Welcome to the Dorchester Literary Festival
THE 2018 FESTIVAL IS NOW OVER. WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT AND WILL COME AGAIN NEXT YEAR
We had five days of extraordinary, informative and diverse events presented by fantastically enthusiastic speakers.
Peter Hart opened the festival with a wonderful talk on the end of World War I, then James Le Fanu revealed the dangers of taking too many pills, and Lynne Truss discussed her comic crime novel A Shot In The Dark. Crime, of a more serious variety, was also represented by a stellar line up of Mark Billingham, Lisa Jewell and Minette Walters, and the first day's grande finale came when Judy Murray gave a packed audience an insight into the world of international tennis, her rise as a leading coach, and time on Strictly Come Dancing.
Day Two was equally enthralling, begining with Jon Dunn on Orchid Summer, Miranda Seymour on Bryon's Wake and Mary Shelley, before Diane Atkinson talked on the Suffragettes. Next, Tara Westover discussed Educated, her acclaimed memoir about her upbrining in a survivalist Mormon family in Idaho, and the irrepressible poet Brian Patten closed the day, performing some of his best loved works.
Helen Rappaport was Friday’s first speaker talking about the Romanovs with Jason Goodwin. Then Jasper Winn entertained audiences discussing British Waterways, and Mark Austin, took to the stage in conversation with veteran broadcaster Kate Adie to discuss his journey from Bournemouth Echo to award-winning foreign correspondent. That afternoon an uninvited press pack heralded the arrival of charismatic and contraversial MP and Afghan war veteran Captain Johnny Mercer. The day calmed down, with Julian Fellowes selecting his Desert Island Books, before the audience was revitalised with the energetically entertaining Jeremy Vine.
Over Saturday and Sunday more fabulous speakers came to visit and talk on a range of subjects: Dr Dawn Harper told us how to live well to 101, Tony Juniper discussed the the threat to the world's rainforests, Graham Hoyland revealed all about the Yeti , Joanna Trollope provided a taster of her latest book, An Unsuitable Match, before Vince Cable arrived straight from a march in London to talk about his first foray into novel writing - the thriller Open Arms.
The festival closed on Sunday with a lesson in editing from Helen Corner-Bryant, animal stories from global vet Jonathan Cranson, a class in Foraging from Tiffany Francis before veteran broadcaster Peter Snow and Ann Macmillan closed the festival regaling the audience with their War Stories.
Over 2500 people came to our events and with many sold out - we couldn't have asked for more!
In a few week's time we will start work on the 2019 Festival so do keep in touch and we hope we will see you again next year. Meanwhile here are some photos of this year’s fabulous festival, taken by Pete Yendell and Finnbarr Webster. We are grateful to them both for capturing our speakers so expertly!
Paul Atterbury and Janet Gleeson