Upper Room Town Hall

‘Ronald Hutton examines attitudes on witchcraft and the treatment of suspected witches across the world, and from ancient pagan times to current interpretations. His fresh anthropological and ethnographical approach focuses on cultural inheritance and change while considering shamanism, folk religion, the range of witch trials, and how the fear of witchcraft might be eradicated.
‘a rigorous interdisciplinary approach’ The New York Times
‘Magisterial’ The Guardian
‘we would do well to learn from the history Hutton depicts’ The Washington Post
‘Highly recommended for those fascinated by the nature and extent of the notorious European witch trials’ Sir Tony Robinson
Ronald Hutton professor of history, University of Bristol, is a documentary maker and a leading authority on ancient, medieval, and modern paganism, on the history of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and on the global context of witchcraft beliefs. His books include Blood and Mistletoe, Pagan Britain, and The Rise and Fall of Merry England.

Upper Room Town Hall

The kasa-obake or the umbrella ghost is one of the most prominent forms of the Japanese yokai, or monstrous spirits. Marion Rankine demonstrates how the umbrella has been regarded with reverence, superstition and fascination: the umbrella appears over 120 times in Dickens; Derrida and Nietzsche both wrote about umbrellas; Leonard Bast in E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End ‘could not quite forget his stolen umbrella.’ And Will Self’s Umbrella was on the 2012 Booker shortlist.
‘A work of profound scholarship and imaginative engagement’ The Literary Review
‘an eloquent and lively account’ The Observer
‘Illuminating and entertaining’ The Telegraph
‘Brolliology offers the feeling of having consumed something delicious but light’ The Washington Post
Marion Rankine is a London-based writer and bookseller. She has contributed to among other publications The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, Overland and For Books’ Sake. Dennis Johnson founder of Melville House publisher of Brolliology says, ‘I first met Marion when my wife and I walked into Foyles and she tried to sell us a copy of one of our own books.’

Upper Room Town Hall

To include WI tea and cake

‘Bad things happen in woods…It’s possible that we have cleared and destroyed our woods because we fear their wildness’
Chapter 8: Blood in The Forest
Peter Fiennes’ illustrated talk on The Ancient Woods and New Forests of Britain. ‘Fiennes mixes a deep knowledge of trees with an acute eye for the best writing about them, quoting liberally from Wordsworth, Coleridge, Kipling and Tennyson. He acknowledges that the “lives we have chosen are prising us apart from the natural world, and we are more likely to experience a woodland through watching Countryfile than by breathing in the actual, living trees”, then sets out a clear path by which we might reconnect with nature…It feels set to become a classic of the genre’ The Observer
‘Steeped in poetry, science, folklore…& magic Fiennes is an eloquent, elegiac chronicler of copses…& the wildwood’ Sunday Express
‘A passionate ramble through Britain’s complicated relationship with its woodland’ Daily Mail
Peter Fiennes as publisher for Time Out published their city guides as well as books about London’s trees and Britain’s countryside. He is the author of To War With God, a moving account of his grandfather’s service as a chaplain in the First World War.


Susan Owens delves into a wealth of sources – illuminated manuscripts, paintings, magic lantern slides, woodcut engravings, novels and poems – to explore how ghosts fascinate, terrify and  inspire; how they have inhabited a wide range of roles from medieval times to the present day, and how they reflect our changing attitudes, our hopes and  fears, featuring a dazzling range of artists including William Blake, Henry Fuseli and Paul Nash alongside such writers as Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Thomas Hardy, Hilary Mantel and many more.
‘a lively guide to that most persistent of spooky figures—and to the obsession with mortality…Best to keep a light on’ The Economist
‘A work of profound scholarship and imaginative engagement’ The Literary Review
‘an eloquent and lively account’ The Observer
‘Illuminating and entertaining’ The Telegraph
Susan Owens is an art historian and freelance curator (formerly Curator of Paintings at the Victoria & Albert Museum) with expertise in British art and a particular interest in drawings and watercolours. She is co-curator of an exhibition about Christina Rossetti, opening at the Watts Gallery this year. She regularly contributes to publications including the TES and World of  Interiors.
With thanks to Chipping Campden WI

Chipping Camden School Hall

Free to full-time students
Doors open 6.30pm TOKE’S Bar

John Sutherland presents his toothsome new collection of literary puzzles in which he scrutinises the fine and not-so-fine points of Bram Stoker’s Gothic masterpiece, Dracula and its shape-shifting, bloodsucking Count. Learn about Stoker’s love-rivalry with Oscar Wilde, his ‘dreadful’ stage adaptation of Dracula, performed to an audience of two, a tantalising dropped prelude set in Munich. Take a peek behind Dracula’s cloak and find out: Who is Dracula’s father? Who, for that matter, is Quincy P. Morris? Why does the Count take such pointless risks? And why are there still so few vampires?
The book also includes Dracula Digested by John Crace, author of The Guardian’s Digested Reads column.
John Sutherland is Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus at University College London and an eminent scholar in the field of Victorian fiction, and is author of many works including The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction and the bestselling popular titles Is Heathcliff a Murderer? and Can Jane Eyre be Happy?, and such scholarly jeux d’esprit as Curiosities of Literature.
Abraham “Bram” Stoker born in Dublin in 1847, is best known today for his 1897 novel Dracula. In his lifetime, he was better known as the personal assistant of actor Henry Irving, and business manager of Irving’s Lyceum Theatre in London. He died in 1912.

Chipping Camden School Hall

Free to full-time students
Doors open 8pm TOKE’S Bar

Caroline Shenton’s illustrated account of how the brilliant classical architect Charles Barry won the competition to build a new Houses of Parliament after the fire of 1834; and how his chance of a lifetime turned into the most nightmarish building programme of the century. Rallying the genius of his collaborator Augustus Pugin, the interior demanded spectacular new Gothic features not seen since the Middle Ages. The quarter of a mile river frontage was constructed in the treacherous currents of the Thames, and its gigantic towers required feats of civil engineering and building technology never used before.
‘An achievement as intricate and splendid as Mr Barry’s own’ Lucy Worsley
‘beautifully crafted…politics laid on with a mason’s trowel’ Lord Michael Dobbs
Caroline Shenton was Director of the Parliamentary Archives at Westminster from 2008 to 2014, and prior to that was a senior archivist at the National Archives at Kew. Her first book The Day Parliament Burned Down won the inaugural Political Book of the Year Award in 2013, and Mary Beard called it ‘microhistory at its absolute best’.
This evening’s events are sponsored by The Noel Arms

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