The 2015 Festival ran on the last days of October and into November bringing many authors and performers to The Octagon, The Manor Hotel and Yeovil Library. I was able to be there on two of the four days, getting on the Thursday to Tristram Hunt giving a fascinating account of Ten Cities that made an Empire, and to Michael and Clare Morpurgo with Natalie Walter and Voices at the Door bringing alive the poetry and music in their childhood recollection Where My Wellies Take Me concert.
On the Friday I joined with other Yeovil Literary Prize winners to give readings of prize poems, novels and short stories, then to the library to hear Veronica Henry, wretchedly delayed by the current traffic chaos in the town, but still giving an hour long talk of her writing life and latest novel High Tide.
Later Cathy Rentzenbrink, supported by three generations of her family, gave a frank and moving account of the years after her brother was brain injured when knocked down by a vehicle, the eight years of his life after the accident and the realizations and awful decisions the family faced. Cathy’s memoir The Last Act of Love is a brave work, greatly valued by the medical and legal community working with families in such circumstance.
In the evening Paddy Ashdown filled the hall at the Manor Hotel with his account, The Cruel Victory, of the Marquisard fighters who defended the plateau that lies between the Rhone and Le Route Napolean in the South of France thus supporting the D Day landings by diverting Nazi forces from the Allied invasion. Brave men little celebrated outside France.
There were many other events. The Festival has been a huge success; congratulations to Liz Pike and all who gave their time and effort to ensure that achievement.
The Fourth Yeovil Literary Festival will take place on and between 20th and 24th October 2016 – a date for your diaries.