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From Wednesday 1st March

Literature Festival Event Listing 1-5 March 2017

Thursday 2nd March
Friday 3rd March
The George Hotel £9 10am
Paul Evans
Field Notes from the Edge
The acclaimed writer of the Guardian's Country Diary, Paul Evans, takes us on a journey through the in-between spaces of Nature – such as strandlines, mudflats, cliff tops and caves – where one wilderness is on the verge of becoming another and all things are possible. He searches out wildlife and plants to reveal a Nature that is inspiring yet intimidating; miraculous yet mundane; part sacred space, part wasteland. It is here that we tread the edge between a fear of Nature’s dangers and a love of Nature’s beauty. Paul Evans is one our leading contemporary nature writers. Naturalist, university lecturer, broadcaster of natural-history documentaries and award-winning dramas for Radio 4,he writes for publications including BBC Wildlife, Geographical, The National Trust Magazine and Country Living. As a poet his work appears in many anthologies, has been set to music by an American folk group and even been the subject of an MA at a Belgian university. ‘A profoundly satisfying read’ Financial Times
Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar.
The George Hotel £10 11:45am
The discovery and cracking of the genetic code has had far- reaching consequences for how we understand ourselves and our place in the natural world. The code forms the most striking proof of Darwin's hypothesis that all organisms are related, holds tremendous promise for improving human well-being, and has transformed the way we think about life. Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester where his research focuses on the sense of smell, insect behaviour and the history of science. Here he interweaves science, biography and anecdote; via remarkable insights, theoretical dead-ends and ingenious experiments. This is a story involving some of the twentieth- century's most outstanding and eccentric minds, blending biology, physics and chemistry, with computing and cybernetics. The story spans the globe, from Cambridge MA to Cambridge UK, New York to Paris, London to Moscow. It is both thrilling science and a fascinating story about how science is done. Shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books ‘Compelling, authoritative and insightful’ - Brian Cox
Matthew Cobb
Life’s Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code
Simon Loveday
The Bible for Grown-Ups
The George Hotel £9 1.30pm
The Bible for Grown-Ups neither requires, nor rejects, belief. It sets out to help intelligent adults make sense of the Bible – a book that is too large to swallow whole, yet too important in our history and culture to spit out. Why do the creation stories in Genesis contradict each other? Did the Exodus really happen? Was King David a historical figure? Why is Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus so different from Luke’s? Why was St Paul so rude about St Peter? Every Biblical author wrote for their own time, and their own audience. In short, nothing in the Bible is quite what it seems. Literary critic Simon Loveday’s has spent a decade writing this labour of love which will overturn everything you thought you knew about the Good Book. ‘Loveday’s case is that the mantle of historical truth and divine authority has placed upon the Bible an intolerable weight, crushing it as a creative work of immense imaginative and inspirational power. His argument is both fascinating and persuasive’ - Matthew Parris
Diarmaid Macculloch
All Things Made New – Writings on the Reformation
The George Hotel £10 3pm
The Reformation which engulfed England and Europe in the sixteenth century was one of the most highly- charged, bloody and transformative periods in their history. Ever since, it has remained one of the most contested. Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch is Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University and a prize-winning author and broadcaster. His book A History of Christianity was adapted into a six-part BBC television series and his most recent television series, Sex and the Church, was broadcast in 2015. He joins us in Lichfield to discuss his new book and give a new insight into this dramatic period of history which was ultimately to change the way England developed and was governed to the present day.
Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar.
Sarah Gristwood
Game of Queens: The Women Who Made C16th Europe
The George Hotel £9 4.15pm
As Theresa May steps up into her role as Prime Minister, Angela Merkel makes waves across Europe and Hilary Clinton campaigns to take her seat in The White House, historian, broadcaster and writer Sarah Gristwood looks back to a group of lesser known but equally ambitious women striving for political power in 16th century Europe. From Isabella de Castille through to the coronation of Elizabeth I, Sarah's new book Game of Queens examines the challenges faced by women in power - many of which still hold true today. Unravelling a gripping historical narrative, Sarah reveals the unorthodox practices adopted by these women and assesses their impact on the era that began the shaping of the modern world. Epic in scale, this game of queens is a remarkable spectacle of skill and ingenuity. A masterpiece that effortlessly and enthrallingly interweaves the amazing stories of women who ruled in Europe during the Renaissance period...and a pacy and illuminating good read.' - Alison Weir
Untold Tales from the Cells
Interactive Theatre Experience
Lichfield Guildhall Cells £1 per person From 6pm - 8pm
What did it mean to be a prisoner in a medieval City cell awaiting trial? Can you believe the testimonies our prisoners offer? Fact or fiction, driven by fear or faith? Join us for an intimate theatre experience for small audiences as the prisoners welcome you in to their cell to make their last confession. Featuring new writing and performance from students at South Staffs University this is the first in the Festival’s After Dark Series, taking new work into unusual spaces. Come as a group or brave it and go it alone! Each performance lasts no longer than 10 minutes.  Time slots must be booked in advance to ensure a place. Ages 12+
Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar.
Please note that there is limited wheelchair access to this venue. Please notify us ahead of booking.
Saturday 4th March
Festival Paper Fair
Lichfield Library FREE 10am - 3pm
Join us for Lichfield’s first ever Paper Fair - celebrating everything to do with books, reading, writing, crafts and more.  With stalls featuring free activities, information stands from organisations across the region, craft sellers, free author talks and readings and the ever popular Festival Book Swap there is guaranteed to be something for everyone. Open Mic Featuring writers, poets, stand-up comedians and storytellers of all ages the Open Mic area will be running throughout the day as a space for anyone to share their work.  Includes a crime fiction author afternoon in partnership with Bonnier Zaffre Publishers. BIG Festival Book Swap  Now in its 3rd year the Book Swap is back and the concept is simple: Donate an unwanted book and take away a new one. A great chance to try a new novel or make room on your bookshelves without costing a penny! Donate your books to the Festival Office at Donegal House ahead of the event or bring them along with you on the day.
Books for Breakfast
Lichfield Library FREE 10am
What better way to start the Festival weekend than with Books For Breakfast! Join us for an hour curled up with your favourite books, games and craft activities, with storytelling from local author Lorraine Hellier. Suitable for ages 0-8 years.  All children must be accompanied at all times.
Lichfield Library £5 1.30pm
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World
Join illustrator & author Kate Pankhurst to learn about Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World. Soar above the Atlantic Ocean with adventurer Amelia Earhart. March with suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst to get VOTES FOR WOMEN! Test your spying abilities with World War Two secret agent, Agent Fifi and many more. There will be drawing, there will be dressing up and most importantly, there will be lots of inspiration to change the world! Ages 5 – 8 approx.
POWER OF PEN: How To Build A Superhero
From Greek Gods to Kings and Queens, Hollywood action figures to classic comics, Basil Brush to Batman - superheroes come in all shapes and sizes through history.  Join us for a fun workshop on how to create your own comic book superhero with an action-packed story to tell.  Places limited. Suitable for ages 9-13 approx.
Lichfield Library £5 11.30am 1.30pm
Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar.
Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar.
Crafts, Arts, Books, Writing and More!
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World Book Day
Schools’ Author Visits
Free Events
At a Glance
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Online Booking Opens  1st December 2016
Click here for more details Illustrator in Residence Michelle Turton ARTS WORKSHOPS FREE FAMILY
Illustration Workshop
Lichfield Library £8 2pm
Michelle Turton
Join Michelle for an interactive workshop exploring the techniques behind illustrating for literature and other media.   Ages 14-Adult