Meet The Author with Warwick Books : Chris Skidmore
June 14th, 2013
On Saturday 15th June at Lord Leycester’s Hospital
Chris Skidmore will be talking about his new book
‘Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors’
On the morning of 22 August 1485, in fields several miles from Bosworth, two armies faced each other, ready for battle. The might of Richard III’s army was pitted against the inferior forces of the upstart pretender to the crown, Henry Tudor, a 28-year-old Welshman who had just arrived back on British soil after fourteen years in exile. Yet this was to be a fight to the death – only one man could survive; only one could claim the throne.
It would become one of the most legendary battles in English history: the only successful invasion since Hastings, it was the last time a king died on the battlefield. But BOSWORTH is much more than the account of the dramatic events of that fateful day in August. It is a tale of brutal feuds and deadly civil wars, and the remarkable rise of the Tudor family from obscure Welsh gentry to the throne of England – a story that began sixty years earlier with Owen Tudor’s affair with Henry V’s widow, Katherine of Valois.
Drawing on eyewitness reports, newly discovered manuscripts and the latest archaeological evidence, Chris Skidmore vividly recreates this battle-scarred world in an epic saga of treachery and ruthlessness, death and deception and the birth of the Tudor dynasty.
Chris gave a very successful talk for us at Kenilworth Castle about his previous book ‘Death and The Virgin’ which was about the mysterious death of Amy Robsart and the affair between Elizabeth I and Leicester. Chris is a well-respected historian and also MP for Kingswood.
This talk is part of the Warwick Words Summer Weekend, and we are grateful to the publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson for their help in arranging this.
Meet The Author With Warwick Books : Professor David Crystal
May 28th, 2013
On Tuesday 28th May 7pm at Warwick Shire Hall
David Crystal will talk about his book
‘Spell It Out : The Story of English Spelling’
David is widely acknowleged as one of the world’s leading experts on the English language. He is also one of the most amusing speakers you will come across. He has been kind enough to do a talk for us on more than one occasion before, and these events are always a sell-out. No wonder.
He will be talking about his book ‘Spell It Out’. This is an enlightening tour of English spelling that untangles ’stationery’ from ’stationary’ – and explains why the ‘i before e except after c’ rule is so misleading. Why is there an ‘h’ in ghost? William Caxton, inventor of the printing press and his Flemish employees are to blame: without a dictionary or style guide to hand in fifteenth century Bruges, the typesetters simply spelled it the way it sounded to foreign ears, and it stuck. Seventy-five per cent of English spelling is regular but twenty-five per cent is complicated, and in “Spell It Out”, David extends a helping hand to the confused and curious alike.
He unearths the stories behind the rogue words that confound us, and explains why these peculiarities entered the mainstream, in an epic journey taking in sixth century monks, French and Latin upstarts, the Industrial Revolution and the internet. By learning the history and the principles, David shows how the spellings that break all the rules become easier to get right.
Tickets FREE from Warwick Books, Kenilworth Books and the Libraries….thanks are due to Profile Books for enabling us to put on this event.
Kenilworth Books Book Club
March 29th, 2013
This month the choice of books was Pure by Andrew Miller and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
Pure was the 2011 Costa Book of the Year and is a story set in pre-revolutionary Paris. Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young engineer, is appointed to oversee the removal of an overflowing cemetery in the centre of Paris. It is a grim and formidable task and Baratte faces some opposition as well as finding friends. The cleansing of this tainted area is in more ways than one a sign of the times soon to come.
Everyone who read this book enjoyed it tremendously, praising the writing, the descriptions and details. We thought the author showed great skill in creating dialogue where there was a clear but unspoken sub-text running beneath the surface and also in allowing the reader to identify with characters who seem modern and yet were also firmly fixed in their historical period.
The Book Thief begins in 1939 in Germany when Liesel finds herself left with a foster family in Molching. Life for this young girl has already changed beyond understanding and changes again when her new parents hide a Jew in their basement. The books she steals are small acts of rebellion in a world of horrors and the words she comes to love are a way of surviving.
Again, everyone loved this book; particularly the way the story is narrated by Death, who is portrayed as a rather tender and deep-thinking figure. We thought Death’s sometimes ironic voice and his foreshadowing of events stopped the story from becoming overly sentimental and were impressed by the author’s storytelling skills.
I hadn’t read this book before because I thought it might be too harrowing; it isn’t, so don’t be put off by the subject matter. It is essentially a story of hope. The group had a discussion about the difference between allegory and metaphor and we left the meeting feeling enlightened and clever!
Next month’s choice is The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson and/or Toby’s Room by Pat Barker. As always, everyone is welcome.
Meet The Author With Warwick Books : Victoria Lamb
March 15th, 2013
On Thursday 14th March 7pm at The Methodist Church, Kenilworth
Victoria Lamb will talk about her new book
‘His Dark Lady’
This is a follow up to Victoria’s very successful novel, “The Queen’s Secret” which was set almost entirely in Kenilworth. It followed the story of Queen Elizabeth’s famous visit to Kenilworth Castle.
Victoria Lamb’s fictional character from the first novel, Lucy Morgan – the “Dark Lady” of the new title – grew up under the guardianship of a spy. This second book follows her from Kenilworth Castle to the Elizabeth’s Court in London.
London, 1583. When young, aspiring playwright William Shakespeare encounters Lucy Morgan, one of Queen Elizabeth I’s ladies-in-waiting, the two fall passionately in love. He declares Lucy the inspiration for his work, but what secret is Will hiding from his muse? Meanwhile, Lucy has her own secret – and one that could destroy her world if exposed.
No longer the chaste maid so valued by the Virgin Queen, she also bore witness to the clandestine wedding of Lettice Knollys and Robert Dudley, a match forbidden by the monarch. England is in peril. Queen Elizabeth’s health is deteriorating, her throne under siege from Catholic plotters and threats of war with Spain.
Faced with deciding the fate of her long-term prisoner, Mary, Queen of Scots, she needs a trusted circle of advisors around her now more than ever. But who can she turn to when those closest to her have proved disloyal? And how secure is Lucy’s position at court, now that she has learned the dangerous art of keeping secrets?
Victoria gave a fascinating talk to a big audience about her last book ‘The Queen’s Secret’ which was very well received. We look forward very much to hearing her again.
Tickets are free and available from Warwick Books and Kenilworth Books. Thanks to Transworld for helping us put on this event. Refreshments will be available.
Meet The Author With Warwick Books : John Sugden
February 27th, 2013
On Wednesday 27th February 7pm at Lord Leycester’s Hospital, Warwick
John Sugden will talk about his book
‘Nelson : The Sword of Albion’
In his book which is the second in his life of Nelson, John Sugden brilliantly interweaves graphic accounts of Nelson’s famous victories at the battles of the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar with his lesser-known yet equally gripping campaigns to liberate the Italian states from French domination and his role in the blockade of Malta, often snatching remarkable triumphs from crippling reverses. But behind his military prowess was a man riven with paradoxes and schisms at the very heart of his personal life. Nelson emerges as a strong-minded but vulnerable human being in constant need of affection and reassurance, whose relations with superiors, colleagues and friends were intense and stormy.
We meet the fighting admiral in search of ultimate military victory, and the glory-hunter skillfully manipulating his public image; the national hero and patron of merit, and the indigent commoner trying to secure his position in a society dominated by wealth, property and land; the family man, and the adulterer who scandalized society by his passion for the mercurial Lady Hamilton – yet whose ambition for domestic tranquility was destroyed by his untimely death at Trafalgar. The triumphant and the tragic lend an epic yet human quality to the life of Nelson, fully exploited here in a richly detailed narrative that teems with a glittering array of sailors and civilians, heroes and villains, husbands, wives and lovers.
John will talk about his passion for Nelson, and will show us why his books have been praised for their outstanding scholarship and for being ‘ a thumping good read’. This event is in partnership with The Historical Association.
Tickets FREE from Warwick Books or Kenilworth Books or The Historical Association. Thanks also to The Bodley Head for supporting this event.