Tim Glencross , author of the widely praised debut novel Barbarians, spoke about fiction to a sold-out audience at Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Library in conversation with fellow novelist Chris Greenhalgh.  Mark Forsyth, author of The Etymologicon and two other books about the vagaries of the English language, was a highly entertaining guest at our literary lunch at St Julian’s Club. Once again the sun shone for the sixth year running – possibly a meteorological record.

More buzz came with the arrival of the charismatic ‘bee man’ Professor Dave Goulson of Sussex University to talk about the plight of the bumblebee and his book A Sting In The Tale.  Our audience went away enthused and bee-friendly and much better informed about the threat posed to this unique insect by intensive agriculture and pesticides.

Queen Victoria (or her statue) made her second appearance at a Literary Tea.  This time the theme was Royal Dining through the Ages with Suzanne Groom.   Experts in the audience at St Nicholas’ Undercroft lavished praise on the home-made delicacies, which were ‘better than at Buckingham Palace’.

Sarah Wise, on her second visit to Sevenoaks, presented her book on Victorian treatment of ‘lunacy’ Inconvenient People at another sold-out event.

We welcomed Scottish national poet Liz Lochhead,  a star performer who charmed her audience with effortless skill.   Robert Sackville-West’s audience in the Ship Theatre packed the gallery to the last seat to hear him talk about the twists and turns of his family story , The Disinherited.

We were delighted once again to stage a free event for pupils from several town primary schools, with the help of Sevenoaks Town Council, one of our main sponsors.  This year we welcomed What On Earth? Publishing for a thrilling presentation on William Shakespeare, backed by their new wall chart and featuring keen impromptu performances from audience members.

Our festival closed with another established visitor to our celebration, Ian Kelly, who talked about his brand new biography of Vivienne Westwood. Thanks to Ian for bringing along several Westwood creations and even allowing audience members to try them on.  Yes, there were a few selfies taken.

We thank all our sponsors and supporters for another successful programme.  Now our organising committee will soon be making plans for 2015.

Our 2014 Literary Celebration had a lot of buzz.  That was largely down to our authors, who delighted our audiences with a series of finely crafted talks.  We opened with Lucy Hughes-Hallett talking about her prize-winning biography of Gabriele D’Annunzio The Pike, an extraordinary book about an extraordinary man.

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