Literary Life

Saturday 8 July, 3.00pm

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Literary Life at Thaxted Festival
Clare Mulley at Thaxtef Festival

Portrait Image: Clare Mulley

Thaxted United Reformed Church, Bolford Street CM6 2PY

Four authors with links to our area talk about their work and read from their publications. There will be a chance for questions, and authors will have their works available for sale.

Janet Dyson is an academic, writer and bookseller who lives in Great Bardfield. Her publications include local history, fiction and educational works, and her 2017 book Artists of Great Bardfield: ‘Great Bardfield Shows Beautiful Things’ is a fascinating account of how the artistic community in this north west Essex village developed in the 1930s and flourished up until the 1960s. The book looks at what attracted so many artists to the village, how village life was represented in their art, and how the artists were perceived by the local people.

Rosemary Hayes lives in north Essex and has written over forty books for children and young adults, many of which have been shortlisted for awards. She has worked in publishing, runs creative writing workshops and has travelled widely. She has recently turned to writing historical work for an adult audience, and her book based around her French Huguenot ancestors, who fled to London in the late seventeenth century, will be published later this year.

Clare Mulley also lives in north Essex, and is an award-winning author and broadcaster whose work has focused particularly on female experience during the Second World War. Her books include The Spy who Loved, The Women who Flew for Hitler and The Woman who Saved Children. Her new book Agent Zo will be published in 2024. Clare regularly reviews for The Spectator and the TLS as well as writing for many papers and appearing regularly on TV, radio and podcasts. She has contributed extensively to many TV history programmes across various channels.

Dr Philippa Tudor will be known to many Festival-goers as a researcher on the composer Gustav Holst and his musical circle, his wife Isobel and daughter Imogen, and their deep connections with Thaxted and its people in the early twentieth century. She has published several articles on the Holsts since 2012, including in the Musical Times. Realising that despite Isobel’s central role in the composer’s life and work there had been no book dedicated to her, in 2022 Philippa published Mrs Gustav Holst – an Equal Partner?

Local poet Pauline Stainer, who was originally due to participate, is unfortunately unable to be with us.

All proceeds from this event will go to support Thaxted Festival’s Developing Artists Programme.