Category Archive: Books

Considering the Poppy

Poet Simon Armitage was speaking at Salts Mill, Saltaire, yesterday, ahead of his BBC2 programme The Great War –  An Elegy: A Culture Show Special (broadcast Saturday 8 November 2014). Armitage has written seven… Continue reading

A living history: 40 Years of Ilkley Literature Festival

“Ilkley,” wrote JB Priestley in the festival’s first programme in 1973, “is the right size for a festival town; large enough to provide various amenities, and small enough to stroll round and run… Continue reading

Just keep chasing pages

Books. On a board game. Brilliant.

Writing London

Documenting the work and the working habits of successful London writers, Writing London marks sites of literary triumph and tragedy throughout the capital. Significant locations, mapped forever in narrative, reflect writers at work, writers… Continue reading

Melvyn Bragg pays tribute to the greatness of ordinary lives

“Critics often say I write novels about ordinary people,” Lord Bragg of Wigton told the audience at Ilkley’s King’s Hall, “but I’ve never met anyone who is ordinary.” Melvyn Bragg was in Ilkley… Continue reading

Eavesdropping on Jane Austen’s England

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen’s novels are – at first glance –tales of society balls held in the tranquil countryside, stately homes, beautiful dresses, and ardent romances. Yet Austen’s… Continue reading

The ‘unlikely’ journey of Rachel Joyce

Fittingly, on the last day of the Ilkley Literature Festival, Rachel Joyce was in town to talk about journeys. And what a journey the festival’s 40th year has been. The runaway success of… Continue reading

An explanation

The title of my blog might seem a bit abstract – but it’s taken from TS Eliot’s brilliant poem The Waste Land: “At the violet hour, when the eyes and back Turn upward… Continue reading