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A literary wonderland.

Byline: Justine Halifax Staff Reporter

IT'S an eagerly-anticipated, autumnal celebration of both the written and spoken word that's been running every year in a picturesque, three-spired cathedral city for over three decades.

Renowned as being the birthplace of the English dictionary, thanks to its famous son Samuel Johnson, Lichfield is no stranger to being associated with the written word. And the annual Lichfield Literary Festival, now in its 33rd year and this year running from October 3 to 11, was founded to celebrate the English language in all its forms.

From talks and lectures by respected authors, to poetry events and creative writing workshops, there is something to engage both young and old literary buffs.

Just some of the key names it has played host to over the years include Tony Benn, Kate Adie, Ruth Rendell, PD James, Michael Rosen, Michael Morpurgo, Digby Jones, Terry Waite, Jenny Eclair, Val McDermid, Martin Bell, Julia Neuberger, Barry Cryer, Jacqueline Wilson, Colin Dexter and Jenny Bond.

This year it will feature a programme that covers topics on film, travel, science, history, food, historical fiction and the authors attending include archaeologist and Time Team regular Francis Pryor, Richard & Judy Book Club author Dinah Jefferies, BAFTA-winning writer, comedian and broadcaster Jon Holmes, travel-journalist Dervla Murphy and historian Livi Michael.

The festival has also held a literary dinner as part of its programme since 2006. And this year the guest speaker will be Vanessa Tait, the great, great granddaughter of Alice Liddell, Lewis Carroll's real inspiration for the character of Alice in his Adventures in Wonderland, as part of the 150th anniversary of the book's publication.

A Lichfield Literature Festival spokeswoman said: "Lichfield itself has a proud heritage for figures of knowledge, enterprise and creative thinking.

"Historical figures including Samuel Johnson, Erasmus Darwin, David Garrick and James Watt, are key former residents in the town.

"It was also the birthplace of the Lunar Society and a hub for meetings of great thinkers of the Enlightenment age.

"It's no surprise then that Lichfield's contemporary audiences enjoy a diverse range of literary topics; ranging from science and history to journalism, politics and children's literature at the festival."

To see the online brochure visit, and to book for an event call the box office on 01543 306271.


Famous faces at past Lichfield Literary Fesitvals have included, |left to right, Alexei Sayle, Martin Bell, Terry Waite and Kate Adie

| Vanessa Tait, the great, great granddaughter of Alice Liddell - Lewis Carroll's real |inspiration for the character of Alice in his Adventures In Wonderland - will be guest speaker at the festival. Here are some of Vanessa's personal collection of photos. Main and left: Vanessa dressed as Alice. Far left: Alice and her sisters. Top left: Letters and photos of Alice's in later life

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 1, 2015
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