Sunday, July 10, 2005

Faringdon Arts Festival: reprise

Well it's been an amazingly hot day in Oxfordshire, and I spent much of it in Faringdon, which is a small and pretty town that I will one day have to explore properly ! However, that's for another day. Today I listened to Stephen Briggs, whose talk I would have enjoyed more had I been able to hear it properly - he did not enunciate very clearly and the room was large (high-ceilinged) and mostly empty, so the acoustics were not in his favour. Still I discovered that he "fell into" becoming an expert on the Discworld in much the same way that I have fallen into both my studies of the First World War and of fantasy fiction. I found that interesting, and reassuring (that it wasn't just me !)

After a long and delicious lunch with the friend with whom I had gone down to Faringdon, we adjourned to the back room of a nearby pub where Jasper Fforde talked about his new book (not a Thursday Next novel) which is called The Big Over Easy and is set in Reading (rather than Swindon, like the Thursday Next novels). It sounds quite as crazy as his previous novels !

After Jasper's talk, we whizzed up the hill to the United Reform Church to listen to Gillian Spraggs talking about James Hinde, Oxfordshire's famous highwayman of the 17th century. It was quite an interesting account - and one of these days I really must ask Gillian just how she managed to get interested in highwaymen and outlaws: she seems like such a nice lady ! :-) Anyway, if you're interested in finding out more about James Hinde the highwayman, you can follow these links to Gillian's site:

How James Hind became a highwayman
Hind and the Committee-man
How Hind was enchanted
The Declaration of Captain James Hind
Hind’s speech and conversations in Newgate, from A Relation of the taking of Captain James Hind
Mock-elegiac poem: To the Memory of Captain James Hind

Have fun !

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