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York Literature Festival 2017

York Literature Festival 2017

York Literature FestivalSt Peter’s School will be hosting eight events as part of York Literature Festival 2017. The festival takes place from 16-30 March and will include readings, interviews and literary tours.

Tickets can be purchased from York Theatre Royal on 01904 623568 or:   

Further information can be found at

Events at St Peter’s School are listed below - each will feature a talk, followed by refreshments and a book signing.

An Audience with Gervase Phinn - Sunday 19 March 6pm, £7.50

Gervase Phinn – comedian, author, poet, broadcaster, lecturer, educational guru, after-dinner speaker and “born raconteur” (The Guardian) - is perhaps best known for his warm-hearted reminiscences (published by Penguin) about the life of a schools inspector in the Yorkshire Dales and for his best-selling series of novels in the Little Village School Series with Hodder. Affectionately dubbed ‘the James Herriot of Schools’, Gervase has written a wide range of academic books, short stories, children’s poetry and fiction.

Dan Cruickshank: A History of The World In 100 Buildings - Monday 20 March 7pm, £10

Journeying through time and place, from the ancient Egyptian pyramids to the soaring skyscrapers of Manhattan, renowned architectural historian Dan Cruickshank explores the most inspirational and characterful world buildings. His selection includes many of the world’s best known buildings that represent key pioneering moments in architectural history such as the Pantheon in Rome, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Forbidden City in Beijing. But he also presents less obvious, more surprising structures; the unsung heroes of this fascinating story... like the Oriel Chambers in Liverpool, and the Narkomfin Apartment building in Moscow. Having visited all but three of the 100 buildings, even though some are in  inaccessible locations such as the Hatra in Iraq and the currently threatened Palmyra in Syria, he speaks movingly about ancient artefacts, some of which may never be experienced again first hand.

An audience with Ann Widdecombe - Tuesday 21 March 7pm £10

Ann Widdecombe enjoyed a successful political career as an MP for 23 years becoming a Minister of State and Shadow Cabinet Minister. After retiring from the House of Commons she is now a journalist, broadcaster and author and in 2010 enjoyed a nine week run on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ partnered by Anton du Beke.  Ann will talk about her political career, her life following Westminster and her books.

Jeff Forshaw: Universal: A Guide to the Cosmos - Wednesday 22 March 7pm, Free

Jeff Forshaw is Professor of Particle Physics at the University of Manchester and has just co-written ‘Universal: A Guide to the Cosmos’ with Brian Cox. He recently won the Kelvin Medal for explaining science to non-experts.

Jeff will explain the time before the Big Bang, when the Universe was compressed into a space smaller than an atom. He will take us on an epic journey of scientific exploration and reveal how we can all understand some of the most fundamental questions about our galaxy. This will be an engrossing lecture whatever your level of scientific knowledge. All are welcome.

Tickets are FREE and available here:

Richard Coles in conversation - Sunday 26 March 6pm, £7.50

After a life of sex and drugs and the Communards the Reverend Richard Coles went on to devote himself to God and Christianity. He is now Vicar of Finedon, in Northamptonshire & a much-loved broadcaster, presenting Saturday Live on Radio 4 and giving us a regular reason to Pause for Thought on Radio 2. 

He is the UK's only vicar to have had a number-one single ('Don't Leave Me This Way' by The Communards, his and Jimmy Sommerville's 80s pop duo).

Coles was an inspiration for the character of Adam Smallbone (played by Tom Hollander) in BBC Two's sitcom ‘Rev’, and is one of the inspirations for Bridget's gay friend Tom in ‘Bridget Jones's Diary’. He is the author of ‘Bringing in the Sheaves’, ‘Fathomless Riches’ and ‘Lives Of The Improbable Saints’. He starred in Celebrity Masterchef during summer 2016.

He lives in his parish of Finedon, Northamptonshire with his partner David, also a vicar, and their beloved dachshunds and cat.

POSTPONED Christina Lamb in conversation - Monday 27 March 7pm, £7.50

Christina Lamb’s talk at St Peter’s School on 27 March has been postponed.

This is due to her ongoing work commitments in the Middle East.

Christina was very much looking forward to participating in York Literature Festival and we hope to reschedule her talk for the autumn term.

All other lectures will continue to run as advertised.

If you booked and paid for tickets through the Theatre Royal, the organisers of the Literature Festival would like to offer you tickets to an alternative event at St Peter’s School as follows:

26 March      Rev Richard Coles

29 March      Jonathan Dimbleby

30 March      The Yorkshire Rows

If you would like to move your tickets to one of the above events, the Theatre Royal can arrange that for you or offer you a full refund. 

Please contact the Theatre Royal Box Office to arrange a ticket exchange or refund.  

Christina Lamb is currently Chief Foreign Correspondent for ‘The Sunday Times’ and is a bestselling author. Her particular passions are Afghanistan and Pakistan which she has covered since an unexpected wedding invitation led her to Karachi in 1987, when she was just 21. Christina has been named Foreign Correspondent of the Year five times and was made an OBE in 2013.  

She has written eight books including the bestselling ‘I Am Malala’ and has recently published ‘Farewell Kabul; From Afghanistan to a More Dangerous World’ and ‘Nujeen; One Girl’s Incredible Journey from War-torn Syria in a Wheelchair.’

Jonathan Dimbleby: The Battle of the Atlantic - Wednesday 29 March 7pm, £10

Jonathan Dimbleby has had a long and distinguished career as a TV and radio journalist and is best known as the chairman of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’.

The Battle of the Atlantic was crucial to the Allied victory. If the German U-boats had prevailed, the maritime artery across the Atlantic would have been severed. Mass hunger would have consumed Britain, and the Allied armies would have been prevented from joining in the invasion of Europe. There would have been no D-Day. The Battle of the Atlantic interweaves fascinating contemporary diaries and letters with a thrilling narrative and, uniquely, the overall picture of the Second World War. From senior members of the competing High Commands in London, Washington, Berlin and Moscow down to the humblest sailor, Jonathan Dimbleby tells the epic story of the decisions that led to victory, and the horror and humanity endured in those perilous seas.

The Yorkshire Rows: Four Mums in a Boat - Thursday 30 March 7pm, £10

The incredible true story of four ordinary working mums from Yorkshire who took on an extraordinary challenge and broke a world record along the way, proving it’s never too late to go on a life-changing adventure, experience the beauty and power of the elements, push the very limits of your abilities and rediscover who you are. Come to this event, which marks the end of this year's festival, and hear about their experiences of rowing across the Atlantic, before meeting the remarkable Yorkshire Rows themselves.

Tickets for further Public Lectures at St Peter's School are free and available here: