Monday 6th November

Event 5

Maxwell Knight -
M15's Greatest Spymaster

Henry Hemming

Maxwell Knight was a paradox. A jazz obsessive and nature enthusiast (he wrote the definitive work on how to look after a gorilla), he is seen today as one of M15’s legendary spymasters – and rumoured to be part of the inspiration for the character M in the James Bond series. Maxwell Knight did more than anyone to break up British fascism during WW2, even though he belonged to the British Fascisti himself, and was the first in M15 to grasp the potential of training female agents. Henry Hemming’s illustrated talk promises to be enthralling and illuminating as he reveals stories of seven men and women recruited by Knight to infiltrate the most dangerous of political organisations – their identities until now unknown.

Time: 10.00 am

Tickets: £10

Venue: The Bull Hotel - Ballroom

Sponsored by:
John and Caryl Hubbard, Jim Bartos

Illustrated Talk

Event 6

Pocket Playhouse

Michael Frayn

Michael Frayn’s career as a celebrated playwright and novelist has marked him out as one of a handful of British writers to succeed both critically and commercially in both drama and prose fiction. His 17 plays include farces Noises Off and Alphabetical Order and the award winning drama Copenhagen. His novels are as diverse in content as Headlong, Spies and Skios. Frayn’s latest imaginative offering brings the stage to the page. He provides a tour de force of theatrical imagination and satire, revealing his infectious delight in writing between the lines of theatre, fiction and comedy.

In conversation with Susannah Simons

Time: 11.30 am

Tickets: £10

Venue: The Bull Hotel - Ballroom

Sponsored by: Richard Strang & Liz Jackson

Event 7

Through a
Glass Darkly

Lucy Hughes-Hallett &
Michéle Roberts

Best selling authors discuss their novels which explore how the past influences the present. Lucy Hughes-Hallet’s Peculiar Ground, is set against a background of a great country estate and generations who live there; exploring how those who build retreats from the world risk isolation.

In her latest book, The Walworth Beauty, Michéle Roberts links Victorian London to the present day through the lives of two central characters and the mysterious history of Apricot Place. Past and present entwine as ghosts of the past erupt in the present. Both novels are haunting tales of human frailty, and vivid evocations of social upheavals.

In conversation with Sally Laverack

Time: 2.30 pm

Tickets: £10

Venue: The Bull Hotel - Ballroom

Sponsored by: John & Felicity Fairbairn

Event 8

A Life of My Own

Claire Tomalin

Claire Tomalin is a former Literary Editor at the New Statesman and The Sunday Times and has written seven critically acclaimed literary biographies including those of Samuel Pepys, Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy. Her own intimate memoir charts a turbulent childhood, her escape to Cambridge University where she met her first husband, the journalist Nick Tomalin, who was tragically killed in Israel. She recounts her literary successes, her personal losses and her subsequent happy marriage to fellow author, Michael Frayn.

In conversation with Susannah Simons

Time: 4.30 pm

Tickets: £10

Venue: The Bull Hotel - Ballroom

Sponsored by:
Ros & John Senior, Richard Strang & Liz Jackson

Event 9

English Decoration & English Houses

Ben Pentreath

Ben Pentreath is one of the country’s leading architectural and interior designers. Author, commentator and regular columnist for the Financial Times, he combines a busy architectural practice with a growing interior design studio and a popular weekly blog (pentreath-hall.com/inspiration) that boasts an army of followers. His Interiors Shop, Pentreath and Hall, in London attracts people from all over the world who wish to acquire the classic English style. Ben’s illustrated talk is sure to be engaging and inspirational.

Time: 6.30 pm

Tickets: £10

Venue: The Bull Hotel - Ballroom

Sponsored by:
David & Sue Orr, Cato Strategic Limited

Illustrated Talk