Mavis Cheek introduces the 5th Marlborough Literature Festival

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Many good things come in fives – the five senses, the five vowels of the alphabet, Chanel No.5 – and we can add to that – for here we are in the fifth year of the Marlborough Literature Festival with a programme as varied and all-embracing as anyone who loves reading could possibly wish for. And an enormous thank you in our fifth year to our lead sponsor, Brewin Dolphin, who have supported us from the very beginning.

This year, of course, we join with others to mark the centenary of the First World War. Rowan Williams has always been a defender of peace and a lover of poetry – we are so pleased that he is coming to this year’s Festival. There is more poetry with our opening event, sponsored for the fifth year by Marlborough College – Zena Edwards with her performance of music, drama and words – not to be missed.

Our Golding Speaker this year is Louis de Bernières. I had the pleasure of sharing a platform with him a year or two ago and I can promise you that he is funny, lively, and thought provoking. And the same can be said of Lynne Truss whose wide range of writing more than backs up our Festival’s undertaking to support literature in all its guises.

History is here with the extraordinary story of Richard III’s reappearance – and with Jenny Uglow, one of my writing heroines, whose very personal story of her Cumbrian heroine will enchant you. We have new crime and ancient crime, we have philosophy, we have the story of a hawk that will win your hearts, and so much more…

Finally, the warmest of welcomes from the Literature Festival to the new dawn in the White Horse Bookshop which we (and you) must support and cherish to the hilt. Welcome to all this in our fifth programme of delights. Enjoy it all and, if you will, tell us what you liked and what you did not. We love to hear from you.

Mavis signature from brochure