This is the 21st year of the Wells Festival Of Literature, extending over two weeks, from the 12th-20th October 2012.
There will be even more opportunities to visit some of the amazing venues in this Somerset Cathedral City (the smallest City in England) and extra time to listen to speakers and authors, discussing everything from fiction to politics, biography to history, science to psychology, and art to cookery.
This year’s opening talk, will be given by Kate Mosse and will be entitled:
‘Dangerous Worlds Real And Imagined’.
Kate Mosse is the Co-Founder and Honorary Director of the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction, set up in 1996 to celebrate outstanding fiction by women from throughout the world. A regular judge of writing, literary and art awards at national and local level – including the Asham Award, she is a well known campaigner for literacy and one of the authors leading the campaign against library closures int he UK. Kate is also a well known and regular radio and television presenter.
Kate and her family divide their time between their home in Chichester, West Sussex, UK and their home in Carcassonne, southwest France, which is the setting for her bestselling novels.
Readers the world over have been drawn in and mystified by the secrets of Carcassonne and Languedoc, France, in the first two volumes of her ‘timeslip’ adventure novels:
LABYRINTH (which is due to be televised this autumn)
In this extraordinary thriller, rich in the atmospheres of medieval and contemporary France, the lives of two women born centuries apart are linked by a common destiny.
July 2005. In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth; between the skeletons, a stone ring, and a small leather bag.
Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade to stamp out heresy that will rip apart southern France, Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father as he leaves to fight the crusaders. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. As crusading armies led by Church potentates and nobles of northern France gather outside the city walls of Carcassonne, it will take great sacrifice to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe.
In the present, another woman sees the find as a means to the political power she craves; while a man who has great power will kill to destroy all traces of the discovery and everyone who stands in his way
In 1891, young Léonie Vernier and her brother Anatole arrive in the beautiful town of Rennes-les-Bains, in southwest France. They’ve come at the invitation of their widowed aunt, whose mountain estate, Domain de la Cade, is famous in the region. But it soon becomes clear that their aunt Isolde—and the Domain—are not what Léonie had imagined. The villagers claim that Isolde’s late husband died after summoning a demon from the old Visigoth sepulchre high on the mountainside. A book from the Domain’s cavernous library describes the strange tarot pack that mysteriously disappeared following the uncle’s death. But while Léonie delves deeper into the ancient mysteries of the Domain, a different evil stalks her family—one which may explain why Léonie and Anatole were invited to the sinister Domain in the first place.
More than a century later, Meredith Martin, an American graduate student, arrives in France to study the life of Claude Debussy, the nineteenth century French composer. In Rennes-les-Bains, Meredith checks into a grand old hotel—the Domain de la Cade. Something about the hotel feels eerily familiar, and strange dreams and visions begin to haunt Meredith’s waking hours. A chance encounter leads her to a pack of tarot cards painted by Léonie Vernier, which may hold the key to this twenty-first century American’s fate . . . just as they did to the fate of Léonie Vernier more than a century earlier.
Now, as the release date for the third adventure in the series:
From the No.1 internationally bestselling author comes the third heart-stopping adventure exploring the incredible history, legends and hidden secrets of Carcassonne and the Languedoc.
Set during World War II in the far south of France, CITADEL is a powerful, action-packed mystery that reveals the secrets of the resistance under Nazi occupation. While war blazed in the trenches at the front, back at home a different battle is waged, full of clandestine bravery, treachery and secrets. And as a cell of resistance fighters, codenamed Citadelle, fight for everything they hold dear, their struggle will reveal an older, darker combat being fought in the shadows.
Combining the rugged action of LABYRINTH with the haunting mystery of SEPULCHRE, CITADEL is a story of daring and courage, of lives risked for beliefs and of astonishing secrets buried in time.
draws close, come and listen to Kate at St Thomas’s Church, on Friday 12th October 2012, at 6.30pm.
Tickets for this event are £10 each and booking details are available here.