Waterstones presents the Lancaster Historical Writing Festival, celebrating the outstanding range of new historical fiction and non-fiction books with a three-day programme of events across the city centre.
Throughout history women have been persecuted and vilified, tried for being witches and hung for notorious murders. Only in recent years have their stories started to come to light. Join Beth Underdown (The Witchfinder's Sister) and Anna Mazzola (The Unseeing) as they discuss their accomplished debut novels, based on the real-life exploits of infamous witchfinder Matthew Hopkins and his sister Alice and Edgware Road murder suspect Sarah Gale respectively.
Beth and Anna will talk about their books before taking audience questions and signing copies of her novels. The event will last approximately one hour, not including the time taken for the book signing.
Novelist Beth Underdown looks at Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. An award-winning novel, recently adapted for TV, it makes a leading fictional protagonist of Thomas Cromwell, the chief minister to Henry VIII who oversaw the break with Rome and the dissolution of the monasteries. Expect an open discussion from the start: you can either read the book ahead of the event, or be inspired to pick it up afterwards.
Founding director of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Donald Smith dips back to Jacobite times for Flora McIvor, offering an antidote to the era’s novelists who could barely raise a pen to provide a decent portrayal of 17th century women. For Beth Underdown's clever debut novel, she picks the 1640s as her literary terrain to view the brutal actions of the Witchfinder General through his sister’s eyes.
What is it about witchcraft that still holds our attention? Beth Underdown, author of The Witchfinder’s Sister, and Syd Moore, author of Strange Magic, discuss our uncanny fascination with Emerald Street’s Anna-Marie Crowhurst.
To launch this year's BookFest, we're celebrating Beth's compelling debut novel with a drinks reception, talk and book-signing
£5 tickets are redeemable* against the book (£14.99) and include wine/juice
Come and meet some of 2017’s most talked about first time authors. Hear them speak about their work and their road to publication, with plenty of opportunities for questions and conversation. Panel event with Nuala Ellwood, author of My Sister's Bones, and Nicolas Obregon, author of Blue Light Yokohama.
Dropping in on the lovely Wivenhoe Bookshop. Includes a glass of wine!
We are delighted to welcome debut author Beth Underdown, who will be talking about her novel detailing the story of 17th Century witch-hunts in East Anglia through the eyes of Alice Hopkins, sister to principle witch finder Matthew Hopkins. When recently widowed Alice returns to Manningtree she finds Matthew a changed man, amidst an atmosphere of fear generated by whispers of witchcraft. Will she be unwillingly drawn in to his dangerous obsession for tracking down the supposed witches? Kate Hamer has called the novel 'a richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel'. It shines a light on a very dark period of history for this area.
Beth will be talking about her new novel & answering questions before signing copies for customers.
Please arrive around 6.30pm for a 7pm start & there will be complementary wine & nibbles.
Further details: 01206 561307
Beth Underdown talks about her remarkable debut novel, based on the life of a real witchfinder.
It’s 1645 – Alice Hopkins returns, husbandless and pregnant, to her brother Matthew’s house in Essex. But what keeps him out late at night and why is he compiling a book of women’s names?
As part of our quest to showcase great writers, we are hosting a series of Local Writing Evenings in our Chelmsford shop throughout the year. To kick this off, we are delighted to welcome Beth Underdown and Syd Moore who will be introducing their new titles: The Witchfinder’s Sister and Strange Magic and discussing the significance of strong female characters in their novels. They will be interviewed by Darryl Webber, a journalist, film blogger, author, occasional DJ and prolific tea drinker.
So, what’s the book that Paula Hawkins stopped editing her follow-up to The Girl on the Train to read? Beth Underdown’s The Witchfinder’s Sister is based on real life figure Matthew Hopkins, the 'Witchfinder General' - the most notorious of the witch hunters, who sent hundreds of women to their deaths in the Tendring Hundred region of Essex in the 1600s. The story is told by the woman who knew him best – his sister Alice, a fantastic female narrator with a strong modern voice, in the tradition of rediscovered historical heroines like Margaret Atwood's Grace Marks and Hannah Kent's Agnes Magnúsdóttir.
Published in May, and in a special preview for this event, Strange Magic is the first in a new series about witches, magic and Essex girls which was inspired by the real-life story of Ursula Cadence and the epidemic of witch hunts that broke out in the village of St Osyth. Syd Moore grew up in and lives in Essex and is the author of two mystery novels The Drowning Pool and Witch Hunt. She is the former presenter of Pulp, the Channel 4 books programme and founding editor of Level 4, a magazine of arts and culture.
The evening will kick off with the writers introducing themselves and giving short readings from their simultaneously terrifying and captivating books. After the talk there will be the opportunity to meet the authors, mingle and enjoy some complimentary refreshments. We will be selling a selection of their books on the night and the authors will be happy to sign copies.
As International Women’s Day approaches, sign up for an entertaining evening of fiction, celebrating strong female characters in literature.
Tickets: This is a free event, simply add the required number of tickets to the basket below. Please note, no physical tickets will be issued (to save the trees!). Your email confirmation is proof of booking.
Tuesday 14th March 2017 7pm - 8pm 107 Charing Cross Road Literary Event, Signing, Free Event
Grab a beer and a slice of pizza and join two new voices in fiction for our New Writers event. Beth Underdown and Nuala Ellwood will be discussing their experience writing a novel and the process of getting published for the first time.
Nuala Ellwood moved to London in her twenties to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter but ended up writing novels instead. Her first book, My Sister’s Bones, is a spine tingling thriller set to rival The Girl on the Train.
Set in the 1640’s, Beth Underdown’s debut novel, The Witchfinder’s Sister, follows the story of Matthew Hopkins who is said to be responsible for the deaths of over 300 women. It is a creeping and terrifying example of historical fiction.
Meet two very different authors to look out for in 2017, discover the various ways to become a published author and be sure to come ready with your questions.
Venue: The Auditorium at Foyles, Level 6, 107 Charing Cross Road
Tickets: £3 or free for Foyalty members. You must have your Foyalty card on you on the night to present at the door. Not a Foyalty member? Sign up for free here.
Please note, no physical tickets will be issued (to save the trees!), the email confirmation you receive is proof of your booking.
Beth Underdown was born in Rochdale in 1987. Her debut novel, The Witchfinder's Sister, is based on the witch-hunts orchestrated by Matthew Hopkins in seventeenth century Essex, and is out in the UK and US with Penguin Random House in spring 2017. Beth joined the Centre for New Writing in 2016 as a Lecturer in Creative Writing.
Kate Hamer grew up in Pembrokeshire and has recently been awarded a Literature Wales bursary. Her bestselling novel The Girl in the Red Coat was a no 3. Sunday Times bestseller and shortlisted for the Costa First Book Award, the Bookseller Industry Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year, the John Creasey New Blood Dagger and Wales Book of the Year. Her second novel The Doll’s Funeral is published in February 2017.
This event will be introduced by Jeanette Winterson, acclaimed author and Professor of Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at The University of Manchester.
To book please visit http://ow.ly/WNlV307a9iI or telephone the Martin Harris Centre box office.
Price: £7 / £5
Essex Book Festival invites members of book groups from across Essex to discuss the novels of two of the county’s up and coming writers.
Join us for author readings by our writer-in-residence Sarah Perry, author of the acclaimed The Essex Serpent and debut novelist Beth Underdown whose new work, The Witchfinder’s Sister promises the untold story of Matthew Hopkins. The event promises scintillating discussion, a chance to meet other avid readers and an opportunity to share your passion about books with others.
There will also be an opportunity to find out how The Reading Agency can support book groups. Although aimed at book groups, this event is open to all.
Spaces are limited, so book early.