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