Tickets are now on sale online for the Alderney Literary Festival, this year themed Mistaken History: historical narrative versus historical truth.
Featuring a line-up of best-selling and award-winning authors, the festival focuses on historical writing and runs from Friday March 17th to Sunday March 19th with talks, panel discussions and fringe events.
It opens with a fascinating panel discussion featuring historian Helen Castor and prize-winning debut novelist Sean Lusk asking, ‘Can historical narratives ever be the truth?’ It is hosted by Festival Chairman Tony Riches, a writer of military history fiction and a committee member of the Historical Writers’ Association.
Sean Lusk is joined by two other prize-winning debut novelists, A K Blakemore and Jacquie Bloese, who all take part during the festival, which has commanded international respect across the literary community since its inception in 2015.
“We couldn’t decide between these brilliant debut novelists, so we invited all three,” said organiser Dr Isabel Picornell.
Established authors taking part include bestselling crime and historical novelist Andrew Taylor, author of The Shadows of London; Nick Jubber, winner of the Dolman Travel Book Award whose latest work, The Fairy Tellers, explores the people behind our most iconic fairy tales from medieval times to the development of the children’s book industry in the nineteenth century; and Christina Ezrahi, an award-winning historian of Soviet cultural politics and Russian ballet. Her novel, Dancing for Stalin, is the true story of dancer and choreographer Nina Anisimova who disappeared in 1938 at the height of Stalin’s Great Terror yet miraculously survived the Soviet gulag.
There’s also a strong Channel Islands emphasis when José Day, daughter of Guernsey’s Louis Guillemette OBE (1910-1977), and Ken Tough, former H.M. Greffier and Occupation Historian, provide fascinating insights from Guillemette’s diary – he was Assistant Secretary to the Bailiff at the outbreak of war, then appointed Secretary to its President, a position which he held throughout the Occupation.
The World War II theme is continued with a talk by Julia Boyd, author of the Sunday Times bestseller Travellers in the Third Reich: The Rise of Fascism through the Eyes of Everyday People and A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives were Transformed by the Rise of Fascism.
Carl Graves, Director of the Egypt Exploration Society, will unveil the first colour version of Amelia B. Edwards’ A Thousand Miles up the Nile, first published 140 years ago, and tell the story of this remarkable woman and her legacy to British Egyptology.
And Anne Sebba, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and author of eleven books about iconic women, will tell the story of Ethel Rosenberg who with her husband Julius was sent to the electric chair in 1953 in the United States for allegedly spying for the Soviet Union, despite very questionable evidence.
Headline sponsor for this year’s festival is Guernsey-based investment company Polygon Collective while individual author sponsors include Alderney Electricity Ltd (AEL), Julius Bär, AY Enterprise Trust, Liberation Pubs & Bars, Gower Financial Services, Savills, Stenham Trustees, HSBC and Nigel Meyer & Susan Smyth.
Overall sponsor of the Alderney Literary Trust is Guernsey-based investment group Ravenscroft which recently opened offices in Alderney.
Details about the festival, which is also supported by the States of Alderney, can be found here.