The Dulverton Literary Festival promises topical conversation

‘I’m thrilled that we’re hosting our second year’ says Ali Pegrum the Director of the hugely anticipated Dulverton Literary Festival, ‘The inaugural year was a ‘dip your toe in the Great Exmoor water’, and thankfully it was a great success! In fact, William Sitwell referred to it as a ‘triumph’ and that, along with the positive feedback from authors, sponsors and members of the audience, was hugely well received.’

The festival fills the weekend of November 18-19 and is jam-packed with literary giants as they promote their latest writings, or discuss topics which encourage the audience to consider things from alternative angles. With a line-up including Michael Morpurgo, Rachel Johnson, Janet Ellis and Sarah Turner, it’s highly likely that there’s a novelist which suits your literary tastes. Somerset resident and Masterchef judge, William Sitwell will be interviewing Henry Jeffries on the subject of British Wines as they discuss his latest book, ‘Vines in a Cold Climate’. Dennis Coath, well known as a sports reporter for ITV, will be regaling tales from his professional life so you can also expect stories about Muhammad Ali, Sir Alex Ferguson and Ayrton Senna as he reads excerpts from his book ‘ Rats, Pies and Pigeon Poo.’

Exmoor resident, Rachel Johnson will be chatting to her good friend and former art critic for The Times, Rachel Campbell-Johnston. Johnson wrote her book, ‘Rake’s Progress: My Political Midlife Crisis’ in 2020 and no doubt the discussion will be centred around politics with a hint of conversation about life on Exmoor too. Historical biographers Andrew Lownie and Catherine Ostler will be discussing their recent biographies of two very different duchesses. Ali says, ‘ I was tempted to call this section ‘Duchesses behaving badly!’ as both duchesses were involved in two very different scandals!’ Lownie’s, ‘Traitor King – The Scandalous Exile of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’ (Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson) and Ostler’s ‘The Duchess Countess’ about the 18th century Duchess of Richmond, the Countess of Bristol, will be interviewed by local resident and historical novelist Kate Lord Brown. Heading back to current times, Julian Glover will be in conversation with Exmoor writer, Victoria Eveleigh as they discuss, ‘What is our countryside for?’ Glover, renowned for being David Cameron’s speech writer, wrote the governmental review, ‘Landscapes Review: National Parks and AONBs’ so you can expect a lively conversation.

Dulverton will also be welcoming British explorer Belinda Kirk and UK survival expert John Hudson along with travel writer, Hilary Bradt as they chat about far flung destinations, whilst local railway historians, Freddie Huxtable, Ian Coleby and Amyas Crump will be discussing matters a little closer to home as they look into Somerset and Devon’s lost railways. Ali says, ‘Our Exmoor festival is for story lovers of all ages. Everyone has a story to tell and it’s just so interesting to hear other people’s stories and broaden one’s mind.’