Page 1

Words by the Water

Festival of Words and Ideas 1 – 10 March 2013 Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

Welcome to Words by the Water WHAT IS THE POINT OF WORDS BY THE WATER?

Melvyn Bragg, Words by the Water’s President

What is the point of festivals like Words by the Water? There are many points – where to start? Thousands of people come to Words by the Water with diverse interests. Some will be interested in politics, others have a concern for the environment; some will have a love of history, others a curiosity about science or economics or philosophy. Many who attend have a general fascination with people and the world, so many topics interest them. Words by the Water aims to cater for a wide variety of people. For this very reason perhaps, there is a warmth, liveliness and buzz such as you find at the best parties. One of the points of festivals seems to be the chance for communities to come together: the like-minded and the not-solike-minded. Don’t rely on this short and limited response to the question, “What is the point of Words by the Water?” Come to Theatre by the Lake in March, join in the festival and provide your own answers. Festival Directors: Kay Dunbar, Stephen Bristow, Chloë Bar-Kar and Videl Bar-Kar follow us @ways_with_words #wayswithwords

As I write this, I’ve just come back from walking on Hampstead Heath in thick mists. It was almost as if the Heath had been painted new colours. People and dogs loomed, appeared and disappeared as might-be ghosts of artists like Constable and Dickens and Lawrence, and especially Keats who lived nearby and, who knows, might have got a whiff of his inspiration from this particular sight in this particular place. One of the aspects of the Lake District is that the sites and places have given rise to poems, novels, essays and stories for well over 200 years now, and so we drift through a place as much marked by literature as it is by landscape. The new site of course is Theatre by the Lake. Just across the lake is an island which used to be called St. Erebert’s after the saint who lived there in the 7th Century, and his greatest wish was to die on the same day as St. Cuthbert, and meet him in heaven. Meetings of a more earthly variety now take place at a festival devoted to words, which attracts literally thousands of wordseekers looking perhaps, like St. Erebert, for their small purchase on an elevated kingdom.

Thank you to:

Sue Allan Christopher Burns Richard Eccles (Cumbria Life) James & Janaki Fryer Spedding (Mirehouse) Patric Gilchrist (Theatre by the Lake) Philippa Harrison Gwenda and Lucy Matthews (Bookends) Elizabeth Stott Helen Towers (Reader Development Officer)

The Publishers: Abacus, Biteback Publishing, Bloomsbury, Chatto & Windus, Doorstop, Ebury Publishing, Faber and Faber, Fourth Estate, Granta, Guardian Books, Harper Collins, Hodder and Stoughton, Litfest & Smith, Little Brown, Martha Halford PR, Orion, Oxford University Press, Palgrave MacMillan, Penguin General, Penguin Press, Polity Press, Profile Books, Quarto Books, Random House, Saraband, Simon & Schuster, Square Peg, Thames & Hudson, The Bodley Head Ltd, Verso Books, Vintage, Virago, Yale University Press


Support in Kind:

The Advisory Group Members:

We are pleased to be supporting Words by the Water and look forward to seeing you at the Festival Bookshop, Theatre by the Lake. We also welcome you to our shops Bookends 56 Castle Street Carlisle Tel 01228 529067 Bookends 66 Main Street Keswick Tel 017687 75277 and Bookcase 17 Castle Street Carlisle Tel 01228 544560, for rare and secondhand books and new classical CDs

Friday 1 March – Main House 2.30pm Main House £9

Sponsored by

Radio 4 legend James Naughtie explains how he selected 60 public figures from all walks of life who defined our times, for the Diamond Jubilee. The result was a fascinating insight into creativity and achievement, from Doris Lessing to Simon Cowell. How were they picked and do you agree with the selection?

4pm Main House £9

Sandi Toksvig Comedy and Fiction

5.30pm Main House £9

Chris Mullin A Very British Coup

James Naughtie Sandi Toksvig

James Naughtie The New Elizabethans

Comedian and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig discusses her work and her inventive new novel about a young woman, Valentine Grey, who dons her cousin’s uniform and goes to fight in the Boer War. Exploring gender, liberty, empire and injustice, the novel follows Indian-born Valentine who must now cope with the insufferable English weather and society.

Chris Mullin revisits his acclaimed political satire, ‘A Very British Coup’, after a new Channel 4 series, ‘Secret State’, has been broadcast, inspired by his original book. The drama of a Labour leader fighting to dissolve the monopoly of a newspaper magnate is more prescient than ever before.

Main House Day Ticket - £21 for 3 events (not including 8pm event)

Friday 1 March – Studio 8pm 10pm Main House £12

Arthur Smith Exposed! An evening of sublime playfulness from the star of ‘Grumpy Old Men’, ‘QI’, ‘Have I Got News For You’ and BBC Radio 4’s ‘Loose Ends’. A one-man show crammed with jokes, anecdotes, short stories, poems and songs, guaranteed to bring a night of hilarity, mirth and scandal . . . with just a touch of rudeness thrown in for good measure. There will be a 30 min. interval.

4.15pm Studio £8

Paul Scott Willows, Windmills and Wild Roses – Landscape, Pattern and Promiscuity A story of confected, printed landscapes - their travels through media, material, cultures, geographies - and an exploration of their contemporary re-animation. Paul Scott is an artist, author and educator. His artworks can be found in public spaces and collections around the globe, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Arthur Smith

There will be an exhibition of Paul’s ceramic work during the festival – Paul Scott: Cumbrian Blue(s) Fri 1 March - Mon 25 March

Saturday 2 March – Main House 11am Main House £9

12.45pm Main House £9

Stuart Prebble Secrets and Submarines Stuart Prebble uses his meticulous journalistic skills to tell a story of Britain...through a submarine. HMS Conqueror is the only sub to have sunk an enemy ship since WWII. Prebble investigates whether Margaret Thatcher deliberately sunk the ship that killed 323 men in an Argentine cruiser, and delves into the murky history of the Falklands war.

Simon Hoggart House of Fun: 20 Glorious Years in Parliament Simon Hoggart recalls his 20 years as parliamentary sketch writer and political commentator for the Guardian. From Tony Blair with his verb-free sentences, to Michael Fabricant with his My Little Pony hair piece and David Cameron, who really hates being drawn with a condom on his head, this is instant history with a comic twist.

Simon Hoggart

2.30pm Main House £9

Claire Tomalin

Claire Tomalin Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria: A Surprising Relationship Claire Tomalin is a masterful biographer who has breathed life into some of our best-loved writers, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Samuel Pepys and Jane Austen. She now turns her pen to Charles Dickens. Come and hear the intriguing story of the novelist and the queen.

4.15pm Main House £9

Melvyn Bragg The Great William Tyndale, 1494 - 1536 Tyndale was a scholar and theologian whose translation of the New Testament was the first to be printed in English. His simple, clear style was a model for subsequent English translations of the bible. Melvyn Bragg, Words by the Water’s president, presents a case for him being the greatest Englishman who ever lived.

8pm Main House £9

Melvyn Bragg

6pm Main House £9

From many years at the forefront of government fellow Labour politicians, Jack Straw and Chris Mullin, offer authoritative insights into the complex and fascinating world of British politics and discuss some of the seminal decisions that have shaped the world we live in today.

Tony Hawks

Tony Hawks Transforming Words: A Journey from Book to Film

Jack Straw

Comedian, author amd Radio 4 regular, Tony Hawks, takes us through the challenges of changing a book into a film. Illustrated with clips from the films made from his books ‘Round Ireland With A Fridge’ and ‘Playing the Moldovans at Tennis’, he will discuss the problems he faced and the solutions he attempted. Proceeds from this event will go to The Tony Hawks Centre for children with cerebral palsy in Moldova.

Main House Day Ticket - £35 for 5 events (not including 8pm event)

Jack Straw in conversation with Chris Mullin A Ringside View

Saturday 2 March – Studio – More Than Money 12.15pm Studio £8

Colin Crouch What’s Left of What’s Right? Our Economy and Our Future

3.45pm Studio £8

The author of ‘The Death of Economics’, ‘Butterfly Economics’ and ‘Why Most Things Fail’, Paul Ormerod argues that the financial crisis exposes the limits of modern economics, and the need to adapt to modern living. He explores network effects - the idea that people often change their behaviour simply because of others, and the perils and possibilities therein.

Why, when the financial system all but collapsed, did the free market emerge not only unscathed, but largely unchallenged? In plain, animated English, Colin Crouch examines the ‘too big to fail’ corporations, the danger of lobbyists, and the shape of things to come. 2pm Studio £8

Colin Mayer Crisis, Commitment and the Corporation In the midst of global financial turmoil, Colin Mayer turns his eye to the role of the business corporations that shape so much of our world. He asks why so many firms are failing us, and sets out an agenda for converting the corporation into a twenty-first century organization that we will value and trust.

All Studio events today are sponsored by

Paul Ormerod How Networks Can Revolutionise the World

5.30pm Studio £8

Mrs Moneypenny Straight Talking Mrs. Moneypenny’s weekly column in the Financial Times and her role as presenter of Channel 4’s ‘Superscrimpers’ have garnered her many devoted fans. Her views and advice are always frank, humorous and full of wisdom. Today she will enlighten us on the state we’re in, and about her latest book, ‘Mrs. Moneypenny’s Careers Advice for Ambitious Women’.

Studio Day Ticket - £24 for 4 events

Mrs Moneypenny



The story of long-term investment continues. Baillie Gifford is delighted to be a major sponsor of Words by the Water. We are one of the UK’s largest investment trust managers. In our daily work in investments we do our very best to emulate the diligence and imagination that successful writers bring to the creative process. Our free tri-annual Trust magazine offers you an engaging and insightful overview of the investment world along with details of our literary festival activity throughout the UK.

To find out more about our sponsorship or to enter our prize draw, visit us* at *To access the prize draw page you must use the full URL stated above. Baillie Gifford Savings Management Limited (BGSM) produces Trust magazine and is wholly owned by Baillie Gifford & Co, which is the manager and secretary of eight investment trusts. Your personal data is held and used by BGSM in accordance with data protection legislation. We may use your information to send you details about Baillie Gifford products, funds or special offers and to contact you for business research purposes. We will only disclose your information to other companies within the Baillie Gifford group and to agents appointed by us for these purposes. You can withdraw your consent to receiving further marketing communications from us and to being contacted for business research purposes at any time. You also have the right to review and amend your data at any time.

Sunday 3 March – Main House 11am Main House £9

Michael Frayn Writing Farce and Other Challenges

12.30pm Main House £9

Raymond Tallis Seized by Wonder

Raymond Tallis

Much-loved playwright, novelist and journalist Michael Frayn discusses the challenges of writing comedy in the light of his new, acclaimed, farcical novel ‘Skios’, together with the other comedic, dramatic, fictional and philosophical works that make up his well-known canon.

The proper state of mankind is one of wonder; the world is miraculous and not everything is explicable by rational thought: challenging thoughts from philosopher and polymath Raymond Tallis whose witty and provocative ideas make us see, and wonder, in new ways.

2pm Main House £9

Salley Vickers Writing Influences

3.30pm Main House £9

Pat Barker Fiction and the First World War

Salley Vickers

There is something special about the medieval Cathedral of Chartres and the mysterious woman, named Agnès Morel, who is to be found cleaning it each morning. No one quite knows where she came from. Salley Vickers, author of the celebrated ‘Miss Garnet’s Angel’, discusses her new novel, ‘The Cleaner of Chartres’, a compelling story of tragedy, second chances and the power of the past.

Booker prize-winner and author of the acclaimed ‘Regeneration’ trilogy, Pat Barker, discusses her new novel ‘Toby’s Room’; a dark wartime tale of intrigue, loss, secrecy, identity and betrayal. She talks of her fascination with World War One and the wounded soldiers who survived, and divulges fresh insights into her latest powerful novel.

Alexander McCall Smith

5pm Main House £9

Sponsored by

Jonathan Fenby China Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Jonathan Fenby tackles the story of an extraordinary country, and its disparate elements: the rapidly expanding economy, the population of over 1.3 billion, its trade surplus, its dubious free speech record. Fenby argues that only by seeing China as a whole can we arrive at a coherent picture of its nature and depict its future.

Main House Day Ticket - £35 for 5 events (not including 7.30pm event)

7.30pm Main House £9

Alexander McCall Smith Botswana to Edinburgh, Medicine to Music: An Author’s Many Worlds Alexander McCall Smith is much-loved for his murder mystery series, ‘The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’. As prolific as he is multifarious, McCall Smith has written children’s books, novels, short stories and series. Come and hear the international best-selling writer talk about his work.

Sunday 3 March – Studio – History 11.15am Studio £8

Chris West First Class: A History of Britain in 36 Postage Stamps

Sarah Wise Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England

3.45pm Studio £8

Stamps tell a story. Using 36 of our most expressive, quirky, beautiful and sometimes baffling stamps, Chris West tells us the story of Britain, through Dickens and the Potato Famine to Thatcher and Punk. Since the Penny Black in 1840, stamps have made and mirrored history, providing a tantalising window into an era. 12.45pm Studio £8

Mary Fulbrook A Small Town Near Auschwitz Mary Fulbrook’s family, refugees from Nazi Germany, knew the family of Udo Klausa well. However, a few years ago, Mary Fulbrook discovered that Udo Klausa, a seemingly normal family man, implemented Nazi policies in his area. Using a wealth of personal letters, memoirs and interviews Mary Fulbrook questions how ordinary people such as Udo became Nazi perpetrators.

2.15pm Studio £8

Sarah Wise looks over 75 years of psychiatry in 19th Century England, bringing to light new research and unseen stories of contested lunacy. Exploring Victorian social history, she provides unique insight into the sexuality, fears and greed of the Victorian middle class.

James Long History and Fiction James Long has written several novels that rely on his understanding and knowledge of history, including his latest, ‘The Lives She Left Behind’, the long awaited sequel to his novel ‘Ferney’. In the wake of Hilary Mantels’ double Booker success he discusses the popularity and relevance of historical fiction.

Christopher Clark

5.15pm Studio £8

Sarah Wise

Christopher Clark The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 Drawing on an array of new sources, Christopher Clark, Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge, examines the myriad causes of the outbreak of WW1, to reveal a story that offers worrying parallels to today’s conflicts.

Studio Day Ticket - £30 for 5 events

Monday 4 March – Main House

Gavin Francis

11am Main House £9

Gavin Francis Empire Antarctica Gavin Francis, a medical doctor from Scotland, spent fourteen months living alongside emperor penguins on a profoundly isolated British research station in Antarctica. Following the penguins throughout the year, Gavin Francis explores the hardship of living surrounded by ice, where the legends of Scott and Shackleton loom large, and the penguin community brings unexpected comfort.

1.30pm Main House £9

Before Bletchley Park could break the German codes, the enemy’s daily communications were monitored around the clock by the Listening Service – a team of young men and women posted across the world. From Cairo to Karachi, Sinclair McKay unearths a fascinating compendium of memories from surviving veterans, whose vital contribution to the war effort was previously shrouded in secrecy. 3pm Main House £9

Main House Day Ticket - £21 for 3 events

Sinclair McKay The Secret Listeners: Breaking the German Codes

Heidi Thomas Call the Midwife Heidi Thomas discusses the writing and making of hit BBC show ‘Call the Midwife’. Exploring its historical context, Heidi Thomas explains how Jennifer Worth’s 1950s memoirs were brought to the screen, how the post-war period was recreated, and how she and the actors felt about bringing a very special piece of literature to life.

Monday 4 March – Studio 2pm 4.30pm (with an interval) Studio £8

Two events curated and presented by New Writing Cumbria, the county’s literature development project.

The Fire Crane – No Signal The Fire Crane is a new literary freesheet published by New Writing Cumbria, showcasing the best of contemporary Cumbrian literature. This is the launch event for issue 02, which will have a country theme. There’s something nasty in the woodshed – infected badgers, low wages, wicked house prices, and no signal on your mobile.

Climbing The Dark Mountain A ‘live anthology’ from Cumbrian writers and Ulverston-based Paul Kingsnorth, who directs Dark Mountain, an international network of artists and thinkers who believe that our converging global crises are rooted in the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and where we are going.

Bursaries to Words by the Water If you are between the ages of 17 – 25 you may be eligible to attend events at this year’s festival

5pm Studio £8

free of charge

David Ward Noisy Owls and Dead Nuns: Highlights from Theatre by the Lake What happened to the wandering cactus? Who had a bad attack of wind? Who kept forgetting to put his pants on? And where did the bustenhancing chicken fillets go? Join the staff of Theatre by the Lake as they celebrate the joys of live theatre in ‘Noisy Owls and Dead Nuns’.

To find out more email

Tuesday 5 March – Main House

© Val Corbett

10.15 11.30am Circle Gallery £6 (Advance booking essential)

Poetry Breakfast Coffee, Croissants And Poetry Bring a poem to read, one of your own or one you admire.

11am Main House £9

Kate Summerscale The Private Diary

1.30pm Main House £9

Jenny Uglow Sarah Losh, a Romantic Heroine

Mrs Henry Robinson, a thirtyone year old Victorian lady in a loveless marriage, was often left alone with her fantasies and so decided to record them. The result was a lustful, intimate diary which rocked and disturbed Victorian society when it was discovered. Kate Summerscale, author of ‘The Suspicions of Mr Whicher’, discusses the journal, and the scandalous trial it provoked.

Born into an old Cumbrian family, friends to Wordsworth and Coleridge, Sarah Losh was a radical female stone carver. Hers is a story of the personal joy of making and of the skill of local, unsung craftsmen. Award-winning biographer Jenny Uglow brings to life an extraordinary woman and the history of a magnificent region.

Phyllida Law Dementia, Ma and Me

4.30pm Main House £9

Barry Cunliffe Our Origins and Earliest Ancestors

Kate Summerscale

Jenny Uglow

3pm Main House £9

Recently widowed, bringing up two daughters (actresses Emma and Sophie Thompson), and working as a successful actress, Phyllida Law went to Scotland as often as possible to spend time with her ailing mother. Her frank, funny and moving journal charts her relationship with her mother – and her mother’s demise.

Phyllida Law

12,000 years ago bands of huntergatherers re-colonized the islands we now know as Britain and Ireland. Sir Barry Cunliffe, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Oxford and Commissioner of English Heritage, unearths the story of Britain’s origins and ancestors, dispelling myths and upturning longheld assumptions along the way. 7.30pm Main House £9

Matthew Parris

Andrew Bryson

Main House Day Ticket - £28 for 4 events (not including 7.30pm event)

Matthew Parris and Andrew Bryson Brits Abroad In a sequel to the rip-roaringly funny ‘Parting Shots’, Matthew Parris and Andrew Bryson bring together some of the funniest despatches from British Ambassadors. Stories include being lost in Russia, and the horse given as a present to John Major by Turkmenistan. A hilarious insight into how the British view the world . . . and how the world views us.

Tuesday 5 March – Studio – The Environment 11.15am Studio £8

1.45pm Studio £8

Miriam Darlington In Search of the Wild Otter Over the course of a year and a half Miriam Darlington travelled around Britain in search of the wild otter. Today she charts her search through Wales, Northumberland, Cornwall and Cumbria, and her meetings with conservationists, ecologists, scientists, nature enthusiasts, otter experts, hunters and poets.

Mike Berners-Lee The Future of Energy and Geopolitics Mike Berners-Lee reveals climate change as one of the most challenging intellectual, social and political puzzles in human history. As carbon emissions continue to accelerate upwards, following a trend that goes back hundreds of years, he cuts across science, politics, economics and psychology to make sense of the key issue of our times.

3.15pm Studio £8

Sara Maitland Gossip from the Forest

4.45pm Studio £8

Fairytales are one of our earliest, most vital cultural forms, and forests are an example of ancient, primal landscapes. Through a blend of nature writing, history and imaginative fiction, Sara Maitland explores the intimate connection between our forests and fairytales. She tells of visiting, camping and walking through Britain’s woodlands to discover their literary secrets.

Fiona Martynoga Wild Harvests

6.15pm Studio £8

Foragers assemble. Learn how to connect with the land around you, and how to put plants from fields, woods and seashores to best use. Get tips for finding firewood and seaweeds. Fiona Martynoga is an expert in wild cooking, from nettle haggis to blueberry muffins.

Simon Garfield On The Map: Why the World Looks the Way it Does Maps fascinate - they chart our understanding of the world, they log our progress, but above all they tell our stories. From the early sketches of philosophers and explorers through to Google Maps; from spellbinding treasure maps to cartographic frauds and dealers in rare maps; Simon Garfield examines how maps both relate and realign our history.

Simon Garfield

Studio Day Ticket - £30 for 5 events

Wednesday 6 March – Studio – Writing the World

Nadeem Aslam

Andrea Stuart

11.15am Studio £8

Nadeem Aslam Novel Territory

1.45pm Studio £8

Andrea Stuart Sugar and Slavery

Two brothers enter Afghanistan, not to fight with the Taliban, but to help wounded civilians. However, good intentions can’t keep them out of harm’s way. Nadeem Alsam, author of ‘Maps for Lost Lovers’, has written a searing novel set in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the months following 9/11 - a story of war, family, and loss.

Andrea Stuart’s earliest known ancestor, George Ashby, left Britain for a new life in Barbados in the late 1630s. Over the following centuries a story of insatiable greed, forbidden love, abuse and liberation unfolds. Mixing extensive historical research and biography, Andrea Stuart follows her family’s involvement with sugar, charting the history of slavery and empire through generations.

Studio Day Ticket - £24 for 4 events

Sarah Moss

J. David Simons

3.15pm Studio £8

Sarah Moss Strangers in Iceland

4.45pm Studio £8

Change of Programme

Having been fascinated by Iceland when she was a child, Sarah Moss jumped at the chance of moving to Reykjavik. She tells the story of navigating a sublime landscape, both alien and familiar, and what it’s like to settle with a young family into a land of extremes.

Jay Griffiths is unable to attend the festival. The following event will replace

J. David Simons Japan: Its History, Present Day and Relations with the West J. David Simons’ latest novel ‘An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful’ is set in Japan, both in the 1950s whilst still grappling with the devastation of the war, and in the present day. The author describes how the seven years he spent in that country informed his work, a sweeping tale of East and West, love and war, truth and denial.

Wednesday 6 March – Main House

Oliver James

11am Main House £9

1.30pm Main House £9

Victoria Glendinning

Oliver James Making it Work Clinical psychologist and author Oliver James issues challenges on coping with success in his bestselling book ‘Affluenza’, to family life in ‘They F*** You Up’, through to attitudes to dementia. Now he studies the world of work and explains why relationships in the workplace are so vital.

3pm Main House £9

Victoria Glendinning, a prizewinning biographer, takes on the life of Thomas Stamford Raffles (17811826): the charismatic founder of Singapore and the Governor of Java, English adventurer, disobedient employee of the East India Company, utopian imperialist, linguist, zoologist and civil servant. She tells about his extraordinary life and controversial rise within the social and historical contexts of his world.

Harriet Sergeant My Years With a Teenage Gang One day, while writing a report on why so many working-class boys fail at school, Harriet Sergeant met a teenage gang. It was a meeting that turned into an unlikely friendship and altered many of her views. She describes how this friendship changed her and investigates the forces that turn young men to a world of crime.

Victoria Glendinning Raffles and the Golden Opportunity

Harriet Sergeant

Michael Holroyd

4.30pm Main House £9

6.30pm Main House £9

Michael Holroyd On Wheels Acclaimed biographer Michael Holroyd takes the humble automobile as his latest subject. Weaving together memoir and anecdote with historical example he will trace his relationship with cars and driving through a lifetime of biography. Hear how George Bernard Shaw continued to drive with reckless gusto into his 80s and how, for Vita Sackville-West, her car was a boudoir.

Rachel Holmes and Guests Fifty Shades of Feminism Fifty years after the publication of ‘The Feminine Mystique’, have women really exchanged purity and maternity to become desiring machines inspired only by variations of sex, shopping and masochism? Writer Rachel Holmes has brought together fifty women – young and old, writers, politicians, actors, scientists, mothers – to reflect on what being a woman means to them today.

Main House Day Ticket - £35 for 5 events (not including 8pm event)

8pm Main House £9

Val Corbett Rainy Days in the Lake District Prize-winning photographer Val Corbett revels in the rain in the Lake District. She has been out in the foulest weather to capture rolling clouds, fleeting rainbows and sodden sheep. She has photographed wild days, gentle drizzle and benches floating by in the aftermath of the recent floods as well as the dripping anoraks of fell walkers huddled by the fire as the rain patters on. This fun event is a reminder to always look on the bright side, whatever the weather.

© Val Corbett

Thursday 7 March – Main House A MORNING AT GRETA HALL

11am Main House

Keswick, Thursday 7 March, 10.30am – 1pm


Greta Hall was built around 1800 and was the former home of the Lake poets Coleridge and Southey. Southey was the Poet Laureate from 1813 – 1843 and lived there for 40 years. Many literary personalities visited: the Wordsworths, Lamb, Hazlitt, Shelley, Ruskin and Scott. This fine Georgian house, situated just 5 minutes from Keswick town centre, will be the venue for a morning of literary activities. Most will take place in front of the fire in Southey’s study. The tutor will be: Dr. Penelope Bradshaw Senior Lecturer in English and Course Leader for BA English, University of Cumbria. Author of ‘The Lake Poems of John Wilson’. 10.30am - 11.30am - Talk: The Background to the Lake Poets 11.30am Coffee and homemade biscuits/cake. 12pm -1pm - Seminar/bookgroup: Reading and discussion of some of Wordsworth’s poems. The poems to be discussed will be provided in advance.

Greta Hall, Keswick

COST: £22

12.45pm Main House £9

Piers Brendon Eminent Elizabethans In his witty and irreverent style Piers Brendon takes on four major figures most representative of the current Elizabethan age. With a beady eye and sharp blade he discusses ‘messianic’ Margaret Thatcher, ‘polluting’ Rupert Murdoch, ‘dilettante’ Prince Charles and ‘gyrating’ Mick Jagger – the counter-culture rock star who accepted a knighthood.

Howard Goodall The Story of Music A tour through 40,000 years of music could be dizzying. Awardwinning composer of choral music (Eternal Light: A Requiem), stage musicals (Love Story), film and TV scores (The Vicar of Dibley), Howard Goodall leads us through the story of music, breathing life into accepted ideas of harmony, notation, orchestra and dance music. Come and hear a hymn to human endeavour in a journey from prehistoric instruments to pop music.

Main House Day Ticket - £28 for 4 events (not including 6.30pm event)

2.30pm Main House £9

Gerard Lemos The End of the Chinese Dream

Tracy Chevalier

Howard Goodall

Distinguished social theorist and author Gerard Lemos has conducted hundreds of interviews that reveal a very different view of life in twenty-first century China than that depicted in glossy television images of happy, industrious, and increasingly prosperous workers. Find out about the starker reality behind the officially approved story and discover why Chinese people fear the future.

4.15pm Main House £9

Tracy Chevalier Writing The Past

6.30pm Main House £12 – to include event with the writer and film

Tracy Chevalier Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring

Tracy Chevalier, bestselling author of ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, will tell us about her latest journey into the past as she brings us another evocative work of historical fiction. Hear the story behind ‘The Last Runaway’ set in the cornfields of rural Ohio during the final days of slavery.

The inspiration for the story of ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ came to Tracy Chevalier when she was looking at a print of Vermeer’s painting in her home. She was intrigued by the girl’s expression and realised that she had the material for her next novel. The book captured the hearts of thousands of devoted readers. 7.30pm – Girl With a Pearl Earring FILM (cert. 12A) After a short break, with a book signing, Tracy Chevalier’s talk will be followed by a screening of the film.

Thursday 7 March – Studio – Bookcase Day 10.15am Studio £8

11.45am Studio £8

2pm Studio £8

Dr. June Barnes Childhood in the Lakes Wordsworth felt that he had been ‘Fostered alike by beauty and by fear’. In an arresting and original anthology, June Barnes reveals the realities of childhood in the Lake District, the joys and miseries of growing up in one of the most beautiful and remote areas of England.

Julia A. Hickey The Border Ballads ‘The Border Ballads’ tell the turbulent history of the Debateable Lands and the cross border fighting and raiding. Kinmont Willie, Jock of the Side and Hanging Hobbie are the heroes of a dramatic and powerful oral tradition. They gave the words ‘blackmail’ and ‘bereaved’ to the language.

Stephen Matthews Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins in Cumberland

3.45pm Studio £8

Ian O. Brodie The Landscape Protection Movement In 1894 Manchester Corporation built Thirlmere Reservoir to supply water to the city. It was a great feat of Victorian engineering executed in the very heart of the Lake District, but also playing a key role in the development of the environmental movement.

5.15pm Studio £8

The Friends of Keswick Museum and Art Gallery Keswick Characters, Vol. 3 Keswick has been a magnet for people of character and ability. The third volume of this series tells the lives of another dozen people who have been part of this small town and made a significant contribution to national life. Here are Jacobites and Suffragettes, soldiers and clergymen, scientists and novelists.

Dickens and Collins spent six days in Cumberland in 1857. Collins sprained his ankle climbing Carrock. Dickens was impassioned about meeting Nelly Ternan in Doncaster. Those six days revealed the essential character of both men and together they provided an unsurpassed picture of Victorian Cumberland in ‘The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices’.

Studio Day Ticket - £30 for 5 events

Friday 8 March – Studio – Literary Greats 10.30am Studio £8

John Batchelor Tennyson: to Seek, to Strive, to Find Tennyson commanded a wider readership than any other poet of his age. His influence on literary culture was decisive, yet his ascendancy was neither the triumph of pure genius nor an accident, but rather a skilfully crafted career. John Batchelor, former Professor of English Literature at Newcastle University, explores the poems, personal relationships and social pressures that made the man.

12.15pm Studio £8

friend of Beryl Bainbridge for nearly fifty years. Her illustrated portrait of Bainbridge’s life and work traces the close interconnections between her experiences, writing and painting. 3.45pm Studio £8

Psiche Hughes Beryl Bainbridge: Artist, Writer, Friend Beryl Bainbridge, one of our best-loved novelists, was also a passionate painter and artist; a pastime that often helped her

Andrew Wilson Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted Using previously unavailable archives and papers and drawing on exclusive interviews with friends and lovers who have never spoken openly about Sylvia Plath before, Andrew Wilson focuses on Plath’s early life. Fifty years after her death he reclaims Plath’s unsettled and unsettling voice from the tangle of emotions associated with her relationship with Ted Hughes.

Ronald Frame Havisham: a Tribute to Dickens’ Iconic Character Award-winning author Ronald Frame has created a compelling prequel to ‘Great Expectations’, telling the story of Miss Havisham’s early life before her heartbreak. With a story of privilege, family names, new money and vulnerability, Ronald Frame pays tribute to one of Dickens’ most celebrated and iconic characters, and discusses what compelled him to take on such a task.

2pm Studio £8

through moments of troubled writing. Psiche Hughes was a close

5.30pm Studio £8

Michael Baron The Cockermouth Poets Local poet Michael Baron has put together a celebration of the many poets who have trod the streets of this Cumbrian town, whether as residents or guests. He offers gems from bards of almost incomprehensible dialect to droppers-in like Shelley and the modern readings of Heaney, Motion, and Duffy.

Studio Day Ticket - £30 for 5 events

Friday 8 March – Main House 11am Main House £9

Francis Spufford The Case for Christianity

12.30pm Main House £9

Luke Harding Russia: Mafia State

2pm Main House £9

Posy Simmonds Mrs Weber’s Omnibus

Posy Simmonds

For the first time, the classic Guardian cartoon strips that made Posy Simmonds famous are gathered together in a complete collection. Award-winning Posy Simmonds, also celebrated for ‘Literary Life’ and ‘Tamara Drewe’, discusses parody and satirical commentary through drawing.

Francis Spufford

Luke Harding arrived in Moscow, as the new correspondent for the Guardian, in 2007. In the beginning of an aggressive, psychological campaign, agents of Russia’s security service (the successor of the KGB) broke into his flat, tailed him, and bugged him. Luke Harding tracks the insidious methods of intimidation used by a resurgent Kremlin.

Jeremy Bowen

Francis Spufford feels the time has come for a fierce and witty rebuff of Dawkins’ and Hitchens’ attacks on Christianity. He argues that Christianity is recognisable, drawing on the deep yet ordinary vocabulary of human feelings. Believers: come if you are fed up with being patronised. Non-believers: come and find out how faith works in the modern age.

3.30pm Main House £9

5pm Main House £9

Jeremy Bowen On Arab Uprisings As the BBC’s Middle East Editor, Jeremy Bowen was on the ground and witnessed the revolutions and turmoil that swept through the Arab world from October 2010 onwards. He lifts the lid on the brutal police states, tribal loyalty and the influence of social media during this remarkable period.

8pm – 10pm Main House £12

Jon Ronson Madness and Mysteries Jon Ronson is one of the finest comic writers alive. His fascination for unusual behavior has landed him in some remarkable situations with some extraordinary people. He talks about his strange encounters, including a UFO convention (with Robbie Williams), a man who tried to split the atom in his kitchen, and investigating a murder plot in an Alaskan theme town.

Main House Day Ticket - £35 for 5 events (not including 8pm event)

Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson Poetry and Music Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy is that rare creature, an accomplished poet with great popular appeal. Her work deals with subjects as diverse as David Beckham’s Achilles tendon, volcanoes, ash clouds and the magic of childhood. Tonight she is joined by multi-instrumentalist John Sampson who will entertain with music played on unusual period instruments including the crumhorn and the Chinese silken gourd. Includes a 30 min. interval.

Saturday 9 March – Main House

Tom Watson Dial M for Murdoch

Words by the Water / Mirehouse 10th Poetry Competition Event 2pm


Free (but ticketed)

Blake Morrison, judge of this year’s poetry competition, will talk about the process of judging and will introduce the winning poems, some of which will be read at this event. This will be followed by Blake Morrison reading poems from his new book on the Pendle witches.

John Mullan

Polly Toynbee

In 2011, the armour of the Murdoch empire was finally, dramatically pierced. Celebrated Murdochscourge Tom Watson MP tells the full behind-the-scenes story of the phone hacking scandal and marks the moment when everything began to change. Even if you are familiar with the story, you will be astonished by this account.

A.C. Grayling

12.45pm Main House £9

Ian Cobain

John Mullan, Professor of English at UCL and weekly columnist for the Guardian, demonstrates that Jane Austen can be best appreciated by asking some specific questions. Who owned carriages or pianos? What was the correct way to propose? In his lively and entertaining presentation John Mullan throws out some intriguing topics for Austenites who are keen to delve into the intricacy and devilish cleverness of her fiction.

David Walker


John Mullan What Matters in Jane Austen?

Tom Watson

11am Main House

2.30pm Main House £9

4.15pm Main House £9

A.C. Grayling The God Argument Former Professor of Philosophy and current Master of the New College of the Humanities, A.C. Grayling thoroughly and calmly examines all the arguments offered in support of religious belief to ask whether there is an alternative world-view and code of life for non-religious but thoughtful people, who wish to live with intellectual integrity based on reason, evidence and a desire to do and be good.

Ian Cobain Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture The official line is clear: the UK does not ‘participate in, solicit, encourage or condone torture’ and yet evidence to the opposite is irrefutable. Drawing on previously unseen official documents and the accounts of witnesses, victims and experts, prize-winning investigative journalist and a senior reporter at the Guardian, Ian Cobain looks beyond the cover-ups to reveal a secret and shocking record of torture from WWII to the War on Terror.

Main House Day Ticket - £35 for 5 events (not including 8pm event)

6pm Main House £9

Polly Toynbee and David Walker Cameron at Half-Time David Cameron won the last election by presenting himself as compassionate, caring and green – a Tory for the twenty-first century. Polly Toynbee and David Walker discuss the unmasked Cameron, halfway through his first two years in power. They look at a welfare state soon to be in tatters, and ask whether Cameron’s incompetence might stop his government’s agenda in its tracks.

8pm – 9.15pm Main House £12

Virginia Ironside

Virginia Ironside Growing Old Disgracefully Virginia Ironside, doyenne of Fleet Street, explains that unlimited free drugs, fun funerals, grandchildren, sex - or better still no sex - make your 60s the best time of your life. This wise and witty onewoman show was premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2009 and has entertained crowds of all ages since.

Saturday 9 March – Studio – How to Live . . . and Die 10.30am Studio £8

Nigel Warburton Think!

12.15pm Studio £8

Melissa Benn The Battle For Britain’s Education

Nigel Warburton, a brilliant philosopher and podcaster, discusses the ideas and works of some of the most important thinkers in history. From Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, to the groundbreaking modern thought of Wittgenstein and Derrida, he takes us through two and a half millennia of western philosophy, and illuminates its most fascinating ideas.

2pm Studio £8

Andrew Simms Cancel the Apocalypse

3.45pm Studio £8

Mark Rowlands Running with the Pack

5.30pm Studio £8

Peter Stanford How to Read a Graveyard

Writer, journalist and campaigner Melissa Benn has travelled the UK taking a forensic look at our education system, from the poorest comprehensives to the most wellresourced private schools. She gives her timely and passionate argument for why quality universal education is the embodiment of citizenship and the common good. Peter Stanford

Studio Day Ticket - £30 for 5 events

From bad banks to global warming the future might look hopeless, but what if everything could turn out even better than before? In fascinating and iconoclastic detail, on everything from the cash in your pocket to the food on your plate, ‘Tescopoly’ author Andrew Simms describes our current situation and shows how the good life could still remain in our grasp.

Running and philosophising are inextricably connected. Philosopher Mark Rowlands has run for most of his life. As he prepares for a midlife marathon, he recounts some of the most significant runs of his life – from the entire day he spent running as a boy in Wales, to sprinting up Irish mountains with his beloved wolf, Brenin.

Death is the one certainty in life, yet with the decline of religion in the West, we have become collectively reluctant to talk about it. If we want to know how previous generations dealt with death, graveyards tell us the history – if we are able to read them. Peter Stanford ruminates on internet memorials, medieval corpse roads, war graves and our own mortality.

Sunday 10 March – Studio – Science 10.30am Studio £8

Andrew Robinson The Scientists: Incredible Lives, Unbelievable Discoveries Andrew Robinson, editor of ‘The Scientists’, gives a fascinating account of the lives and work behind the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time. From gravity and natural selection to synthetic drugs, nuclear power, brain scanning, the genetic code and the internet, Andrew Robinson tells the personal stories of exceptional men and women.

12.15pm Studio £8

Tim Spector Identically Different: Why You Can Change Your Genes Tim Spector, award-winning genetics professor, reveals how the latest genetic research is rewriting everything we thought we knew about genes, identity and evolution. Since the discovery of DNA, scientists have believed genes are fixed entities, inherited and unable to change. But that view itself has changed to provide a deeper, more exciting, understanding of how our genes shape our identities.

Studio Day Ticket - £30 for 5 events

2pm Studio £8

Donna Dickenson God, Mammon and Biotechnology It is often believed that science and religion are implacable foes. Yet Donna Dickenson, one of the world’s leading authorities in bioethics, suggests that what really threatens science isn’t religion, but commercialization. It’s not Opus Dei that holds patents on human genes, but private firms, who can raise prices beyond what the NHS can afford. Mammon is the real threat.

3.45pm Studio £8

Kathleen Taylor The Brain Supremacy: The Frontiers of Neuroscience Are we really on the verge of being able to read minds? Kathleen Taylor, cognitive neuroscientist, reveals the latest discoveries of brain research and explores what this new and fast growing science will mean for us as individuals, consumers, parents and citizens. Should we be excited or alarmed by these impressive developments?

5.30pm Studio £8

Kevin Fong Life, Death and the Limits of the Human Body Kevin Fong is one of the world’s leading experts on trauma medicine. He draws on his own experience to show how cutting-edge technology is extending the frontiers of human survival. In probing the very limits of our own biology, we are exploring what life is, and what it means to be human.

Sunday 10 March – Main House

Blake Morrison The Last Weekend: Novel and Television Drama When Blake Morrison, poet, memoirist (‘And When Did You Last See your Father’), novelist, reporter and journalist, published his latest novel, ‘The Last Weekend’, ITV decided to serialise it. How different was the theme of the television series from the novel? How did he feel about the re-imagining of his novel?

Main House Day Ticket - £35 for 5 events

Lindsey Hilsum Edwina Currie

12.45pm Main House £9

Virginia Ironside

The overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi has been one of the twentyfirst century’s defining moments: the bizarre dictator brought down by his own people. Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4’s International Editor, was an eyewitness to the Arab Spring. She traces the history of Gaddafi’s regime from its beginnings, and examines how the Libyan people found the strength to rebel and looks to its future.

Ruth Rendell


Lindsey Hilsum Libya The Revolution and Beyond

Blake Morrison

11am Main House

2.30pm Main House £9

4.15 pm Main House £9

Edwina Currie Politics and Me The first edition of Edwina Currie’s diaries revealed her affair with John Major. The second volume begins with her refusal to serve in Major’s cabinet. Edwina Currie continues her explosive revelations, and tracks her new incarnation as a bestselling author, commentator, broadcaster and performer. (We all remember ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.)

Virginia Ironside No! I Don’t Need Reading Glasses Getting on a bit doesn’t mean giving up or even growing up. That is the message of Virginia Ironside’s novel. Life is good for Marie, her heroine, but things change. Always insightful, moving and funny, Virginia Ironside, thoughtful agony aunt, journalist and author, offers her views on ageing.

6pm Main House £9

Ruth Rendell Mistress of the Plot Ruth Rendell has gripped fans for decades with writing that is elegant and unflinching. Today she will talk about her new book, written under her pen name, Barbara Vine. ‘The Child’s Child’, is a mystery which explores changing attitudes to illegitimacy, single parents, and homosexuality. She discusses what distinguishes Barbara Vine from Ruth Rendell and what led her to the use of two identities.

The 10th Words by the Water Mirehouse Poetry Competition COMPETITION THEME:

“I am a part of all that I have met.” (Tennyson) JUDGE:

Blake Morrison

Poet and fiction writer

Ist Prize £350 In addition, the prize-winning poem and eight highly commended poems will be displayed on the Mirehouse Poetry Walk and appear on the Mirehouse website. The eight highly commended poets will each receive a box of new books (value £100). There will be a reading of some of the winning poems at an event with Blake Morrison at Mirehouse on Saturday 9 March at 2pm. (See this programme for full event details.) CONDITIONS OF ENTRY : • Entries are invited for original poems of no more than 40 lines. • Entry fee £4.50 per poem. • Entrants may submit as many poems as they wish. • No entry should have been accepted for publication, read on radio/television or stage or have been awarded a prize in any other competition. FORMAT FOR ENTRIES : • Two copies of each poem must be submitted. • Entries should be typed on one side of paper. • Entrants must not put names or addresses on the work but must put name, address and titles of poems on a separate sheet. • Cheques payable to ‘Words by the Water’ and sent with entries to: Mirehouse Poetry Competition, Droridge Farm, Dartington, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6JG Alternatively the entry poems can be emailed to under the subject heading, Poetry Competition. If this method of submittimg poems is used it will be necessary to phone 01803 867373 and pay the entry fee for the poems by card or else to send a cheque through the post. Closing Date - Thursday 7 February 2013 Winners notified by Wednesday 27 February 2013 Entrants should enclose an s.a.e. for notification of results. (Emailed entries will be notified by email.) Entries cannot be returned.

The Poetry Prize is supported by Mirehouse to celebrate Mirehouse’s longstanding literary connections with writers including Wordsworth, Southey, Tennyson, Carlyle and Thackeray.

Booking and Other Information In Person

Visit the box office at Theatre by the Lake open 9.30am – 8.00pm daily.



Priority Booking

By Phone

Friends of Ways With Words and Theatre by the Lake can book tickets from Friday 14 December 2012. General booking starts on Wednesday 2 January 2013.

Book online at (N.B. Festival Passes are not available on-line.) Call 017687 74411

Payment Methods

Cash, credit or debit cards (Mastercard/ Visa/Switch/ Delta/Electron/Maestro) are accepted or cheques made payable to Theatre by the Lake.

Ticket Delivery

Tickets booked up to seven days in advance will be posted out for a charge of 70p. Tickets booked within seven days of the performance date will be held for collection from the box office.


Reserved tickets which have not been paid for within five days or one hour before the performance begins (whichever is the shorter time) will be offered for sale again.

Refund and Exchange Policy

If you cannot attend a WBTW event we will offer to exchange your ticket for another WBTW 2013 event (subject to availability). There is a £1 fee per ticket for this service. If you cannot attend a WBTW event and you are unable to attend an alternative WBTW 2013 event, Theatre by the Lake can hold a credit for you against a future booking for any performance at the theatre. There is a £1 fee per ticket for this service (with a maximum charge of £10 per transaction). If an event is cancelled you can exchange your ticket for another event at the festival - subject to availability - or for a voucher which you can use at any Ways With Words event in the future. There will be no charge for this. If you don’t wish to exchange you are entitled to a refund of the ticket’s value. (NB this will be a proportion of the value if you bought a day ticket. We do not refund people who hold Festival Passes.)

Festival Passes • Festival Pass ‘A’ at £145 gives entry to all Main House events on Fri 1 - Tues 5 March inc. • Festival Pass ‘B’ at £145 gives entry to all Main House events on Wed 6 - Sun 10 March inc. Passes can be collected from Theatre by the Lake at the start of the festival.

Group Bookings For organisations / groups wishing to bring 10 or more people to an event a reduction of £1 per ticket is available. Please contact the box office by phone for details and reservations.

Young Person Standby Tickets People aged 24 and under can buy tickets normally priced at £9 or £8 for just £4 if purchased 24 hours or less before the event’s start time. Proof of age will be required when you collect your tickets.

Getting There Theatre by the Lake is a 5-minute walk from the centre of Keswick - follow the yellow AA signs for the festival. There is a pay and display car park adjacent to the theatre. Keswick has bus links with Ambleside to the south, Carlisle to the north, Penrith to the east (to mainline trains) and Cockermouth and Workington to the west.

Broaden Your Outlook . . . As well as the Words by the Water festival, Ways With Words organises other festivals in the UK and also holiday courses. For full details of all of these go to or phone 01803 867373 to join our free mailing list.

Fingals Hotel, Dittisham, Devon Writing and Photography Course 28 April – 3 May 2013

Villa Pia, Umbria, Italy Writing and Painting Course 21 – 28 September 2013 28 September - 5 October 2013

. . . We hope to see you back in Keswick for Words by the Water 2014

Speakers include: Pat Barker Melissa Benn Jeremy Bowen Melvyn Bragg Tracy Chevalier Edwina Currie Carol Ann Duffy Michael Frayn Victoria Glendinning Howard Goodall A.C. Grayling Lindsey Hilsum Michael Holroyd Virginia Ironside Oliver James Phyllida Law James Naughtie Matthew Parris Ruth Rendell Jon Ronson Posy Simmonds Alexander McCall Smith Arthur Smith Jack Straw Sandi Toksvig Claire Tomalin Polly Toynbee Jenny Uglow Salley Vickers Tom Watson – and more 017687 74411

Words by the Water 2013  

Words by the Water Festival of Words and Ideas takes place at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, Cumbria from 1 - 10 March 2013

Words by the Water 2013  

Words by the Water Festival of Words and Ideas takes place at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, Cumbria from 1 - 10 March 2013