06 Oct Combining History and Geography
In the afternoon sessions on Saturday 7th November we’re travelling both geographically and in time. And we’re starting with Jane Johnson who will take us from Cornwall to the Sahara.
Jane is a best-selling author of historical novels often flavoured with her intimate knowledge of North African landscape and culture, having married a Berber tribesman in 2005. Her latest novel, The Sea Gate, is set in Cornwall during WWII and the modern day, and is described by the Historical Novel Society as echoing Du Maurier in its strong Cornish sense of place as well as the way it builds the feeling of tension and foreboding. Her latest (reissued) work is Pillars of Light, an epic novel spanning the medieval world and telling the story of how Wells Cathedral came to be built as the first true Gothic cathedral, employing knowledge gained from Muslim masons. It was described by Anne Fortier as a masterpiece of historical fiction and is published for the first time in paperback in November. Of her novel The Salt Road (atmospheric and hugely romantic – Marie Claire) she says it was “a journey of discovery, not just about the Sahara and its people but also about my husband’s ancestral roots.” Her session promises a fascinating insight into a tantalizing world.
Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for over 30 years as a bookseller, publisher and writer. The authors she publishes include JRR Tolkien, George RR Martin (creator of A Game of Thrones), Dean Koontz, Robin Hobb, Stuart MacBride, Mark Lawrence, Raymond E Feist and SK Tremayne. While she was in Morocco in 2005 to research The Tenth Gift, based on the true story of the Barbary pirate raid on Mounts Bay, she met her soon-to-be husband Abdellatif, a Berber tribesman from a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Returning home, she gave up her office job in London, sold her flat and shipped the contents to Morocco and they were married later that year. They now split their time between Cornwall and Morocco, and Jane still works remotely as a Fiction Publishing Director for HarperCollins.
Please note: Our speaker is the carer for a clinically vulnerable person and has requested that all attendees wear masks during this session. Should you be unable to do this, you will be politely requested to sit towards the rear of the room.