It's not just a book thing!
It’s crazy how attending a series of talks leaves you feeling quite wiped out, but there’s so much to take in! The sheer variety of yesterday’s events was astounding; we do try to include something for everyone and I hope you agree that we have succeeded.
Jo Baker’s Longbourn enters the world of Pride and Prejudice, but the one experienced by the servants, often a ghostly presence in Jane Austen’s novel. It clearly takes courage to take on such a well-loved story but you can rest assured that Jo is a total J.A geek. She even put a copy of Pride and Prejudice in her labour bag – now that’s dedication.
Language and accents are endlessly interesting to me and David and Ben Crystal were entertaining and informative. Accent and dialect I’d thought about before, but not the rhythm of language – this was a revelation.
Tickets for Will Self sold out incredibly quickly and it’s easy to see why. He’s funny, ridiculously intelligent and never short of opinions. His short history of the sinking of the Indianapolis on 30th July 1945 was fascinating and his reading from Shark really brought it to life. I will definitely have Will’s voice in my head when I read it.
It would be impossible to do justice to Zia Chaudhry’s talk in a couple of lines but it was extremely balanced and informative. His comment that we shouldn’t dignify I.S by referring to it by the name it gives itself seems like such common sense.
A change of scene for the evening: Hauteville House, where Timothy Adès entertained us with his translations of some of Victor Hugo’s poems – I hadn’t realised Hugo was such a sentimental old grandfather! And Hyoie O’Grady sang three songs from Les Misérables, beautifully. A name to look out for, that’s for sure.
I hope you are enjoying the Festival! Thanks to Etienne Laine for all the photos he has been taking.