7-28 November • Taunton • Somerset

Welcome to the 5th Taunton Literary Festival, an exciting programme of events, presented by Brendon Books, Taunton’s independent bookshop.

This year, we have 21 days of events, featuring more than 40 authors, workshops and activities to inspire and entertain you. Why not start your own book at our writer’s workshop? Try your hand at bookbinding or participate in a reading Shakespeare event. We’ve also got readings of Dylan Thomas’s prose and poetry, the launch of an original play, written for radio, as well as a visit from Sunny Ormonde “Lillian Archer” from Radio 4’s The Archers, who is in Taunton with her one woman show.

The festival runs from 7 to 28 November and we look forward to seeing you there.

Featuring This Year

Gervase Phinn

Gervase Phinn is a teacher, freelance lecturer, author, poet, school inspector, educational consultant, and visiting professor of education. For fourteen years he taught in a range of schools, then acted as General Adviser for Language Development in Rotherham before moving on to North Yorkshire, where he spent ten years as a school inspector - time that has provided much source material for his books. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Honorary Fellow of St John's College, York. He lives with his family near Doncaster.

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Rachel Billington

Glory is the story of one of the most tragic campaigns of WW1. It moves from Turkey to England, from Egypt to Malta, to the soldiers at the front and the women at home. It tells of the lives lost, the hearts broken, the decisions cast, the errors made and of the dark reality of the heroic dream. It is the story of three people, their friends and families whose lives are changed forever, as the echoes of war ring loud through the years. Rachel Billington has written twenty-one previous novels as well as ten books for children and several non-fiction works. She is also a regular journalist, feature writer and reviewer. Rachel is the co-editor of Inside Time, the national newspaper for prisoners, and a Vice-President of English PEN. She has four children and five grandchildren and lives in London and Dorset. Glory will be published to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign. The novel was inspired by Rachel's grandfather, Brigadier-General Thomas, Earl of Longford, who fought and died at Gallipoli, and she has drawn on family letters and diaries.

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Vince Cable

Vince Cable's best-selling book, The Storm, explored and explained the causes of the 2008 world economic crisis and how Britain should respond to the great challenges it brought. In After the Storm, Cable, who was Business Secretary in the 2010-2015 coalition government, provides a unique perspective on the state of the global financial markets and how the British economy has fared since 2008. This timely book will provide a previously unreported inside view of the coalition, and offers a carefully considered perspective on how the British economy should be managed over the next decade and beyond. What was sadly missing from the 2015 election campaign, Cable argues, was debate around the economic future of Britain, of how to make improvements in productivity to raise living standards, and above all how Britain can rebalance its economy and earn its keep in an increasingly uncertain global market. Cable addresses these issues from his vantage point as someone who has spent the last five years at the heart of government. After the Storm is a fascinating and urgent intervention from one of the key figures in British politics of the past two decades.

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Tickets for the events are available to purchase directly from Brendon Books or online via Ticket Source below.

Also, please see associate events at the bottom of the page where tickets should be purchased direct from the venue.


Associate Events

Saturday 7 November 10.00 am ­2.00 pm.
Shakespeare Aloud present a free public join in event of As You Like It at Taunton Library.
Join in a shared reading of the play and explore its meanings, for as long or as short a time as you wish. Acting skills are not necessary! Copies of the text are provided.

Saturday 7 November 8.00 pm An Evening with Brian Moore. SOLD OUT
You will be able to put your questions to Brian, one of the most frank, entertaining and respected rugby legends of all time. Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, Address: School Rd, Monkton Heathfield, Taunton TA2 8PD 01823 414141
Brian will also sign copies of his latest book, What Goes on Tour Stays on Tour, after the event.

Monday 9 November 10 am - 4 pm. Bookbinding Workshop with Megan Stallworthy. £40
The venue is Taunton Library. At the workshop you will learn lots of bookbinding skills and techniques. All the materials and equipment are provided. Tools are available to buy at the end of the workshop and there are workshop notes to keep. Please book direct with Megan Stallworthy 07582 783965 /

Wednesday 11 November. 7.30 pm Doug Allen.
Life Behind the Lens Associate festival event at The Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre, Coal Orchard, Taunton TA1 1JL Tickets 01823 283244

Wednesday 11 November. 7.30 pm Nigel Jones.
A New Type of War History Society. Associate event at Queen’s College, Taunton Please pay on door.

Thursday 12 November 7.30 pm. The 39 Steps.
Associate festival event at Tacchi­Morris Arts Centre.
Ticket and enquiries: Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, Address: School Rd, Monkton Heathfield, Taunton TA2 8PD
01823 414141

Wednesday 18 November 7.30 pm. Snow Dragon. Children’s storytelling.
Associate festival event at Tacchi­Morris Arts Centre. Ticket and enquiries: Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, Address: School Rd, Monkton Heathfield, Taunton TA2 8PD
01823 414141

Saturday 21 November 7.30 pm. Dickens Abridged. Associate festival event at Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre.
Ticket and enquiries: Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, Address: School Rd, Monkton Heathfield, Taunton TA2 8PD
01823 414141

Event Sponsors:

Bath Place Taunton Somerset TA1 4ER
01823 337742