Harrogate History Festival, Saturday 22 October 2016

Harrogate has built up a formidable reputation for its literary festivals, and I’m very excited to have been invited to take part in this year’s Harrogate History Festival.

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Celebrating the authors and genre of historical writing, this unique weekend allows readers to meet, discuss and discover historical writing from fact through to fiction. The Harrogate History Festival invites readers to delve into the past to explore and grapple with leading literary minds on some of the most gripping conflicts, personalities and epic tales in human history. Immerse yourself in history and get a real taste of the times at our fourth annual Harrogate History Festival this Autumn. Past programmes have included such literary luminaries as Bernward Cornwell, Sandi Toksvig, Lord Melvyn Bragg, Michael Morpurgo, Peter Snow and Elizabeth Chadwick.

 

The 2016 History Festival runs from Thursday 20 October to Sunday 23rd October and features some  fantastic speakers including Tracy Chevalier, Philippa Gregory, Paddy Ashdown, Antony Beevor and Tom Holland – and what sounds like a great discussion for fans of Game of Thrones!  Check out the link above for details of the programme.

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On Saturday 22 October, I’ll be taking part in a light-hearted debate about whether fictional war or romance has the most to teachus about history.  No prizes for guessing which side I’m on!  Also arguing the case for romance will be Elizabeth Fremantle, whose novel about Katherine Parr I have just been reading and which I can highly recommend.  She’s brilliant on the oppressive court of Henry VIII. On the opposing team will be Robyn Young and Anthony Riches.

 

The Debate

Saturday 22 October

Old Swan Hotel | Harrogate | 2pm

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Tickets £7 Unreserved Seating

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All’s fair in love and war, but which is better at capturing the past?  Romantic novels vie with military fiction as the most popular genres of historical writing, yet they often seem to have nothing in common.  Is romantic fiction dismissed because it focusses on women and emotions, or is it soft-pedalling the reality of the past?  Do action-adventure novels deal with the proper bits of history, or is it just boys playing with swords?  Chaired by Lloyd Shepherd, wielding their rapiers are Robyn Young, who’s taken readers to battlefields on every corner of the globe and Anthony Riches; ripping their bodices are Pamela Hartshorne, who funded her PhD in medieval history by writing Mills & Boon novels, and Tudor trilogist Elizabeth Fremantle.  Let battle commence.

 

 So if you’re in or near Harrogate on Saturday 22 October, do come along – it should be fun!

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