Meet The Author With Warwick Books : Matthew Engel

June 5th, 2015

On Friday 5th June 7.30pm at Lord Leycester’s Hospital  Matthew Engel will be talking about his book ‘Engel’s England’

9781846685729England, says Matthew Engel, is the most complicated place in the world. And, as he travels through each of the historic English counties, he discovers that’s just the start of it. Every county is fascinating, the product of a millennium or more of history: still a unique slice of a nation that has not quite lost its ancient diversity.

He finds the well-dressers of Derbyshire and the pyromaniacs of Sussex; the Hindus and huntsmen of Leicestershire; the goddess-worshippers of Somerset. He tracks down the real Lancashire, hedonistic Essex, and the most mysterious house in Middlesex. In Durham he goes straight from choral evensong to the dog track. As he seeks out the essence of each county – from Yorkshire’s broad acres to the microdot of Rutland – Matthew always finds the unexpected .

‘Engel’s England’ is a totally original look at an amazing country: a guidebook for people who don’t think they need a guidebook. It is always quirky, sometimes poignant and often extremely funny.portrait272x411

“Wry, rueful, funny, packed with knowledge… it is simply the most enjoyable commentary on today’s England that could be imagined.” – John Carey, Sunday Times
“A joy and a treasure trove… Do not leave your county without it.” – Jasper Rees, The Oldie
“It’s a lovely book, hugely funny at times.” – Rod Liddle, The Spectator
” If you could bottle his wit, it would taste as sharp, rich and savoury as Worcestershire sauce on a Cornish pasty stuffed to bursting.” – Iain Finlayson, The Times

Matthew Engel is a writer and editor who began his career in 1972. He worked on The Guardian newspaper for nearly 25 years, reporting on a wide range of political and sporting events including a stint as Washington correspondent beginning on 9/11. He now writes a column in the Financial Times. He has also been an Editor of Wisden. In 2011 he was the News International Visiting Professor of Media at the University of Oxford

Matthew lives in Herefordshire with his wife Hilary and daughter Vika. His son Laurie died of cancer in 2005, aged 13, and he then set up a successful charity fund in his memory, the Laurie Engel Fund, which has raised more than £1m in partnership with the Teenage Cancer Trust to build a new unit in Birmingham (opened 2010) for patients. The proceeds of a book he wrote, ‘Extracts from the Red Notebooks’ (Macmillan), are donated to this fund. His latest book, ‘Engel’s England‘, was published in 2014.

Tickets £12 (£10 concessions) from Warwick Words Box Office 01926 33 44 18.

Meet The Author With Warwick Books : Liam Brown

May 21st, 2015

On Thursday 14th May 7pm at Warwick Library  Liam Brown will be talking about his new book ‘Real Monsters’

9781910394564We are surrounded by monsters. The lines are now so blurred, no one knows who the real enemy is anymore. Reeling from the terrorist attack that killed her father, Lorna lurches through an inebriated adolescence until she finds redemption in a young soldier called Danny.

However, her dream of a stable life is shattered when Danny is called to serve overseas. Danny is lost in the desert. Most of his unit is dead – victims, it would seem, of a brutal ambush.

With their equipment destroyed and food running out, the small band of men stumble through the sand and shadows, desperate to find salvation. As their hope fades, they begin to turn on each other, until finally it becomes clear that only the truly monstrous will survive……

‘Real Monsters is the story of two young lovers with a war wedged between them; a surreal and ferociously recognisable977f1ed83e7554f35c54cb3a117b24e1_w200 allegory for our war-torn times.’……so says Liam Brown whom we are delighted to welcome to Warwick as part of our ‘Meet The Author’ series in conjunction with Warwick Library.

And Liam’s background? After leaving school, Liam Brown spent five years working a series of increasingly dead-end jobs, including burger flipper, helium balloon pedlar and a two month stint manning the shooting alley at a travelling fairground. After 18 months travelling and working in the Philippines, he returned to the UK and began writing stories. Liam is the lead singer and guitarist in the band Freelance Mourners. He lives in Birmingham with his wife and two children.

Do come and hear Liam talking about his incredibly intense new thriller…

Tickets are available from Warwick Books and Warwick Library priced £4. The event is supported by Liam’s publisher Legend Press for whom we are very grateful.

Meet The Author With Warwick Books : Dr Elizabeth Goldring

May 20th, 2015

On Wednesday 13th May 7pm at Lord Leycester’s Hospital  Dr Elizabeth Goldring will be talking about her book ‘Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and the World of Elizabethan Art : Painting and Patronage at the Court of Elizabeth I’

9780300192247This is the talk and the book that we have been waiting for ever since we started holding our ‘Meet The Author’ talks in the beautiful medieval hall of Lord Leycester’s Hospital thanks to the kind support and enthusiasm of the Master Colonel Gerald Lesinski. How appropriate it is then that we are having a talk on the person who acquired the buildings in 1571 and founded a retirement home for aged or disabled soldiers and their wives from Warwick, Kenilworth and Stratford-upon-Avon…..which purpose it still serves today.

And we are lucky to have such a distinguished author from our local University – Dr Elizabeth Goldring Elizabeth is an Associate Fellow at the University of Warwick’s Centre for the Study of the Renaissance and her book ‘Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and the World of Elizabethan Art: Painting and Patronage at the Court of Elizabeth I’ was published by Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in the autumn of 2014. It has been praised widely…. in Country Life (‘beautifully produced’), in The Journal of the History of Collections (‘essential reading for anyone interested in the collecting of art’), in Choice (‘a model of scholarship on the Elizabethan Renaissance’), and in Cassone (‘fascinating …will appeal to scholars of Elizabethan culture and interested amateurs alike’).

This magnificent book is the first comprehensive survey of aristocratic art collecting and patronage in Elizabethan England, as seen through the activities of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (ca. 1532–1588). One of the most fascinating and controversial people of his day, Leicester was also the most important patron of painters at the Elizabethan court.

He amassed a substantial art collection, including commissioned works by Nicholas Hilliard, Paolo Veronese, and FedericoEGoldringnew Zuccaro; helped foster the birth of an English vernacular discourse on the visual arts; and was an early exponent, in England, of the Italian Renaissance view of the painter as the practitioner of a liberal art and, thus, fit company for the educated and well-born. Although Leicester’s picture collection and personal papers were widely dispersed after his death, this volume’s pioneering research reconstructs his lost world and, with it, a turning point in the history of British art. Some of the paintings featured here are little-known images from private collections, never before reproduced in color.

Tickets from Warwick Books £3.50 (£2 concessions).

Meet The Author With Warwick Books : Dr Ruth Scurr

April 25th, 2015

On Wednesday 29th April 7pm at Lord Leycester’s Hospital  Ruth Scurr will be talking about her new book ‘John Aubrey : My Own Life’

aubAnno 1634, Easton Pierse
I was born about sun rising in my maternal grandfather’s bedchamber on 12th March 1626. St. Gregory’s Day, very sickly, likely to die.

John Aubrey loved England. From an early age, he saw his England slipping away and, against extraordinary odds, committed himself to preserving for posterity what remained of it – in books, monuments and life stories. His Brief Lives would redefine the art of biography yet he published only one rushed, botched book in his lifetime and died fearing his name and achievements would be forgotten.

Ruth Scurr’s biography is an act of scholarly imagination: a diary drawn from John Aubrey’s own words, displaying his unique voice, dry wit, the irreverence and drama of a literary pioneer. Aubrey saw himself modestly as a collector of a vanishing past, a ‘scurvy antiquary’. But he was also one of the pioneers of modern writing, a journalist before the age of journalism, who witnessed the Civil War and the Great Fire of London in the company of some of the influential men and women, high and low, whose lives he would make his legacy.

John Aubrey’s own life was a poignant personal and financial struggle to record the doings of great men and the relics of untitledantiquity, the habits of Christopher Wren, Isaac Newton and Thomas Hobbes, the stones of Stonehenge and the stained glass of forgotten churches. In this genre-defying account, rich with the London taverns and elegiac landscapes of an England he helped to preserve, Ruth Scurr has resurrected John Aubrey as a potent spirit for our own time.

Ruth Scurr is an historian, biographer and literary critic. She teaches history and politics at Cambridge University, where she is a Lecturer and Fellow of Gonville & Caius College. Her first book, Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution won the Franco-British Society Literary Prize, was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize and was listed among the 100 Best Books of the Decade in The Times. She reviews regularly for the Times Literary Supplement, The Telegraph and the Wall Street Journal.

Tickets from Warwick Books £3.50 (£2 concessions).


Meet The Author With Warwick Books : Professor Edith Hall

April 23rd, 2015

On Wednesday 22nd April 7pm at Lord Leycester’s Hospital  Professor Edith Hall will be talking about her new book ‘Introducing the Ancient Greeks’

untitledThe ancient Greeks invented democracy, theater, rational science, and philosophy. They built the Parthenon and the Library of Alexandria. They wrote down the timeless myths of Odysseus and Oedipus, and the histories of Leonidas s three hundred Spartans and Alexander the Great. But understanding these uniquely influential people has been hampered by their diffusion across the entire Mediterranean. Most ancient Greeks did not live in what is now Greece but in settlements scattered across Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Libya, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Russia, and Ukraine. They never formed a single unified social or political entity. Acclaimed classics scholar Edith Hall’s ‘Introducing the Ancient Greeks’ is the first book to offer a synthesis of the entire ancient Greek experience, from the rise of the Mycenaean kingdoms of the sixteenth century BC to the final victory of Christianity over paganism in AD 391.

Each of the ten chapters in her book visits a different Greek community at a different moment during the twenty centuries of ancient Greek history. In the process, the book makes a powerful original argument: A cluster of unique qualities made the Greeks special and made them the right people, at the right time, to take up the baton of human progress. According to Herodotus, the father of history, what made all Greeks identifiably Greek was their common descent from the same heroes, the way they sacrificed to their gods, their rules of decent behavior, and their beautiful language. Edith Hall argues, however, that their mind-set was just as important as their awe-inspiring achievements. They were rebellious, individualistic, inquisitive, open-minded, witty, rivalrous, admiring of excellence, articulate, and addicted to pleasure. But most important was their continuing identity as mariners, the restless seagoing lifestyle that brought them into contact with ethnically diverse peoples in countless new settlements, and the constant stimulus to technological innovation provided by their intense relationship with the sea. Expertly researched and elegantly told, ‘Introducing the Ancient Greeks‘ is “an indispensable contribution to our understanding of the Greeks.”© Michael Wharley Photography 2013


Edith Hall is Professor in the Classics Department and Centre for Hellenic Studies at King’s College London. Her specialism is ancient Greek literature, but she enjoys putting the pleasure as well as the rigour into all aspects of ancient Greek and Roman history, society, and thought. She has been named recipient of the Erasmus Medal, for her outstanding contribution to international scholarship, by the European Academy. She is the first woman to receive the medal and the first working in the field of Literature and Theatre. She will be giving the Erasmus Lecture in Darmstadt before the award ceremony in September 2015.



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