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Thame Arts & Literature Festival

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12th to 15th October 2017


Meet Rachel Crowther, a doctor who worked for the NHS for 20 years. Meet Rachel in The Library and hear about the writing of her second book, Every Secret Thing

"After two decades in which she’d barely allowed herself a taste of love, the remembrance of what they had almost had was still hoarded away, treasured, like a glimpse of immortality."

Young, ambitious and ready to take on the future, Marmion Hayter and her friends share an idyllic weekend in the Lake District to celebrate their graduation, little suspecting that the events of that summer will change their lives forever.

How long does it take for our sins to be forgiven? And can the things we destroy ever be recovered ?

In a unique and moving event last year Steve Darlow took us through the traumas of flying over Germany in World War 2 with eye-witness accounts from some of the actual pilots and flyers. This year we are privileged to be able to look at a different aspect of Bomber Command

In the company of renowned historian Dr. Robert Owen and some of those who actually took part in the battle, we will examine The Battle of Berlin. As controversial as it was dangerous,this battle came towards the end of the war and many brave individuals did not return.

The Rumsey’s Tea Concert is now an institution. Join the Abbey Wind Trio for a thoroughly enjoyable hour of tea, cake and blissfullly delightful music

The Book House Founders Lecture

Professor Fiona Stafford Professor of English Language and Literature, Fellow of Somerville College

Her most recent book, the acclaimed The Long, Long Life of Trees (2016), is a tribute to the diversity of trees in 17 chapters – each of which is dedicated to a common British tree – drawing on material from fields including folklore, natural science, literature, cultural history, European art, ancient mythology and modern medicine to illuminate each tree’s central place in western civilisation.

Professor Stafford has considerable experience of working with media and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio. She has presented series for BBC Radio 3 on the symbolism, importance and meaning of trees and flowers.

Jane Austen as you’ve never (never!) seen or heard her before! Fresh from their triumph at Edinburgh, the Austentatious team bring to life an improvised Jane Austen novel that we absolutely guarantee you have not read - for it is not yet rediscovered. It will come to life before your very eyes in the most dramatic way!!

We saw them at Edinburgh last year and they are nothing short of hilarious. This is amazing theatre with startlingly accurate characters that make you weep with laughter. Quite what Jane Austen would make of it - we’ll never know!!

And Now For Something Completely Different…

Break out your platforms, flares and Simon Shirts (if you don’t know what these were then ask your parents) and come to the very first and original 70s disco.

Featuring some very ‘special guests’ making surprise appearances, the disco will finish our Friday night with the music of our youth and is a chance to let your hair down (if you have any left!!)

The full schedule will follow once the programme is complete - but we thought you might like to see who is already confirmed to attend on each day. - Keep watching for more authors and events

Samantha Ellis,  Take Courage: Anne Bronte and the Art of Life.

Anne Brontë is the forgotten Brontë sister, overshadowed by her older siblings -- virtuous, successful Charlotte, free-spirited Emily and dissolute Branwell. Tragic, virginal, sweet, stoic, selfless, Anne. The less talented Bronte, the other Brontë.   

Or that's what Samantha Ellis, a life-long Emily and Wuthering Heights devotee, had always thought. Until, that is, she started questioning that devotion and, in looking more closely at Emily and Charlotte, found herself confronted by Anne instead….

  Take Courage is Samantha's personal, poignant and surprising journey into the life and work of a woman sidelined by history. A brave, strongly feminist writer well ahead of her time -- and her more celebrated siblings -- and who has much to teach us today about how to find our way in the world.

'The best kind of book: one that I gobbled up, wanting to go slow to savour it but unable to stop reading until it was all gone' Observer