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London History Festival, For Real Lovers of History


History can be really fascinating, not only to study, but also to narrate. Many writers have become famous thanks to their passion for the past, for example the best-selling author Ken Follet, the Nobel laureate Umberto Eco, the Pulitzer Prize awarded James M. McPherson, or even novelists of contemporary history like James Ellroy and John DeLillo. Ancient or modern history can be charming and satisfy our thirst for good stories.

Since it was created eight years ago, the London History Festival has celebrated history and its characters whilst continuing to attract authors. From 14th to 24th November, in the beautiful Kensington Central Library situated in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, the London History Festival gathers the best historians who share their love for history. You will have the opportunity to meet some of the bestselling historians talking about major historical events. They will also discuss their new books during public talks, book signing sessions and Q&A. This year, some illustrious authors will be present (full programme available here). For instance, Dan Snow, BBC presenter of popular history programmes and writer of bestsellers, talks about heroes and villains in history. Hugh Sebag-Montefiore, author of Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man and Enigma: The Battle for the Code, presents his new book called The Somme about the Battle of the Somme, the largest battle of WWI and one of the bloodiest carnage of inhuman history. Dr Philip Mansel will present Aleppo: the Rise and Fall of Syria’s Great Merchant City, where he analyses the roots of the current war in Syria.

There is space also for new authors, like Benet Brandreth, expert on Shakespeare’s works and language, with the presentation of his The Spy of Venice. It is a novel about the period between 1585 and 1592, where strangely there is no record of the great writer. This may well be the most varied and stimulating edition ever, and is an unmissable event for all history lovers.

Tickets for each event cost £5 - or £3 concessions - and are on sale at all libraries in Kensington and Chelsea.

Address: The Kensington Central Library is in 12 Phillimore Walk, W8 7RX, London.

For more information, please visit the London History Festival website, or the Kensington Central Library website. If you prefer, you can also call 020 7361 3010.

Review by Alessandra Volpino 

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