Big Book Weekend

Welcome to the Big Book Weekend in conjunction with the Tetbury Goods Shed

6pm Friday 9th September – 10pm Sunday 11th September

Meet the authors:

Friday 9th September, 6.00pm

Alan Powers – Eric Ravilious, Artist and Designer

Cultural historian Alan Powers reflects on the iconic twentieth century British artist whose paintings and woodcuts seem to speak to us more than ever today. 

Alan’s latest book is just out in paperback and he will be setting the scene for the new film about Ravilious (which is screened immediately after this event.)

Friday 9th September, 7.30pm

Eric Ravilious – Drawn to War (Film)

A screening of the acclaimed and beautiful new documentary film, featuring Grayson Perry, Alan Bennett and others, which looks at Ravilious’ life, art and influence.

Saturday 10th September, 11am

Philip Parker – Small Island: 12 Maps That Explain The History of Britain

The twelve key maps from British history and how they influenced who we are and how we think today, from Alfred’s tiny Wessex enclave through to the stretch and breadth of the British Empire and beyond.

This fascinating analysis of out history is by Philip Parker, a writer, consultant and publisher.

Saturday 10th September, 1pm

Charles Clover – Rewilding the Sea

How we can rewild the oceans as well as the land – and why we need to. From the destruction of the coral gardens in Lyme Bay to tuna fishing in the Atlantic, Clover’s new book looks at what we can do to reverse the damage.

Charles Clover is a leading environmentalist journalist, co-founder and executive director of The Blue Marine Foundation.


Saturday 10th September, 3pm

Julian Doberski, Susie Holmes, Neil Bragg – The Science of Compost Life, Death and Decay in the Garden

How does compost work – and how can we do it better? Some of the UK’s top soil scientists talk us through the ground beneath our feet – with live analysis and experiments!

The authors are bringing along soil testing kits, and are happy to analyse soil samples that people bring along (between 500g and 1kg) after the talk.

Saturday 10th September, 5pm (The Malthouse)

Scarlett and Sophie Rickard – The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

The Rickard sisters introduce their amazing and acclaimed graphic novel version of the socialist epic. They took a 600 page densely typed book and turned it into 200 pages of eloquent – yet powerful beauty.

Sophie and Scarlet will introduce their work, talk through their approach and discuss why they felt it was so important to bring the book to a wider audience.

Saturday 10th September, 7.30pm

Robert Tressell – The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (Townsend Productions)

A life changing one-man theatrical adaptation of this classic political novel, this play highlights both the inequalities in our system, and how they affect the lives of working people.

Actor Neil Gore brings this humorous and absorbing book to life in his one-man magic show.

Sunday 11th September, 11am

Matthew Dennison – Teller of the Unexpected : The Life of Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was not the man we think we know. How his ability to deal with personal loss and adversity made him one of the master storytellers of the last 100 years.

Matthew is one of the foremost biographers writing in the UK today.


Sunday 11th September, 1pm

Lara Feigel – Look! We Have Come Through!  Living With D. H. Lawrence

How nature writing, rural biography and literary history blended during lockdown to help a small family living in a small Oxfordshire village get through the pandemic.

Cultural historian Lara Feiga introduces her passionate, challenging, joyful book about engaging with DH Lawrence.

Sunday 11th September, 3pm

Rebecca Birrell – This Dark Country: Women Artists, Still Life and Intimacy in the Early Twentieth Century

A new look at some of the most brilliant, yet under-rated, art produced by women over the last century. Gwen John, Vanessa Bell and others excelled at a form that men shied away from.

Rebecca is the 19th and 20th Century Paintings & Drawing Curator at the Fitzwilliam Museum. 

Sunday 11th September, 5pm

Elizabeth MacNeal – Circus of Wonders

The story of circus owner Jasper Jupiter’s relationship with Nellie Moon is one of the reads of the summer. Join bestselling author Elizabeth MacNeal as she talks about her latest novel and the Doll Factory, her previous work.


Sunday 11th September, 7pm

Natalie Haynes – Stone Blind

A whole new perspective on Medusa (who was mortal) and her Gorgon sisters (who weren’t). Natalie is now an internationally successful bestselling author and this is the first gig on her new tour.

Natalie is a stand up comedian with her long standing BBC Radio 4 show ‘Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics and is an internationally successful bestselling author on both sides of the Atlantic.