Travels in Southern England – The Penzance Literary Festival Revisited: continued

I relaxed for most of the festival’s second day and spent the major part of my time watching the second day of the Ashes test match between Australia and England on my ipad. But I did visit the Acorn Theatre again in the evening to listen to novelists Patrick Gale, Cassandra Parkin and Edward Wilson discuss the tricky subject of writing sex scenes. All three appeared to be extremely well read and, as well as reading from their own works, they devoted a considerable part of their conversation to the writings of classical novelists such as Chaucer, Emily Brontë and Jane Austin, and modern writers such as Jilly Cooper and E L James.

The next morning I met Edward Wilson at breakfast as he was also staying at the Queens Hotel and I met him later again in the morning in the Hotel Reading Room. He writes political thrillers and is extremely knowledgeable about the politics of post war Britain and of the Wilson era in particular. We had a most enjoyable conversation covering the politics of that time and even the fate of Nelson’s body following his death at Trafalgar. His books look to be well worth a read. He invited me to his latest book launch on 29th July in London. Unfortunately, I am not sure whether my travels will be taking me back to England’s southeast at that time.

Towards midday I visited the Penlee Coach House to hear veteran local journalist, Des Hannigan, give a lively talk about his life creating both local and national news stories. He is an engaging conversationalist and it was an extremely entertaining session.

Keith Jahans


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