Stellar Chiswick Book Festival Line-Up Announced

Lucy Worsley, Sir Max Hastings, Rula Lenska, a Street Cat Named Bob and James Bond

Chiswick Events

Chiswick Book Festival

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

The Chiswick Book Festival – now in its fifth year - returns in September with a host of top authors, appealing to the widest of tastes. More than two dozen writers will speak and sign books over the weekend of September 12th to 15 th in the heart of west London.

Lucy Worsley – chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces – will speak at the traditional eve-of-Festival event in the splendour of Chiswick House and Gardens, on Thursday September 12th. She'll explore the nation's fascination with murder as entertainment, in A Very British Murder , which accompanies her new BBC TV series.

Lucy Worsley

The historian and former war reporter, Sir Max Hastings, marks next year's centenary of the First World War in his new book Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 . He is speaking on Saturday evening, September 14th , following the actress (and Chiswick resident) Rula Lenska, who's written her autobiography.

Rula Lenska

Max Hastings

In the opening keynote session on the Friday, the acclaimed thriller writer Philip Kerr and his wife Jane Thynne, who both write about Berlin in the 1930s, will talk together for the first time about writing and how their books and their lives overlap.

James Bowen (with his street cat named Bob) – the surprise publishing hit of 2012 - will appear at Saturday lunchtime, discussing his new book The World According to Bob , currently top of the Sunday Times best-seller list.

James Bowen (with his street cat named Bob)

And a nest of spy writers, including Charles Cumming and Sinclair McKay, will take part in a special Spies on Sunday afternoon, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first James Bond novel in 1953. Ian Fleming's niece Kate Grimond will look forward to the next Bond book, Solo , written by William Boyd. And there's a chance to win a first edition of Thunderball , donated by Fosters' Bookshop, in the Festival's fiendish James Bond quiz.

“We're delighted with the range and quality of this year's authors, for our fifth Festival” said Torin Douglas, director of the Chiswick Book Festival. “There really is something for almost every taste and we hope people will come for the whole weekend. We keep ticket prices low so they can buy lots of the authors' books!”

The Festival is a non-profit-making community event, based at St Michael & All Angels Church & Parish Hall, near Turnham Green tube station. St Michael's organises the Festival, which has raised thousands of pounds over the past four years for three charities that support reading, literacy and the arts. Other events take place at the Tabard Theatre, Chiswick Library and Chiswick House.

The Festival is supported by local businesses and dozens of volunteers, who keep it running smoothly. Anyone who would like to help is invited to contact the Festival administrator, Dinah Garrett, at .

Tickets are now on sale via the Festival website, where the full weekend schedule is published: . Waterstones Chiswick will again be on site selling copies of books by all the authors.

This year's programme was compiled by the Festival's new author programme director Cathy Schofield, who lives in Chiswick and ran World Book Day for several years.

Well-known writers who'll be speaking include the diplomat Lord Hannay of Chiswick talking to the Guardian's Michael White; novelist Lindsey Davis, talking about her new crime series set in Ancient Rome, Falco – the Next Generation ; cookery writers Lindsey Bareham and Jo Pratt, on food for families; cricket analyst Simon Hughes on The Ashes; and social commentators Bryan Appleyard and Peter York on Bedford Park.

There's an ebook workshop explaining the mysteries of digital publishing as well as the Festival's annual creative workshop chaired by writer and lecturer Celia Brayfield. Three of Celia's protégées from the 2011 Festival – Colette McBeth, Liesl Schwarz and Sally O'Reilly - have recently been published and will be sharing their secrets.

Celia will also be chairing a session on travel writing with Polly Coles, who spent a year with her young family living with the locals in Venice, and Kate Pullinger, editor of the new anthology Once Upon A Time There Was A Traveller . And Oli Broom, who cycled from London to Brisbane to watch The Ashes, will be talking about his book, which Stephen Fry called “rather marvellous”.

The bicentennial of Pride and Prejudice will be celebrated by two writers ‘taking liberties with Jane Austen' - Jo Baker ( Longbourn ) and Emily Brand ( Mr Darcy's Guide to Courtship ). Current fiction is represented by bestselling authors Lesley Pearse ( Forgive Me ) and Dorothy Koomson ( The Ice-Cream Girls, The Rose Petal Beach ) who'll be discussing secrets in families.

The 500 th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden is marked by George Goodwin discussing his new history of the battle, Fatal Rivalry . Scandals in the 18 th century will be explored by the caricaturist Adrian Teal ( The Gin Lane Gazette ) and Laurie Graham ( A Humble Companion ). Social historian Sarah Wise ( Inconvenient People ) talks about the “perfectly sane” people who in the 19th century were committed to lunatic asylums such as Chiswick House.

And BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders will chair a session on The Society We're In with David Boyle ( Broke: Who Killed the Middle Classes? ) and Harriet Sergeant ( Among the Hoods: Exposing the Truth about Britain's Gangs ).

There are also events for children on the Saturday morning. Award-winning author Jill Lewis (actually two people!) and illustrator Ali Pye will entertain 4 to 7-year-olds with their new book Little Somethings . For 7 to 11-year-olds, Andy Day will be running a poetry and philosophy workshop, full of entertaining interaction.

Andy will then present the prizes in the Festival's annual Young People's Poetry Competition, which this year attracted more than 130 entries from 13 schools.

August 17, 2013