About & Press 2018

Dulwich Literary Festival 2018: ‘Rough Music’

Rough music, skimmington, or charivari, is an ancient traditional means of expressing dissent – the violation of social norms the usual target. We have given this year’s Dulwich Literary Festival this title, not because we plan to parade through leafy suburbs rattling impromptu instruments but because we are featuring writers who highlight injustice, fight against stereotype, and make a noise about the iniquities of war, corruption, bad-faith politics, forced migration and intolerance of difference.

We’ll be taking a close look at conflicts over the past century with Giles Milton’s new book about D-Day, with Lindsey Hilsum’s brilliant biography of the great war correspondent Marie Colvin, and with Michael Hughes’ and Sulaiman Addonia’s outstanding novels of collateral damage. Kamal Ahmed will discuss being the very British child of a Somali father, and Simon Heffer will examine a previous era

of conflict in The Age of Decadence 1880 – 1914, in the lead up to the Great War. The festival’s finale features Ben Macintyre’s majestic cold war study, The Spy and the Traitor.

One hundred years after the Armistice, at 12.30 on 11th November, we’ll discuss Robert Graves and the war poets with the biographer Jean Moorcroft Wilson alongside PTSD expert Matthew Green. Elsewhere in the festival the award-winning novelist, Dulwich Books favourite Melissa Harrison lures us into the pastoral with her lyrical novel All Among the Barley, set in 1934 in the shadow of WW2. And we’ll explore contemporary themes of greed, corruption and the role of the media with Oliver Bullough, Darshini David, Isabel Hardman and Jason Cowley.

We commemorate 100 years since the granting of the partial women’s franchise with the fabulous Jo Brand discussing her book Born Lippy with another South London comic, Brenda Gilhooly, as we look at the lighter side of dissent, on which theme we also welcome Nick Hewer. And running through the festival is a thread of music with John Suchet’s take on Tchaikovsky, and Jane Glover in conversation with Elizabeth Nicholson, the director of the Handel Museum, who will place Handel in his social and political context as well as celebrating his musical genius. And Louis de Bernières will enchant us with his poetry collection, The Cat in the Treble Clef.

My paternal grandfather, missing an eye and therefore not fit for active service, was a quartermaster in France in WW1, while his three athletic brothers were killed within a few miles of each other in the trenches. This festival is dedicated to the memory of those four brave brothers and to all those who have died and suffered in warzones since 1914, as well as to those who have lifted their voices in protest and who have encouraged us to live the best lives we can.


Susie Nicklin, September 2018

About the Dulwich Literary Festival

The Dulwich Literary Festival is presented in partnership with Dulwich College, our generous venue sponsor. Dulwich College, founded in 1619 by Edward Alleyn, is an academically selective independent boys’ school. In 2019 the College will celebrate its quatercentenary with a programme of special events and activities, several of which will be open to the public; you can find more about the College by visiting www.dulwich.org.uk.

About the Organisers

We have a pop-up bookshop every year, in 2018 at Dulwich College for the main weekend.

Dulwich Books is an award-winning independent bookshop based in West Dulwich. We were shortlisted for Best Independent Bookshop in London at the British Book Awards 2017.

We host of literary events at a range of venues across South London.

Do come and see us during opening hours, call on 020 8670 1920, or email hello@dulwichbooks.co.uk. We have more than 6000 books in stock but remember if you ask us before 1700 we can usually get you any book by 1200 the next day.


6 Croxted Road, Dulwich, SE21 8SW

Email: hello@dulwichbooks.co.uk

Phone: 020 8670 1920

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Monday to Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm

Sunday 11am – 4pm

If you are an author or publicist and would like to be involved with Dulwich Literary Festival or any of our other events please contact Kitty Spence on hello@livelit.co.uk

For lots more information about our events programme please visit www.livelit.co.uk


For press enquiries and interview requests please contact Kitty Spence on hello@livelit.co.uk

Last year the festival appeared across a range of print and online media:

As featured in: