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Literature Festival Event Listing 1-5 March 2017

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  SCIENCE Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar. Diarmaid MacCulloch  All Things Made New –  Writings on the Reformation HISTORY RELIGION 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  ‘A brilliant kaleidoscope on th Reformation from its leading scholar and one of the best historians writing in English today’ - Sunday Telegraph   Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar. Matthew Cobb SCIENCE 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 Life’s Greatest Secret:  The Race to Crack the Genetic Code 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 Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar. HISTORY Free Events At a Glance BOOKS FOR BREAKFAST ARTS WORKSHOPS FREE FAMILY Click here for more details Online Booking Open   NOW!! Click here for more details Illustrator in Residence Michelle Turton ARTS WORKSHOPS FREE FAMILY Click here for more details World Book Day Schools’ Author Visits FAMILY Big Festival Book Bash Celebrating 20 Years of World Book Day Lichfield  Library  FREE  4pm   Join us to celebrate 20 years of World Book Day at the Big Festival Book Bash. Taking place after school, why not come along in your World Book Day fancy dress and join us in our costume parade.  Enjoy games and activities around your favourite books from The Gruffalo to Harry Potter, Tracy Beaker to the Big Hungry Caterpillar, plus a visit from an Enchanted Princess.  Lots of fun to be had and prizes to be won.   Further details to be announced soon. Suitable for the whole family. Booking Required via  Box Office: 01543 300191 FAMILY FREE The World Book Day Festival Quiz Put your literary knowledge to the test as we continue our World Book Day celebrations and launch our Summer 2017 Festival programme.  From potboilers to literary classics, non-fiction facts to sci-fi fantasy, Winnie The Pooh to Wilfred Owen, let our Festival Quizmaster put your team through their paces.  Maximum capacity of 6 per team.  All ages welcome.  Want to join in but have no team to join?  Come along and join our Wild Card Teams! ? Q u i z SOCIAL The George Hotel  £3 per person  8pm  FAMILY Lunar Society:  Dr Kate Iles Erasmus Darwin House  £5   6.30pm  For tickets call: 01543 306260  Dr Kate Croft (nee Iles) of the University of Birmingham explores the life of Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849), the prolific writer of adults’ and children’s literature.  Maria was one of the first realist writers in children’s literature and a significant figure in the evolution of the novel in Europe.  She held advanced views, for a woman of her time, on estate management, politics and education. HISTORY A Partner Event SCIENCE Helena Kelly Jane Austin: The Secret Radical The George Hotel  £9  1.30pm  Almost everything we know about Jane Austen is wrong.  Her novels don’t confine themselves to grand houses and they were not written for readers’ enjoyment.  She writes about serious subjects and her books are deeply submersive.  We just don’t read her properly - and we haven’t been reading her properly for 200 years.  Austen expert Helena Kelly sets out to put that right.  it’s a thrilling talk inspired on her first book, the Oxford University professor introduces the author as a passionate woman living in an age of revolution; a writer who used what was regarded as the lightest of literary genres, the novel, to grapple with the weightiest of subjects - feminism, slavery, abuse, the treatment of the poor, the power of the Church, even evolution - at a time, and in a place, when to write about such things directly was akin to treason.  In this, Jane Austen’s anniversary year; the Lichfield Festival will be hosting a series of events on her life and works.  We are excited to begin this series with an event from one of the country’s foremost contemporary scholars on the subject.  ‘However well you think you know the novels, you’ll be raring to read them again once you’ve read this’’ - Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar. HISTORY 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.  See our FREE events page for a more detailed programme.   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. FAMILY Crafts, Arts, Books, Writing and More! FREE POWER OF PEN:  How To Build A Superhero From Greek Gods to Kings and Queens, Hollywood action figures to classic comics - 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.   Recommended for ages 9-13  Lichfield  Library  £5  11.30am   1.30pm  WORKSHOPS The George Hotel  £9  11.45am  Joe Moshenska A Stain in the Blood Sir Kenelm Digby was one of the most remarkable Englishmen who ever lived: a trusted advisor to the King, but the sworn enemy of the all-powerful Duke of Buckingham; a pioneering philosopher and scientist, but committed to the occult arts of alchemy and astrology; a friend not only of Ben Jonson, Thomas Hobbes and van Dyck, but even Oliver Cromwell.  He was also widely known as the ‘son of a traytor and husband of a whore’: a man who witnessed his father’s gruesome execution for high treason as a Gunpowder Plotter, and the lover of the most celebrated beauty of the age, Venetia Stanley.  In an attempt to clear his name, and on a quest for personal glory, Digby assembled a fleet and set sail for the Mediterranean: a world of pirate cities and ancient ruins where people, ideas and exotic goods moved freely between languages and nations.  This is the story of an extraordinary life, and of a journey that helped to shape a nation.  It is a revelatory first work of non-fiction by one of the brightest young writers and thinkers of today.  ‘As heroic as Digby himself, Moshenska has defied the tyranny of genre and made his own absorbing account’  - Observer  Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar. HISTORY Illustration Workshop Lichfield  Library  £8  2pm  Michelle Turton ARTS WORKSHOPS Join Michelle for an interactive workshop exploring the techniques behind illustrating for literature and other media.   Ages 14-Adult The George Hotel  £9  1.30pm  Christopher Tyerman How to Plan a Crusade Thousands left their homelands in the Middle Ages to fight wars abroad.  But how did the Crusades actually happen?  From recruitment propagands to raising money, ships to siege engines, medicine to the power of prayer, this vivid, surprising history shows holy war - and medieval society - in a new light.  Christopher Tyerman is a Fellow and Tutor in History at Hertford College, Oxford and Lecturer in Medieval History at New College, Oxford.  He has written extensively on the Crusades and The Debate on the Crusades.  He is also the editor of the Penguin Classics edition of the Chronicles of the First Crusade.  ‘Tyerman’s book is fascinating not just for what it has to tell us about the Crusades, but for the mirror it holds up to today’s religious extremism’  - Tom Holland, Spectator  Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar. HISTORY The George Hotel  £10  3pm  Jane Hawking From Fact to Film Fiction Dr Jane Hawking, Stephen Hawking’s wife for over twenty years, is a writer and lecturer.  Her book At Home in France was published in 1994, followed by her UK number-one best-selling memoir Travelling to Infinity, which became an Oscar-winning movie in 2015 under the title The Theory of Everything.  Thrust into the spotlight through her marriage, Jane has spent a lifetime juggling fame and renown from Stephen Hawking’s career.  The recent film depiction of their marriage served to reinvigorate the public’s interest.  Now Jane comes to Lichfield to talk about her own life as an author and explore how real life facts were adapted for the big screen.  She also speak about her debut novel Silent Music, a coming-of-age novel set in the aftermath of World War 2.  ‘Stephen Hawking may think in 11 dimensions but his first wife has learnt to love in several’  - The Sunday Times  Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar. FICTION SOCIAL Route 66 Festival Social Grab your dancing shoes and get set for a Route 66 road trip - it’s Festival Party time!  Join us for an evening of food and entertainment as we celebrate 10 years of the Lichfield Literature Festival and we look ahead to our American-themed summer with the launch of our July 2017 Festival programme.  Be among the first to hear all about the exciting events we have lined up for the summer festival, with the chance to win tickets to our headline events throughout the evening.  Featuring live entertainment from Tom Lindsay and his Swing Jazz Band and an American-styled hot buffet: this is a Festival Party for the whole family to enjoy. The George Hotel 7.30pm   £24 (Adults)   £13 (Under 12yrs)    Summer Festival Launch Event Untold Tales from the Cells Interactive Theatre Experience -  With Momentum Productions 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 hear their last confession.  Featuring new writing and performances 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!  Time slots must be booked in advance to ensure a place and will be available at 10 minute intervals between  6-8pm.  Please notify the Box Office of your preferred time when booking.  Ages 12+ Please note that there is limited wheelchair access to this venue. Please notify us ahead of booking. ARTS Why not combine this with one of our other events this evening at the Samuel Johnson Museum or Erasmus Darwin House - see below 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.   Recommended for ages 0-8 BOOKS FOR BREAKFAST FREE FAMILY Lichfield  Library  £5  1.30pm Kate Pankhurst 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!   Recommended for ages 5 – 8 FAMILY Fantastically Great Women  Who Changed The World Lichfield  Methodist Church  FREE  7.30pm  Samuel Johnson Society Annual Lecture HISTORY The Samuel Johnson Society Annual Lecture this year is given by actor, writer and playwright Ian Kelly (tbc - subject to change).  A prolific writer and historian, Kelly’s play of murder and corruption in Georgian London Mr Foote’s Other Leg recently played to critical acclaim in the West End. FREE A Partner Event
THURSDAY 2ND MARCH
from WEDNESDAY 1ST MARCH
SATURDAY 4TH MARCH
SAVE  THE DATE  Lichfield Festival 7th - 15th July 2017  Look out programme details from the  New Year!
SUNDAY 5TH MARCH
Swinfen Hall Hotel  £40 includes refreshments  10am - 4pm  Writer’s Retreat Swinfen Hall Hotel Whether you are part way through compiling an anthology or looking to start penning the first words of your long-awaited novel; join us for our writer’s retreat and escape into your writing with the opportunity to find brand new inspiration from exercises and stimulus material provided, or to develop an exisiting project in a supporting environment.  Faciliated by author and facilitator Judith Allnatt, this one-day retreat will mex group discussion with time to dedicate to developing your own work.  In the relaxing setting of Swinfen Hall, you will be free to roam and be inspired by the beautiful C18th manor house, landscaped gardens, deer park and acres of woodland on the 100 acre estate.  judith Allnatt is an acclaimed short story writer and novelist.  Her first novel, A Mile of River, was a Radio 5 Live Book of the Month and was shortlisted for the Portico Prize for LIterature; her second novel, The Poet’s Wife, was shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award.  Her short stories have featured in the Bridport Prize Anthology, the Commonwealth Short Story Awards on BBC Radio 4.  Judith has lectured widely on Creative Writing for universitie and freelance for over two decades.  She lives with her family in Northamptonshire and is working on her fifth novel. WORKSHOPS Lichfield Library  £9  10am  Flora Fraser The Washingtons: George and Martha HISTORY In these pages, acclaimed historian Flora Fraser unfurls the story of George and Martha Washington, brilliantly narrating the lives of an extraordinary dedicated, accomplished and historic couple.  When the married in colonial Virginia in 1759, he was an awkward but ambitious young officer, she, a graceful, wealthy young widow.  They were devoted to one another, and George was a father to Martha’s children by her first husband.  She endowed Washington with the confidence - and resources - that would aid him when elected commander-in-chief of the Continental army.  During the war, Martha resolutely supported her husband ‘The General’, joining him every winter in headquarters; she was essential to his well-being and was a redoubtable, vastly admired figure.  After the Americal victory, George was elected the first President and Martha became an impeccable first ‘First Lady’.  During his presidency, the two established the tenets and traditios of America’s highest office.  This is the story of a pioneering partnershiip - and an enthralling narrative of a nation’s emergence onto the world stage.  Winner of the George Washington Book Prize ‘An ambitious, well-researched and highly readable dual biography’’  - The Wall Street Journal Lichfield Library  £9  11.30am  Adrian Tinniswood The Long Weekend HISTORY The Indian summer between the two world wards was a period of gentle decline in which the sun set slowly on the British Empire and the shadows lengthened on the lawns of a thousand stately homes.  Real life in the country house during the 1920s and 1930s was not always so sunny.  By turns opulent and ordinary, noble and vicious, its shadows were darker.  In The Long Weekend, Adrian Tinniswood uncovers the truth about a world half-forgotten, draped in myth and hidden behind stiff upper lips and film-star smiles.  Drawing on hundreds of memoirs, on unpublished letters and diaries, on the eye-witness testimonies of belted earls, unhappy heiresses and bullying butlers, he gives a voice to the people who inhabited this world, showing how the image of the country house was carefully protected by its occupants above and below stairs, and how the reality was so much more interesting that the dream.  ‘We are in company of a confident and skilled historian who understands the mores of his era and wears his learning lightly...Tinniswood expands our Sunday evening viewing with the kind of details you can’t invert...Deserves to be on every costume drama producer’s bookshelf’  - The Times Ian Stewart Calculating the Cosmos Mathematics has been the driving force in astronomy and cosmology since the ancient Babylonians.  Kepler’s work on the orbits of the planets led Newton to formulate his theory of gravity.  Two centuries later tiny irregularities in the motion of Mars inspired Einstein to devise his theory of General Relativity.  Eighty years ago the discovery that the universe is expanding led to the Big Bang theory of its origins.  This is turn led cosmologists to add new features, such as inflation, dark matter and dark energy.  But does inflation explain the structure of today’s universe?  Does dark matter exist?  Could a scientific revolution be on the way that will challenge the long-held scientific orthodoxy and once again our understanding of the universe?  Ian Stewart is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University.  He has published more than eighty books including The Science of Discworld trilogy with Terry Pratchett.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and appears frequently on radio and television.  ‘Britain’s most brilliant and prolific populariser of mathematics’  - Alex Bellos  SCIENCE The George Hotel  £10  2pm  Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar. Kit De Waal My Name is Leon Evoking a Britain of the early eighties.  My Name is Leon is a heartbreaking debut novel from Midlands-based author Kit De Waal.  A brother chosen.  A brother left behind.  And a family where you’d least expect to find one.  Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake.  The adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers.  Since Jake is white and Leon is not.  As Leon struglles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile - like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum.  Kit De Waal was born in Birmingham and spent many years working in family and criminal law, writing manuals for fostering and adoption agencies.  A prolific and well-regarded short-story writer, here she speaks about how her career and experience of looked-after children has inpsired her first novel.  A Time and International Best Seller ‘Unforgettable, heartbreaking and uplifting - just read it’’  - Daily Mail ‘My debut of the year so far...heartbreaking and warm at the same time’ - Stylist  The George Hotel  £9  3.30pm  Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar. FICTION Natasha Pulley The Watchmaker of Filigree Street -  with Afternoon Tea In 1883, Thaniel Steepleton returns to his tiny flat to find a gold pocketwatch on his pillow.  When the watch saves Thaniel’s life in a blast that destorys Scotland Yard, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori - a kind, lonely immigrant who sweeps him into a new world of clockwork and music.  Although Mori seems harmless at first, a chain of unexpected slips soon proves that he must be hiding something.  Meanwhile, Grace Carrow is sneaking into an Oxford library dressed as a man.  A theoretical physicist, she is desperate to prove the existene of the luminiferous ether before her mother can force her to marry.  As the lives of these three characters become entwined, events spiral out of control until Thaniel is torn between loyalties, futures and opposing geniuses.  The debut novel by author and lecturer Natasha Pulley has won critical acclaim, becoming an instant international bestseller and featuring as a Guardian Summer Read, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, a Goodreads Best Book of the Month and Foyles Book of the Month amongst others.  ‘Pulley’s imaginative first novel transports readers to a Victorian London teeming with danger and magic’’  - Booklist  Swinfen Hall Hotel  £20 includes afternoon tea  5.15pm  FICTION The Golden Moment:  A Family Farewell to Johnson and Garrick Intimate Theatre Johnson Birthplace Museum  £9  inc welcome drink  7pm & 8.30pm  For tickets call: 01543 264972  ARTS HISTORY A Partner Event (by David Titley) It’s Saturday 2 March 1737, the morning of Sam and Davy’s great adventure - but as they prepare to set out to find their fortunes in London, is everyone happy about them leaving?  Intimate Theatre return to the Birthplace with this witty and touching play based on the facts we know, and a few we don’t.....  Please note there is no wheelchair access to this venue Johnson Birthplace Museum  £9  6pm  James Trevelyan Dissolve to: LA ARTS with guest Poets: Jack Nicholls & Emma Simon James Trevelyan - James takes twelve cult action films of the 1980s and 90s and gives life where it was extinguished too early.  Speaking in the voices of characters such as Cougar (Top Gun), GIRL (Lethal Weapon) and Donald Gennaro (Jurassic Park), Trevelyan provides a humurous and heart-breaking exploration of morality, mortality and our sense of self.  James Trevelyan grew up in the Midlands and now lives in London.  His poems have been published in print and online magazines and he is Poetry Reviews Editor for The Cadaverine magazine. Emma Simon - Emma is from Northamptonshire and now lives in London, where she works part-time as a copywriter and journalist. She was one of the poets chosen for the 2015 Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring schemes and she has been published widely. She won the Prole Laureate poetry competition in 2013 and was highly commended in the 2015 Battered Moons competition.Jack Nicholls - Jack comes from Cornwall and is currently based in Manchester. His poems and stories have been published in the Morning Star, Chicago Quarterly Review, Poems in Which, and he has a poem forthcoming in The Best British and Irish Poets 2017. He also holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. Please note there is no wheelchair access to this venue BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW The George Hotel  £9  10am  Fiona Joseph Beatrice: The Cadbury Heiresss Who Gave Away Her Fortune Beatrice Cadbury, daughter of the world-famous chocolate empire, grew up with all the privileges: a fine mansion with servants, a well-rounded education and the chance to travel the world and see all its glories.  But being a ‘have’ in a world of ‘have-nots’ was troubling, and in 1920 she decided to give back all the Cadbury shares she had inherited to the Bournville factory workers...with unexpected consequences.  Join Beatrice on her astonishing journey from respectable Quaker girl to bold anti-capitalist and peace activist, as she and her Dutch husband, Kees Boeke, relentlessly pursued their version of a fairer and more equal society.  Author and public speaker Fiona Joseph blends her twin passions of 20th century history of storytelling.  Her talks on the background to her Cadbury books have entertained more than 200 audiences across the UK.  Fiona lives in Birmingham with her partner, their two daughters and their much-loved rescue dog.  Contrary to expectation she has never received free chocolate from Cadbury!  Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar. HISTORY BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW The George Hotel  £9  5pm  Irma Kurtz My Life In Agony As Cosmopolitan’s professional agony aunt for the last forty years, Irma Kurtz has had to deal with the most intimate problems of successive generations of readers, while having to keep up with the changing mores and attitudes in British and American society.  In these memoirs, she looks back on the seismic transformations that have taken place over the last four decades, as well as her own hectic and often difficult life as a single mum from America living in London.  Warm, funny and perceptive, brimming with wisdom and insight, My Life in Agony is a meditation of the subjects that tend to concern and confuse us the most - from mother-daughter relationships through to eating disorders, office politics and those perennial areas of interest: love and sex.  Born in New Jersey, Irma travelled around Europe before finally settling in London.  There she joined the brand-new Cosmopolitan magazine and launched its iconic agony aunt column, which she then also wrote for the American edition.  Irma has written two novels, three travel books and three self help books, including the critically acclaimed About Time: Growing Old Disgracefully.  ‘So wise that she is practically Confucius’  - The Sunday Times  Enjoy Coffee & Cake between talks for just £2.95 from the George Hotel Bar. SOCIAL BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW EVENTS