The Independent Bath Literature Festival


Austentatious - Credit: Archant

Prepare to be inspired, cheered, challenged, moved and uplifted by the written and spoken word

Jonathan Dimbleby

Jonathan Dimbleby - Credit: Archant

The theme for 2014’s Independent Bath Literature Festival is Bliss, so what is best-selling novelist Joanna Trollope’s greatest joy?

Jennifer Saunders

Jennifer Saunders - Credit: Archant

The answer is Jane Austen and her much-anticipated re-working of Austen’s first novel, Sense and Sensibility, was one of the most talked-about books of last year.

Trollope delivers a special ‘Bliss Lecture’ unique to the festival on why Austen means so much to her, both as a writer and a reader.

“Nothing is so fascinating as good narrative,” she says.

“Nobody of any age can resist ‘What happens next...’.”

Joanna helps to cast Jane Austen in a new light in a series of events with Val McDiarmid and Edinburgh impro stars Austentatious.

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Other events taking place over the ten days in the World Heritage City include a comedy line up featuring some of the nation’s favourites such as Mark Watson, Jo Caulfield, Lucy Porter and Jennifer Saunders.

Jennifer’s memoir – Bonkers: My Life in Laughs – is packed with celebrity tales about life on set with Ruby Wax, Joanna Lumley and Lulu. Join her in intimate conversation before she embarks on her next quest, the much-vaunted movie spin-off of Absolutely Fabulous.

The Great Bath News Debate with philosopher Alain de Botton, Carl Honore, Jon Snow and Ritula Shah will consider whether news is ruining our lives.

A public reading event will commemorate the anniversary of the Great War.

And in a series of creative workshops there will be advice from internationally-acclaimed writers on short stories, memoir, screenplays, food writing, crafts and much more.

The Independent Bath Literature Festival 2014 is the first for its new artistic director Viv Groskop, the award-winning writer, comedian and broadcaster.

The full festival programme has over 180 events and includes appearances by, among others, Hanif Kureishi, Michael Rosen, Penelope Lively, Patricia Hodge, Gavin Esler, Kirsty Wark, Sally Magnusson and Jonathan Dimbleby.

The Independent Bath Literature Festival runs from 28 February to 9 March and a full programme is available on the website:

Bath Box Office; 01225 463362.