The Alderney Literary Trust proudly presents its Alderney Literary Festival 2018 on the 23rd – 25th March at the Island Hall, Alderney.As always, the Festival celebrates history-based literature, exploring how the facts come together with authors’ interpretation of history. In 2018, the Festival explores the theme of Historifying Myths and Mythologizing History.
Our 12 guest authors for 2018 span an extensive historical timeline and are a mix of historians and novelists with a talent of bringing the past to life for us – reimagining lost worlds or providing fresh insight into forgotten truths.
Historical novelists explore the reality of the periods in which their books are set – Anthony Riches discusses the evidence for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Roman sources, while Robyn Young explores the setting of her new trilogy – the rich historical period of late 15th century England, and Victoria Blake breathes life into the rich and vivid tapestry of Renaissance Venice. Antonia Hodgson elaborates on the early 18th century, before the British gained their stiff upper lip, and Tim Pears explores 1945 Yugoslavia and Churchill’s role in facilitating Tito’s Communist regime after the war.
Historians discuss uncomfortable truths about the consequences of war and politics – Gary Sheffield explores the controversial question of how and why the First World War ended, and the impact the war has had on reshaping the world, while Keith Lowe argues that, while the Second World War looms large in our culture, it is a selective memory that is being abused for political purposes. Lord Martin Thomas of Gresford paints a revealing picture of court life in Regency England, providing insight into the gossip, scandals and intrigue of the Regency Court through the correspondence of those involved at the time. Liz Walton discusses the consequences of the Great War on the Channel Islands, and how it changed the old-world order forever.
The Festival’s Debut Novelist for 2018, Joy Rhoades, takes us to 1945 Australia and a harsh, unforgiving life in a drought-stricken sheep farm in the Outback of New South Wales, while travel & ghost writer Alan Wilkinson raids the history and mythology of the American West for his first novel, to tell the tale of young boy growing up in 1950s Britain, believing he is related Buffalo Bill.
The Festival opens and closes on the theme of historical myths and mythological history. In the opening panel, led by Festival Chairman, Simon Scarrow, historians and novelists discuss the phenomena of ‘fake news’ in its historical context, and why mythologised history endures. For the closing Festival event, Simon expounds on “The End of History” and challenges us to think on the nature of ‘Historia’ today, and how the authority of objective history is under attack from social media and Post-Modernism.