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TAL Festival Ltd

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Thame Arts & Literature Festival

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11th to 15th October 2017

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‘    Literary Salon  TAL Festival 2017

Join Hero and the team from Muddy Stilettos as they host our very first Literary Salon.

With no fewer than FIVE of the country’s finest female authors gathered to share their writing, motivation and their ability to find appropriate life/work balances - this is sure to be a fast-paced and exciting evening.

Whilst not exclusively for our female visitors, the Literary Salon makes for a fantastic Girls’ Night Out with some articulate conversation and cerebral stimulation.

The Literary Salon will last for about 2 hours and will have a paying bar.

Hosts :

Thursday 12th October : 8.00pm : Town Hall : £10

Elizabeth Heathcote - Former women’s editor on the Independent on Sunday and current associate editor at Psychologies, Elizabeth knows a thing or two about perseverance - she spent 20 years writing fiction in her spare time until last year when her psychological suspense novel Undertow, was published to acclaim in the UK and America. She is now working on her second book.

Clover Stroud - The Oxfordshire-based author and national newspaper journalist published her heart-rending memoir, The Wild Other earlier this year. Unpicking the impact of her mother’s catastrophic horse-riding accident, it’s a story of love, loss, motherhood, sex and danger. She’s something of a superwoman, juggling her writing career with caring for five – yes, FIVE – children

Tasmina Perry - Despite graduating with a law degree, Tasmina swerved off track into a career in women’s magazines, becoming editor of the saucy More! Her parents weren’t thrilled then but they are now – she’s since written 11 best-selling novels, which have been published in 17 countries, with the twelfth, The Pool House published last month. She’s still got a saucy edge, mind, with her ‘bonkbusters’ often compared to Jilly Cooper’s work.

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Hero Brown - Since creating the Muddy Stilettos site in 2012, founder Hero has overseen huge expansion of the blog, with Muddy editors in 19 different counties, all searching out the cool, unique and brilliant things to see and do. Nationwide domination is planned within the next two years – you have been warned! Hero is former editor of The Independent on Sunday magazine, and deputy editor on Red magazine

Kerry Potter - Muddy Stiletto’s Associate Editor and pro bookworm is the former literary editor of Glamour magazine and contributes culture, celebrity, lifestyle and fashion features to various national newspapers and magazines, including The Mail On Sunday, Sunday TelegraphELLEMarie Claire and The Pool. She once interviewed Madonna, who asked if she was Harry Potter’s mum

Authors :

LibertyLondonGirl aka Sasha Wilkins - Former Wall Street Journal writer Sasha is a total dynamo. One of the first wave of fashion bloggers, she created LibertyLondonGirl.com a decade ago. She’s since published her cookbook Friends Food Family, writes about everything from fashion to recipes to motoring and runs a digital consultancy advising major brands. In her occasional millisecond of spare time, she’s working on her next book.

Alexandra Heminsley - One of the most successful ghost-writers in the business (she knows a lot of celebrities’ secrets), Alexandra recently co-authored Judy Murray’s Knowing The Score, a Sunday Times best-seller. She’s had a busy year, also publishing her deeply personal memoir Leap In, which is about learning to swim and the calm it brought her during one of life’s chaotic periods.

Charles Spencer

Thursday 12th October 6.30pm : Players Theatre : £9.00 (Concessions £8.00)

Charles Spencer makes a very welcome return to TAL with his new book To Catch a King on the true story of the dramatic escape of the young Charles II after defeat at the Battle of Worcester.

After the Royalist forces were crushed by the might of Cromwell’s armies, Charles II was forced to flee for his life from the men who had killed his father in January 1649 and who wanted him – and all traces of the monarchy – dead. With bloodied feet and facing certain death if caught, Charles relied upon a patchwork of hiding places that had evolved since the Reformation to hide Catholics from lethal persecution by Protestant forces. They now saved the life of a king and the following six weeks would form the most dramatic of Charles’ life.

Charles II suffered grievously yet displayed remarkable ingenuity. He hid in an oak tree, an event so fabled that over 400 English pubs are named Royal Oak in commemoration. He also witnessed a village in wild celebrations at the mistaken news of his killing, as well as the ordeal of a medical student wrongly imprisoned because of his similarity in looks.

When eventually restored to the throne as Charles II, he told his adventures to Samuel Pepys who transcribed everything in coded shorthand. Pepys’ account and a wealth of new letters and diaries that have come to light in the past 50 years form the basis of To Catch a King.

Charles Spencer was educated at Eton College and obtained his degree in Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford. He was a reporter on NBC’s Today Show from 1986 to 1995 and is the author of four books, including Sunday Times bestseller Blenheim, Battle for Europe (shortlisted for the History Book of the Year at the 2005 National Book Awards), Prince Rupert: The Last Cavalier and Killers of the King.

We are particularly delighted to welcome Charles back to TAL. His gripping tale of what happened to those who signed Charles I’s death warrant is perhaps, given even more context in what is effectively, a prequel to that story. Charles also hosts a literary festival in the grounds of his home at Althorp.


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