Following on from last week’s post about literary activities in the US, here is a sampling of summer events you can enjoy in the coming weeks at historic locales throughout the UK:
Shaw’s Corner, Hertfordshire – In the immense gardens once lovingly tended by playwright George Bernard Shaw, young bibliophiles and their parents can take park in Family Fun Day, participating in quizzes, painting, mask-making and more. Wednesday, August 6th and Wednesday, August 13th from 1- 5 pm.
Also coming up at Shaw’s Corner, is “Walk This Way,” a stroll through the nearby village using Shaw’s last book, The Rhyming Guide to Ayot St. Lawrence, as a guide. Sunday, August 17th from 10:30 am -noon.
Bateman’s House, East Sussex – Come and learn the fascinating history of the rolling hills of the High Weald landscape surrounding Rudyard Kipling’s Jacobean manor house. “The High Weald Landscape Walk” takes place on August 18th at 10 am.
Up in Yorkshire at the Brontë Parsonage, a series of events during August will give visitors the opportunity to see artists at work.
- Monday, August 4: Artist Lesley Martin will be creating a giant artwork on the Parsonage front lawn made from natural materials collected from the area. Visitors are invited to bring along their own materials found on walks on the moors.
- Tuesday, August 12: A special photography project with artist Kate Potter will record twenty-first century visitors as Charlotte, Emily and Anne using traditional photographic techniques.
- Friday, August 22: Chainsaw artist Dominic Clare will be creating a sculpture from a tree felled in the Parsonage garden earlier this year. The tree was believed to have been planted by Charlotte Brontë on the occasion of her marriage.
In Edinburgh, tickets are still available for many of the 800 events at the world’s largest book festival, taking place from August 9th – 25th. Our picks for mystery lovers include readings by Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin and Val McDermid, while those into edgier fiction might want check out cult favorites Chuck Palahniuk and Irvine Welsh.
Mary Arden’s Farm out in Stratford-Upon-Avon hosts a variety of themed Tudor weeks for children going on now through the end of August. In addition, this summer’s outdoor theatre performance at the farm will be Much Ado About Nothing on Friday August 1st & Saturday August 2nd at 7:30pm. If you miss it this weekend, you can still catch it at the Great Garden of New Place, the site of Shakespeare’s last home, on Sunday, August 24 at 7:00 pm.
From August 6th – August 30th, Fenton House in London’s Hampstead neighborhood will be hosting a costume exhibit entitled “Miss Austen Re-dressed,” which will showcase costumes from film and television productions of Jane Austen’s novels.
At Wordsorth’s Dove Cottage in Grasmere, Andrew Motion, the current UK poet laureate (a title Wordsworth once held) will be reading selections of his poetry on Tuesday, September 9th at 6.45pm.
At Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, an Autumn garden walk with cottage gardener Celia Simpson will take visitors around the gardens that Austen once would have gazed upon while composing her masterpieces. September 26th at 4:30pm.