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Folkestone Book Festival 2018 early bird tickets on sale

By Angela Cole

It may be the height of summer, but early bird tickets for the Folkestone Book Festival, which heralds the start of Christmas in the town, have gone on sale.

The festival runs at Folkestone's Creative Quarter from Friday, November 16 to Sunday, November 25 and features 10 days of author talks, thought-provoking discussions, family events and workshops.

This year’s festival invites a range of key speakers from the world of science, history, politics and much more, to discuss topics from food and health to memory and identity and women in history to philosophy, democracy and the economy.

Folkestone Creative Quarter will be the home to the book festival
Folkestone Creative Quarter will be the home to the book festival

Launching on Friday, November 16, the festival marks the Creative Quarter Christmas lights switch-on, with author Kit de Waal, whose heartbreaking novel, My Name is Leon, won Irish Novel of the Year in 2017, performing the switch-on.

She will then be discussing her Irish and Caribbean origins, why becoming a writer later in life and campaigning for working class writers.

Creative Quarter Christmas Lights switch-on kicks off the Folkestone Book Festival
Creative Quarter Christmas Lights switch-on kicks off the Folkestone Book Festival

Speakers from the world of history include journalist and broadcaster Jenni Murray, who has presented BBC4’s Woman’s Hour since 1987, who will be looking at Britain's history through 21 women.

Female historian Alison Weir draws on research for her portrayal of Jane Seymour, the third of King Henry VIII’s queens while bestselling author Charles Spencer - Princess Diana's brother - uses Samuel Pepys’ account to retell the epic adventure of King Charles II, who came to the throne following the beheading of his father, King Charles I.

Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, at Althorp, Northamptonshire. Picture: John Robertson
Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, at Althorp, Northamptonshire. Picture: John Robertson

The world of science, health and technology is represented with BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science presenter, geneticist Adam Rutherford, discussing things once considered to be exclusively human but aren't now. Novelist and journalist, Matt Haig takes a personal look at how to feel happy in the stress-ridden 21st century.

Pioneering punk legend Viv Albertine will smash through layers of propriety, leading us to a place of savage self-discovery while award-winning author Marina Warner gives an illustrated talk arguing that art and aesthetics fulfil a magical social function; and author of many books for adults and children, Posy Simmonds, puts a magnifying glass on British society and domestic life.

Jenni Murray will be at Folkestone Book Festival
Jenni Murray will be at Folkestone Book Festival

There will also be events and workshops for children and families, including celebrated picture book creator, Anthony Browne, with classics such as Gorilla, Voices in the Park and Willy the Wimp to his name. Million-selling author Caroline Lawrence also shares her best writing tips for young wannabe writers.

The master of the comedy-science mash-up and co-presenter of BBC radio’s The Infinite Monkey Cage, Robin Ince attempts to offer answers to some of life’s biggest questions.

Chetna Makan. Picture: Love Productions
Chetna Makan. Picture: Love Productions

This year’s festival also includes two internationally-themed days and one evening – Indian Day, US Day and Turkish evening, with 2014 Bake Off semi-finalist Chetna Makan sharing tips on Indian ingredients and a performance from Nick Hayes for US Day.

Turkish Evening welcomes guest speakers including travel writer, Jeremy Seal; award-winning crime writer, Barbara Nadel; and journalist, Alev Scott.

The festival has early bird ticket prices until Sunday, September 16. A festival pass costs £140 at the early bird price. For details of all events and for more information visit folkestonebookfest.com or call 01303 760750.

Robin Ince will be at Folkestone Book Festival
Robin Ince will be at Folkestone Book Festival

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