodedly killed their mother in East London. For 10 days the boys carried on normal life, pawning family valuables to fund trips to the seaside and theatre. It was only when the bad smell of decomposing flesh started to filter outside that the police discovered their mother’s body in an upstairs bedroom. The press had a field day with the case that turned into a criminal trial that stunned the nation. Kate Summerscale is the winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and will be in conversation with journalist and broadcaster, Alex Clark.
£7.50, Riverside Room, Old Town Hall
Diana Darke – My House In Damascus
Sunday 6 November: 3pm
When Diana Darke bought and restored a house in a mixed Sunni/Shi’a neighbourhood in the Old City of Damascus she became rooted in all levels of Syrian society. A fluent Arabic speaker, she opened her home as a sanctuary to friends as the fighting there intensified. Her book follows her experiences and understanding of why the country is still caught in conflict. She was forced to leave her home in Damascus, but has visited on many occasions.
£7.50, Richmond Library Annexe
Lucy Worsley – Eliza Rose
Saturday 5 November: 11am
Lucy Worsley is Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, an historian and a well-loved presenter of TV programmes such as Britain’s Tudor Treasure. This is Lucy’s first novel for children and it explores the fascinating story of Katherine Howard and life at the court of Henry VIII, through the eyes of headstrong maid of honour, Eliza Rose. Can a girl choose her own destiny in a world ruled by men?
Suitable for age 11+. £5, Duke Street Church, Richmond
Other great authors to look out for:
Tuesday 15 November: Margaret Drabble – The Dark Flood Rises
Wednesday 16 November: Andrew Lownie – Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess
Wednesday 23 November: Frances Spalding – talks about Virginia Woolf: The Making of Fiction
Friday 25 November: Anne Sebba – Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s
The full list of authors and events can be seen at richmondliterature.com or programmes can be picked up at local libraries. Discounts for Richmond Card holders.