Thursday, 12 June 2008
Burgh House and Althorp
Tomorrow is Friday 13th, which I hope isn't a bad augur for an event I'm doing at Burgh House, a beautiful Queen Anne house which is the home of the Hampstead Museum, and just around the corner from Cannon Hall, where Daphne du Maurier grew up. It also happens to be the place where my wedding celebrations took place, many years ago, so I feel very sentimentally attached to it. Anyway, I won't be telling wedding stories tomorrow, but I will be talking about 'Daphne', at what sounds like a very civilised literary lunch (please do come along if you can get to Hampstead by 1pm).
Then on Saturday I'm going to Northamptonshire, to speak at the Althorp Literary Festival.
Two unusually beautiful houses in the space of two days... I feel very privileged. In fact, the various talks and events that I've done in the last three months, since the publication of 'Daphne', have taken me all over the country, to a series of lovely places (Calcot Manor, the British Library, the Bronte Parsonage, Christ Church and St Anne's in Oxford, Ferryside, Port Eliot, amongst others). But it's not just been the settings that have made these events special -- I've had the chance to meet a great many interesting people, many of whom have shared my passion for du Maurier and the Brontes. They've told me new stories, and given me fresh impetus, and renewed enthusiasm. And what more could a writer ask for than that?
So thank you to everyone who has come to an event, and also to all of you who have posted on this blog -- I've been able to meet some of you already, but it's been equally good to get to know those of you who can talk in this arena, but live too far away to come to a literary festival. (Some as far away as Australia, Canada, and the United States). A blog may not be quite as grand a setting for a conversation as an English stately home, but it has its own charm, don't you think?