12 Oct 2015

For the third year running, Lord Wandsworth College hosted the increasingly popular ‘Festival of Book Clubs’ yesterday.

125 members of book clubs from across Hampshire and Surrey gathered at the independent school in north Hampshire to meet five leading literary figures who talked about their careers and latest novels.  A group of the college’s 6th formers also attended with Head of English Chris Radmann, who has himself published two novels. Guests were treated to traditional afternoon tea and engaged in a lively Q&A with the speakers, chaired magnificently by Tim O’Kelly from OneTree Books in Petersfield.  Many guests were adorned with hats to add to the glamour of the event as the organisers had pledged to donate extra money to charity for every hat worn.

Elizabeth Buchan talked about her latest novel ‘I Can’t Begin To Tell You’ set in Denmark during WWII.  Adam Freudenheim talked about his publishing career at Yale University Press, Penguin and Pushkin Press where he is currently Managing Director.  Sara Wheeler, spoke about two of her books, Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica and The Magnetic North which deal with her travels to both the Antarctica and the Arctic respectively.  John Gordon Sinclair, an accomplished actor who has won a BAFTA nomination and an Olivier award, talked about his two novels, Seventy Times Seven and Blood Whispers.  Finally Kate Williams, a royal and historical expert who can be heard regularly on TV and radio, talked about her first fictional novel of a trilogyThe Storms of War, set during the First World War.

Festival organiser, Eila Huxford, said “We are delighted that this is becoming a such a popular fixture in the literary calendar amongst local book clubs. As well as enjoying a lively and entertaining afternoon, we have managed to raise almost £1,000 for Alzheimers Research UK and The Lord Wandsworth Foundation.”


Photo: Festival organiser Eila Huxford (in red) with her book club ‘The Wash Brook Book Club’ from Hook