I’m generally a sucker for book festival announcements and after Aye Write! announcing their programme today, I decided to snoop the Historical Fiction Festival to see if it had been updated. And it has!
Pretty much what it says on the tin in terms of its content, so historical fiction fans in Scotland: swing by Summerhall on 24-26th April for some super events. I’ve had a quick nose through and I’ve picked my top for each day, for anyone who can make it.
Friday 24th April 2015: Discovering the truth about Jean Armour aka Mrs Robert Burns.
Catherine Czerkawska will discuss her quest to find out about the long-suffering wife of Rabbie Burns, who also happens to be the central character of her upcoming novel. She says: “Amid the multitude of evocations of the life and times of Burns, one figure remains somewhat shadowy, under-appreciated, occasionally dismissed completely: his wife, Jean. She was much more than the simple country lass perceived by so many biographers.
“She was an intelligent and likeable woman, a woman in whom good natural sense vied with a reckless attachment to one man. Above all, she was among the most musical of Rab’s friends and I suspect that her contribution to his song collecting has always been underestimated.”
Saturday 25th April: Queerying History.
Historical fiction has seen more of a boom the past two decades in writing protagonists that fall outwith the straight, cisgender blueprint. Novelist, short story writer and dramatist Ronald Frame, journalist, author and editor Kaite Welsh and LGBT journalist and literary agent Laura Macdougall will explore the challenges of writing a past for queer and trans people in the genre. Will definitely be an interesting panel to check out.
Sunday 26th April: Circuses and Suffragettes.
Lucy Ribchester’s debut novel The Hourglass Factory takes us to London in 1912, a world alive with suffragettes and circus performers, journalists and cut-throats. I’ve only heard glowing reviews of the book (and still need to read it…), but this is an opportunity to see the author behind this story and hear of her love affair with history. You know when everyone seems to be buzzing about a certain author or book and you’re interest is peaked? That’s what this is: the people who’ve recommended this to me have excellent taste, so it’s an event that people should go to!
Interested? You should be! For full information, including times and prices, visit the Historical Fiction Festival website.