Why the crowds all adore Appledore – the friendly book festival
Tomorrow is the end of this year's popular Appledore Book Festival. Now in its seventh year, the festival attracts a wonderful line-up of world-class writers and speakers.
One of last year's visitors, radio and television presenter Jeremy Vine, returns again, this time as a patron of the festival.
This weekend's events feature star names Michael Palin, Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley and Ann Widdecombe – all sadly sold out, but there are still plenty of talks to entertain.
Today Jonathan Dimbleby talks about Destiny in the Desert – The Road to El Alamein at St Mary's Church at 2pm. Jonathan, pictured, unravels the true significance of the battle which inspired Churchill to say: "This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
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This afternoon Piers Dudgeon talks about his new biography of Maeve Binchy (see above).
Tomorrow the Appledore Book Fair takes place all day, from 10.30am to 4pm in Appledore Hall.
Hundreds of secondhand and antiquarian books will be displayed for sale by Westcountry booksellers who will also offer maps, prints, ephemera and postcards.
One famous writer who lived in Appledore was Daniel Farson. Known for his somewhat colourful lifestyle, Farson was also a TV documentary maker and journalist.
Among his published works were travel books and biographies and he also portrayed life in the drinking clubs and pubs of Soho in his autobiography Never a Normal Man and his book Soho in the Fifties. First edition copies of these books in fine condition will be on sale on the stall of local bookseller Peter Hames, priced at £15 and £45 respectively.
Local historian Peter Christie will give a talk at St Mary's Hall tomorrow morning at 11am based on his research of 120 years of letters to The North Devon Journal.
He looks at a selection of them, with all their eccentricities, poignancy, bizarre ideas and the wonderful language their writers employ.
At the same venue at 2pm, husband-and-wife historians and archaeologists Roy and Lesley Adkins offer a vivid portrait of Georgian and Regency England from their new book, Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England.
Tickets from the Appledore Book Festival box office on 01237 424949. For information about the book fair call 01237 421065.