THURSDAY 10 MAY
 
M MAXWELL KNIGHT, M.I.5’S GREATEST SPYMASTER
10am
Upper Room Town Hall
£7

‘The Frankenstein Mutation of the Fascist movement to which Max had belonged…tore at parts of his identity and the way he remembered his past.’ Maxwell Knight was rumoured to be an inspiration for the James Bond character ‘M’ . Henry Hemming in his own words celebrate[s]…brave men and women who chose to let go of a part of themselves – who gave over their lives, really, anonymously and for very little reward – to a spymaster they trusted, and for a country they believed in.’ This year ‘M’ is to be adapted for a television drama by Matt Charman, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work on Bridge of Spies.
‘a terrific book, well researched and superbly written’ The Guardian
Henry Hemming studied history at university. He has written for, among others, The Economist, The Times, FT Magazine and The Washington Post. His five previous works of non-fiction include Misadventure in the Middle East and most recently, Churchill’s Iceman.


 
21ST CENTURY GOTHIC FICTION
11.30am
Upper Room Town Hall
£10

Sue Cook explores with Laura Purcell and Stuart Turton the enduring appeal of gothic fiction: ‘How is it that fear – the primitive defence mechanism that warns us to fight or flee when faced with danger – can be pleasurable?
And yet that paradoxical wish to be frightened is as ancient as narrative art itself. From Grendel lumbering murderously out of the darkness in the eighth century poem “Beowulf,” through the tales recorded by the Grimms and down to our own age, storytellers have catered to our desire to be made fearful.’ The Huffington Post
Laura Purcell a former bookseller, is author of The Silent Companions. Inspired by the work of Shirley Jackson and Susan Hill, and set in a crumbling country mansion, it was the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Book Club choice for Halloween. ‘A sinister slice of  Victorian gothic…creepy and page-turning’ The Times

Stuart Turton is a freelance travel journalist who has previously worked in Shanghai and Dubai The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is his debut novel and has rushed to the top of the Sunday Times best seller list. Sophie Hannah writes, ‘This book blew my mind. Utterly original and unique.’
Sue Cook is one of the UK’s most experienced broadcasters. Her BBC TV shows include Crimewatch UK, the Children in Need appeal and Holiday; and to radio listeners she’s been a familiar voice since the 70s on many series and individual programmes, including You and Yours
and, more recently, Making History for Radio 4. Sue is now a successful novelist and is currently working on adapting her first novel, On Dangerous Ground for a film of the same title.
This mornings events are sponsored by Cotswold House Hotel and Spa
www.bespokehotels.com/cotswoldhouse


 
HOUSE OF FICTION
2.00pm
Upper Room Town Hall
£7

From the darkest fantasies of Horace Walpole’s Otranto – inspired by his own ‘little Gothic castle’ at Strawberry Hill – to modern takes on the English country house by Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan, Phyllis Richardson draws on authors’ biographies, letters, diaries and the novels themselves to examine how authors’ personal experiences helped to shape the homes that have
become the icons of English literature.
‘A fascinating study of the houses that have obsessed our most famous writers’ The Sunday Times
Phyllis Richardson grew up in Southern California, and moved to London in 1992. She studied English literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, and University College, London. She is the co-ordinator of the Foundation Year in English Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London and has written on architecture and urban development for the Financial Times, The Observer and DWELL magazine, and reviews literary fiction in the TLS. Her many books on architecture and design include the highly successful XS series, Nano House and Superlight.


 
JANE AUSTEN: THE BANKER’S SISTER
3.30pm
Upper Room Town Hall
£7

With special reference to Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, a satire of the Gothic novels popular at the time of its writing (1798-9), Emma Clery presents a radically new vision of Jane Austen, revealing how her works were shaped by an acute awareness of the economic scandals, crises and speculation that marked the Regency era.
‘masterful and scholarly interpretation of Austen’s family dynamics, political links, and financial successes and failures provides an interesting and fresh approach to the study of this illustrious novelist’s life and legacy’ New York Journal of Books
E. J. Clery is Professor of Eighteenth Century Literature at the University of Southampton and also works at the Centre for Early Women’s Writing at Chawton Great House. She frequently appears on UK radio and TV talking about Jane Austen and her contemporaries, literary history and the cultural history of economics. Her five books include the bestselling The Rise of Supernatural Fiction. She lives close to Winchester Cathedral where Jane Austen is buried.

This afternoon’s events are sponsored by The Bantam Tearooms in the High Street


 
SUE COOK’S BIG BOOK GROUP
6:30pm
Upper Room Town Hall
£7

Doors open at 7pm TOKE’S Wine Bar

Sue Cook invites the audience to discuss with author, Carol Drinkwater, her 2017 novel: A missing daughter; a desperate mother! Through a night of loss and horror, when a series of terrorist attacks bring Paris to a standstill, celebrated photographer Kurtiz Ross confronts her ghosts and discovers that the past of the octogenarian French actress Marguerite Courtney, who has befriended her, might hold the key to her own future. In telling Marguerite’s story, Carol draws on events in her own life thus unwittingly writing a precursor to the #MeToo media campaign.
‘A story to savour’ Dinah Jefferies, bestselling author of The Tea Planter’s Wife
Carol Drinkwater is a multi-award-winning actress who is best known for playing Helen Herriot in the BBC television series All Creatures Great and Small. She has since written twenty-one fiction and non-fiction books, including four memoirs set on her olive farm in the south of France, which have sold over a million copies worldwide.

Sue Cook is one of the UK’s most experienced broadcasters. Her BBC TV shows include Crimewatch UK, the Children in Need appeal and Holiday; and to radio listeners she’s been a familiar voice since the 70s on many series and individual programmes, including You and Yours and, more recently, Making History for Radio 4. Sue is now a successful novelist and is currently working on adapting her first novel, On Dangerous Ground for a film of the same title.

This evening’s event is sponsored by Paula Kaplan
With thanks to TOKE’S Food and Drink Tel: 01386 849345 LOGO
www.tokesfoodanddrink.co.uk


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