The 18th Aldeburgh Literary Festival 2019

The 18th Aldeburgh Literary Festival 2019

Thursday 28th February to Sunday 3rd March 2019

All events take place at The Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh

Thursday 28th February
Event 1    5.00 pm

Penelope Lively in conversation with Alex Preston: Life in the Garden and As Kingfishers Catch Fire

Penelope Lively has always been passionate about gardening, and her new book, Life in the Garden, is partly a memoir of her own life in gardens, and also a wise, engaging and far-ranging exploration of gardens in literature.

Lively, now in her eighties, is the only author to have won both the Booker Prize (for Moon Tiger in 1987) and the Carnegie Medal for children’s fiction (for The Ghost of Thomas Kempe in 1973). On her last visit to Aldeburgh, she talked about Ammonites and Leaping Fish, her fine memoir and meditation on age- ing. Her most recent publication, a collection of short stories called The Purple Swamp Hen, has garnered the usual excellent reviews.

Lively will be interviewed by Alex Preston, author of As Kingfishers Catch Fire - Birds and Books, a beautifully – illustrated fusion of ornithology, literary anthology and autobiography. Preston is also the author of three novels. He appears regularly on BBC television and radio and writes for GQ and Harper’s Bazaar and as well as for the Observer’s New Review.

Event 2       6.30 pm     Frances Welch.  The Imperial Tea Party: Family, Politics and Betrayal- the Ill-fated British and Russian Royal Alliance

The British and Russian royal families had just three full meetings before the Romanovs’ tragic end in 1918. In The Imperial Tea Party, Frances Welch draws back the curtain on those fraught encounters, which had far-reaching conse- quences for twentieth-century Europe and beyond. These extraordinary meetings, although generally hailed as successes, were beset by misunderstandings and misfortunes. The Tsar and Tsarina complained bitterly about the weather when staying at Balmoral, while British courtiers at the Isle of Wight criticised every aspect of the Russian’s hospitality, from the food, to the music, to the slow service. ‘

Russia and Britain were never natural bedfellows, but the marriage in 1894 of Queen Victoria’s favourite granddaughter, Alexandra, to the Tsarevich Nicho- las marked the beginning of an uneasy Anglo-Russian entente that would last until the Russian Revolution of 1917. In this wonderfully sharp account, Frances Welch presents a vivid snapshot of two dynasties at a time of social unrest.

The families could not know, as they waved fond goodbyes from their yachts at Cowes in 1909, that they would never meet again.

Frances Welch has written for the Sunday Telegraph, Granta, The Spectator and the Financial Times. She is co-author of The Romanovs & Mr Gibbes (2003), A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson (2007), The Russian Court at Sea (2011) and a brilliant short biography of Rasputin (2014). She is married to the writer Craig Brown, and has two children. She lives in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

Friday 1st March

Event 3    10.00 am     Miranda Seymour In Byron’s Wake: the Turbulent Lives of Lord Byron’s Wife and Daughter - Annabella Milbanke and Ada Lovelace

Miranda Seymour’s thrillingly-readable double biography of Annabella and her brilliant, eccentric daughter Ada – two driven and complicated women – is vividly told. Drawing on fascinating new material, Seymour reveals the ways in which Byron, long after his death, continued to shape the lives and reputations of both his wife and his daughter.

During her life, Lady Byron was praised as a paragon of virtue; within ten years of her death, she was vilified as a disgrace to her sex. Well over a hundred years later, Annabella Milbanke is still perceived as a prudish wife and cruelly- controlling mother. Her hidden devotion to Byron and her tender ambitions for their mercurial, talented daughter reveal a deeply complex but surprisingly sympathetic personality.

Byron’s little girl, Ada, was introduced to mathematics as a means of calming her wild spirits. Educated by some of the most learned minds in England, she com- bined that scholarly discipline with a rebellious heart and a visionary imagina- tion. Charles Babbage called her ‘The Enchantress of Numbers’ and she is now recognised as a pioneer of our modern computer age. She wrote the world’s first machine algorithm for an early unbuilt computing machine - Babbage’s calculat- ing ‘Analytical Engine’ existed only on paper.

Miranda Seymour, author of the award-winning family memoir, In My Father’s House, has written many acclaimed novels and biographies, including lives of Mary Shelley, Robert Graves, Ottoline Morrell and Helle Nice, the Bugatti Queen.

Event 4    10.30 am     Isabella Tree in conversation with Micky Astor: Wilding the Return of Nature to a British Farm

In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp Experiment’, a pioneering re-wilding project in West Sussex, using grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer – proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain – the 3,500-acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade.

Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser-spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself.

The story of Wilding challenges conventional ideas about our past and present landscape, and points the way to a wilder, richer future – a countryside that benefits farming, nature and us. Tree will be interviewed by the conservationist farmer Micky Astor.

Event 5    2.00 pm     Katia Lysy and Lucy Hughes-Hallett.  A Chill in the Air: the War Diaries of Iris Origo

The best diaries of the Second World War were written by women, and this is no paradox. Their observation and analysis of events around them deepened with the idea that they were living through a crucial moment in history that they felt a duty to record ... Iris Origo, with typical modesty, referred in her memoirs to her “little war diary”. In fact War in the Val d’Orcia, an Italian War Diary 1943-44, first published in 1947, was immediately hailed as one of the great diaries of the 20th century. It described the chaos and suffering of Italian civilians caught between the Allies and the Germans in 1943 and 1944.’ (Antony Beevor, The Guardian).

Now, in this remarkable recently-discovered diary from 1939-40, A Chill in the Air, the writer and Tuscan landowner, Iris Origo records Italians’ anxiety as their Fascist government lead them into war alongside an ally, Nazi Germany, that most of them detested. Origo lived with her Italian husband on an estate in a remote part of Tuscany. She cuts through the propaganda lies with piercing in- telligence and offers an indispensable record of Italy at war as well as a thrilling story of a formidable woman’s transformation from observer to actor at a great historical turning point.

Katia Lysy, publisher, journalist and grand-daughter of Iris Origo, will be in con- versation with Lucy Hughes-Hallett, who has written the introduction to this new diary and is the author of The Pike, the biography of Gabriele d’Annunzio.

Event 6   3.30 pm    Tim Birkhead & Michael Brooke.   The Wonderful Mr Willughby and Far From Land

In the 1970s two ornithologists, Tim Birkhead and Michael Brooke, visited Skomer and Skokholm, two islands off the coast of Pembroke, South Wales, as part of their DPhils. Much research and several books apiece later, they are both still exploring and making discoveries in the world of birds, from the early years of ornithology to the cutting edge technology of today.

Michael Brooke’s Far from Land: the Mysterious Lives of Seabirds recounts how new techniques, such as satellite tracking, are allowing scientists to find out what birds get up to on and under the sea. As a result we know that emperor pen- guins can dive as deep as 560 metres and can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes; young kittiwakes in their first year have wandered as far as Greenland from British colonies and petrels can cover up to 10,000 miles in three weeks.

Brooke is the Strickland Curator of Ornithology in the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. He is the author of Albatrosses and Petrels across the World and the co-editor of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Ornithology, and has written widely on science and travel for publications such as the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian.

Tim Birkhead’s book, The Wonderful Mr Willughby: the First True Ornithologist, uncovers the life of a scientist at the start of the scientific revolution in the 1600s who made the study of birds, insects and fish into a scientific discipline with his friend and tutor from Trinity College Cambridge, the botanist John Ray. It was Francis Willughby who sorted out the different names of the guillemot, razorbill and puffin when identification of species was still uncertain. Willughby and Ray were both fascinated by seabird colonies and visited the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland, which still has colonies of the same species.

Birkhead has been Professor of Behaviour and Evolution at the University of Sheffield since 1976. His books include The Wisdom of Birds: An Illustrated History of Ornithology (2008; Bird Sense: What it Is Like to Be a Bird which was rated best natural history book of 2012 by the Independent and Guardian, and awarded a ‘Best Bird Book of 2012prize by the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2017 his book about birds’ eggs, The Most Perfect Thing, won the Zoological Society of London’s prize for communicating zoology. David Attenborough described it as ‘magnificent: science without any high-falutin’ technology’.

The authors will be in conversation with the science writer, Matt Ridley.

Event 7  5.00 pm     Adam Zamoyski.    Napoleon: the Man Behind the Myth

'What a novel my life has been!’ exclaimed Napoleon – but he wrote much of it himself. A masterful and shameless manipulator of myths, he created a narrative that still inspires passionate and conflicting responses. Was he a god-like genius, Romantic avatar, megalomaniac monster or just a nasty little dictator? He was none of these things. He was a man and, as Adam Zamoyski presents him in this landmark biography, in many ways a rather ordinary one at that.

Adam Zamoyski strips away the lacquer of prejudice, explodes accepted myths and debunks long-held assumptions to reveal a more human, more understand- able and far more comprehensible Napoleon.

Zamoyski is the author of over a dozen books on key figures and aspects of European history, among them 1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March on Moscow and its sequel Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna. Both are Sunday Times bestsellers. He lives in London and Poland.

Event 8   6.30 pm   Sarah Langford.  In Your Defence: Stories of Life and Law

Sarah Langford is a barrister. Her job is to stand in court representing the mad and the bad, the vulnerable, the heartbroken and the hopeful. She must become their voice: weave their story around the black and white of the law and tell it to the courtroom. These stories may not make headlines but they will change the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways.

With remarkable candour, Langford has turned her experience of eleven criminal cases into short stories that are as compelling as fiction, with the added fascination of being true. They reveal what goes on in our criminal and family courts: these are tales of domestic fall out, everyday burglary, sexual indiscre- tion and children caught up in the law. They are sometimes shocking and often heart-stopping. She examines how she feels as she defends the person standing in the dock. She also shows us how our attitudes and actions can shape not only the outcome of a case, but the legal system itself.

Sarah Langford has been a practising barrister since 2006. She studied English at the University of the West of England. She worked as a barmaid, legal secretary and note-taking clerk before completing a law conversion, in which she gained a distinction. She was awarded a scholarship from Gray’s Inn and went on to train as a barrister. She lives with her husband and two small boys in London and Suffolk.

Langford will be interviewed by broadcaster and journalist, Bill Turnbull.

Saturday 2nd March
9  10.00 am    Diarmaid MacCulloch.   Thomas Cromwell: a Life

Thomas Cromwell is one of the most famous – or notorious – figures in English his- tory. Born in obscurity in Putney, he became a fixer for Cardinal Wolsey in the 1520s. After Wolsey’s fall, Henry VIII promoted him to a series of ever-higher offices, and by the end of the 1530s he was effectively running the country. That momentous decade saw a religious break with the Pope, unprecedented use of parliament and the dissolution of the monasteries. Cromwell was central to all this, but establishing his role with precision, at a distance of nearly five centuries and after the destruction of many of his papers after his downfall, has been notoriously difficult.

Diarmaid MacCulloch’s biography is the most complete and persuasive life to be writ- ten of this elusive figure, a masterclass in historical detective work, making connections not previously seen. It overturns many received interpretations and reveals Cromwell’s true place – for good and ill – in the making of modern England and Ireland.

Diarmaid MacCulloch is the Professor of the History of the Church at the Univer- sity of Oxford. He is the author of A History of Christianity: the First Three Thousand Years, Reformation: Europe’s House Divided 1490-1700. He has also written and presented several series for BBC television, including A History of Christianity, How God Made the English and God’s Enforcer: The Life and Death of Thomas Cromwell.

Event 10   11.30 am    Sue Prideaux.  I am Dynamite: a Life of Friedrich Nietzche

Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most enigmatic figures in philosophy, and his concepts — the U?bermensch, the will to power, slave morality — have fun- damentally reshaped our understanding of the human condition. But what do most people really know of Nietzsche — beyond the moustache, the scowl and the lingering association with nihilism and fascism? Where do we place a thinker who was equally beloved by Albert Camus, Ayn Rand, Martin Buber and Adolf Hitler?

Nietzsche wrote that all philosophy is autobiographical, and in this vividly com- pelling, myth-shattering biography, Sue Prideaux brings readers into the world of this brilliant, eccentric and deeply troubled man, illuminating the events and people that shaped his life and work. From his placid, devoutly Christian upbringing – overshadowed by the mysterious death of his father – through his teaching career, lonely philosophizing on high mountains and heart-breaking de- scent into madness, Prideaux documents Nietzsche’s intellectual and emotional life with a novelist’s insight and sensitivity.

Sue Prideaux is a novelist and biographer. Her books include Edvard Munch: Behind the Scream, which was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and Strindberg: A Life, which received the Duff Cooper Prize and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize.

Event 11    2.30 pm    Julian Jackson.  A Certain Idea of France: the Life of Charles De Gaulle

In six weeks during the early summer of 1940, France was overrun by German troops and quickly surrendered. The French government of Marshal Pe?tain sued for peace and signed an armistice. One little-known junior French general, refusing to accept defeat, made his way to England. On 18 June he spoke to his compatriots over the BBC, urging them to rally to him in London. ‘Whatever happens, the flame of French resistance must not and will not be extinguished.’ At that moment, Charles de Gaulle entered into history.

Jackson’s magnificent biography reveals the life of this titanic figure as never before. It draws on a vast range of published and unpublished memoirs and documents – including the recently opened de Gaulle archives – to show how de Gaulle achieved so much during the War when his resources were so aston- ishingly few and how, as President, he put a medium-rank country at the centre of world affairs. No previous biography has depicted his paradoxes so vividly. Much of French politics since his death has been about his legacy, and he re- mains by far the greatest French leader since Napoleon.

Julian Jackson is Professor of Modern French History and Head of the School of History at Queen Mary’s, University of London. His particular interest is the history of France since the 1930s and he has written and broadcast extensively on this subject.

Event 12  4.00 pm    Two Novelists: Georgina Harding and Melissa Harrison

Georgina Harding is the author of two works of non-fiction and five novels: The Solitude of Thomas Cave, The Spy Game,The Gun Room, Painter of Silence (shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction) and, most recently, Land of the Living. which was described by The Sunday Times as ‘ A masterly novel of grief and conflict’ and compared in reviews with the writing of Helen Dunmore, John MacGregor, Michael Ondaatje and Elizabeth Strout. Charlie’s experiences at the Battle of Kohima and the months he spent lost in the remote jungles of Assam during the Second World War are now history. Home and settled on a farm in Norfolk, he is one of the lucky survivors. Starting a family and working the land seem the best things a man can be doing. But is it possible to find con- nection and forge a new life in the wake of unfathomable horror?

The award-winning writer Melissa Harrison is the author of the novels Clay and At Hawthorn Time (shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and long-listed for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize), and one Rain, a work of non-fictionwhich was long- listed for the Wainwright Prize. Her new novel, All Among the Barley, is set on a Suffolk farm at harvest time in 1933. ‘A novel of acute psychology and subtle political sense ... it describes a land resplendent and saturated with summer, but known dangers flicker on the edges: debt, crop failure, illness and accident ... it is an exquisitely intelligent take on the pastoral form’ (TLS). Harrison is a nature writer, critic and columnist for The Times, the Financial Times and the Guardian, among others.

Harding and Harrison will be discussing their work and lives in writing

Event 13     5.30 pm    

Rowan Williams Where is the Church? Thoughts from the Church struggle in Nazi Germany

Rowan Williams’s new book on the Christian teaching about the divine nature of Christ includes a chapter on one of the great modern figures
of Christian thought – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, killed by the Nazis in 1945. Bonhoeffer in his lectures on theology and then in his late and unfinished work on ethics sketched out a revolutionary approach to how we should think about the Church. For him it was defined simply by the call to bE
responsible for the integrity of human society, and thus to be there to speak for those society ignores: its job is never to defend its own ‘territory’.

Rowan Williams will be looking at how this grew out of Bonhoeffer’s experience not only of Nazi Germany but also from his encounters with Afro-American Christians in the USA; and we shall be thininking about how his questions sound for us now in the twenty first century in a con- text of resurgent nationalism and violent political discourse.

Williams is Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge and formerly Archbishop of Canterbury. His new book is Christ the Heart of Creation.

Sunday 3rd March
Event 14  
10.00 am    Henry Hitchings.   Doctor Johnson’s Guide to Life

Samuel Johnson was a critic, essayist, poet and biographer. He was also, famously, the compiler of the first good English dictionary, published in 1755. A polymath and a great conversationalist, his intellectual and social curiosity were boundless. Yet he was a deeply melancholy man, haunted by dark thoughts, sickness and a diseased imagination. In his own life, both public and private, he sought to follow a virtuous and prudent path, negotiating everyday hazards and temptations.

Henry Hitchings has previously written a prize-winning study of Johnson’s Dic- tionary, and his latest book, The World in 38 Chapters or Dr Johnson’s Guide to Life, is a portrait of Britain’s greatest man of letters, as well as a witty and erudite re-evaluation of his enduring importance and relevance. In addition it functions as a quirkily original self-help book. It reveals that ‘Johnson is infinitely quotable, still immediate, still spot-on’ (The Times), and ‘virtually every page of Hitchings’s new book contains an aphorism from Johnson of piercing wit and insight into the peculiarities of the human mind’ (Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday). Henry Hitchings is the theatre critic for the Evening Standard, as well as a broadcaster and author. His book The Secret Life of Words won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award in ???? and he was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the year award. He has made programmes on Erasmus Darwin, the eighteenth-century English novel and the history of manners. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Event 15   11.30 am   Martin Rees.  On the Future: Prospects for Humanity

Humanity has reached a critical moment. Our world is unsettled and rapidly changing, and we face existential risks over the next century. Various outcomes – good and bad – are possible. Yet our approach to the future is characterized by short-term thinking, polarizing debates, alarmist rhetoric and pessimism.
In this short, exhilarating book, Martin Rees argues that humanity’s prospects depend on our taking a very di
fferent approach to planning for tomorrow. Rich with fascinating insights into cutting-edge science and technology, this accessible book will captivate anyone who wants to understand the critical issues that will define the future of humanity on Earth and beyond.

Martin Rees is Astronomer Royal. A leading astrophysicist, he has been Master of Trinity College and Director of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University, President of the Royal Society and was made a life peer in 2005.  His books include Our Cosmic Habitat, Just Six Numbers, and Our Final Hour (pub- lished in the UK as Our Final Century).

Event 16   2.30 pm   Posy Simmonds.   Cassandra Darke

Posy Simmonds’s new graphic novel, Cassandra Darke, is loosely based on A Christmas Carol. In the character of London art dealer Cassandra, Simmonds has given us a female Scrooge for our own times, complete with smartphones, sexting, takeaway coffee cups and Alzheimer’s.

‘All that noticing,’ wrote the Sunday Times reviewer of this deft and dark new work. ‘All that witty, deliciously detailed recording: this is a rich gift of a novel ...’

Posy Simmonds has been delighting readers with her exquisitely-drawn comic strips and novels since the 1970s, when she began to lampoon the Guardian- reading bourgeoisie in a long-running comic strip that grew into Mrs Weber’s Diary. She followed it with a series sending up ‘the literary life’ and two more inspired by classic novels (Tamara Drewe and Gemma Bovery), all of which were serialised in the Guardian before being published in book form.

Event 17   4.00 pm   David Owen and Nick Robinson.  Hubris: the Road to Donald Trump, Power, Populism, Narcissism

There is ‘compelling evidence that the course of history has been changed ... by the ill health of world leaders’, says Lord Owen, former Foreign Secretary and author of books on politics and history. Hubris is a brilliant expose? of the men- tal and physical condition of US and UK leaders, past and present.

Among recent leaders there have been depressives, alcoholics, narcissists and populists as well as those affected by hubris syndrome and driven by their reli- gious beliefs, as in Bush and Blair. But Donald Trump, a world-class narcissist, presents a completely different set of issues. This book is the first to place him in his historical, political, philosophical and medical context.

David Owen qualified as a doctor in 1962 and was a research fellow as a neurologist. He held cabinet positions in the Harold Wilson and James Callaghan governments in the 1970s. He left the Labour Party in 1981 to form the Social Democratic party. He became a peer in 1992 and was the peace negotiator in the former Yugoslavia. He is the author of many books, most recently British Foreign Policy after Brexit: an Independent Voice (2017).

Lord Owen will be talking about his latest book and his life in politics with jour- nalist and broadcaster, Nick Robinson.

Festival Exhibition

Caroline McAdam Clark RWS
at The Aldeburgh Gallery, 143 High Street, Aldeburgh, IP15 5AN

Open from Thursday 28th February to Sunday 3rd March

Caroline is of French-Scots background and studied Fine Art at Edinburgh University and College of Art.

Her work has been shown in many prestigious exhibitions and competitions. Caroline has had eight solo shows at London’s Thackeray Gallery and others at the Piers Feetham Gallery, London; Chappell Galleries in Essex and the Yew Tree Gallery in Cornwall. Her work can be seen in numerous collections in Europe and the USA, including the collection of HM the Queen.

Caroline is of French-Scots background and studied Fine Art at Edinburgh University and College of Art.

The launching pad for her work is frequently landscape that is familiar to her, revisited countless times and recorded in sketches and photographs. Inspira- tion comes mainly from East Anglia, the Highlands and Islands and recently the canyons and deserts of Navaho country. These locales will then be used over a number of years to make paintings that relate not only to the geography of a place but also to her sense of what that place is about, connecting the documentary to the more obliquely poetic.

McAdam lives and works in London and in Suffolk.

In Caroline McAdam Clark’s recent works there are many things that come to mind: time, place, weather, atmosphere, poetry, birds, Navaho patterns as well as names and places – Eliot, Robert Frost, Messiaen, Pink Floyd and the River Alde. Out of this rich brew come mostly small pictures. They may dwell on experiences gathered across different continents and over some years, but the distillation of thought, feelings and memory results in pared-down, fairly minimal works of modest size. Scale seems tome one of the most critical ingredients in her work’

(Frances Spalding).

The Aldeburgh Bookshop celebrates its 70th Birthday

2019 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Aldeburgh Bookshop

Founded by Christopher Rowan Robinson, the bookshop has always been on its current site in the High Street. It was formerly W. Hill, Drapers, the first and only department store in Aldeburgh. Other previous owners include John Whit- marsh, the Whateley Smiths, Cowans, Edwards and Cattericks. John and Mary James bought the shop in 2000. Before that the building may even have been the site of the thatched cottage belonging to George Crabbe’s family until 1767 when this and several other streets were washed away in a storm.

Interesting documents from the archive at the Red House have recently been catalogued, revealing Benjamin Britten’s excellent habit of shopping locally. An invoice to Britten from 1949 shows that he was one of the first customers of the bookshop: he continued to use the shop until his death in 1976. The bookshop receipts record Britten buying books that underpin his creative work. In Febru- ary 1971, for instance, he buys Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice (for 20p), and the next month follows this up with a collection of Thomas Mann’s letters: it was to be another two years before the opera of Death in Venice was completed, but the Bookshop had provided him with raw material for this major work.

Works on Suffolk subjects are particularly popular with Britten buying tales of smugglers or the biography of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, probably as presents. And in one telling transaction we see Britten buying E. M. Forster’s posthumous- ly-published novel Maurice in November 1971 It had been published that year, af- ter nearly six decades in which Forster kept it to one side, feeling for much of that time that its gay love story was not yet acceptable to the public and in the knowl- edge that its subject invitrd severe legal sanction. To have been able to buy, here in Aldeburgh, a novel by his old friend that was openly about his own sexuality was, perhaps, a poignant moment. Certainly, as in many other ways, Britten’s life in Aldeburgh was evidently enriched by what he bought here, at his local bookshop.

The Britten-Pears Foundation at The Red House have kindly prepared boards using material from the archives which we will display in the Jubilee Hall over the course of the Festival. For more information on Britten and Aldeburgh, see

The Aldeburgh Literary Festival

Torben Merriott of Blackwing for technical services

Caroline McAdam Clark for the Festival Exhibition and the cover image

John Commander for the printed design

Eamonn McCabe for the photographs

Tracy Rogers and Catriona Chase for box office help

Rob Wheeler the doorkeeper

Miranda Barclay, Gillian Varley, Ellen Nall and Penny Moorby for ushering

Margaret Currie of The Aldeburgh Gallery

and Jane Austin, Harriet Bailey, Fynn Kiley, Karen Lear, Judith Russell and Carol Briggs from The Aldeburgh Bookshop and on the Aldeburgh Book Stall at the Jubilee Hall


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