Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival announces lineup

And it's as awesome as we imagined

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Screenwriter William Nicholson will host a Q&A of highly anticipated film Breathe on Thurs. Nov. 2 - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Screenwriter William Nicholson will host a Q&A of highly anticipated film Breathe on Thurs. Nov. 2
The Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival is a collaborative logophile's fest presented by the Charleston Library Society and The Charleston Trust U.K.
The first-time festival is chock full of creative, thought-provoking literary programs, starting Thurs. Nov. 2 and running through Sun. Nov. 5. Here's how you (should) be spending that weekend:

Thurs. at 6 p.m. at Charleston Music Hall there will be a red carpet premiere screening of Breathe, a fall 2017 drama starring Claire Foy (The Crown) and Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider Man). The original screenplay is based on the true life story of Robin Cavendish, a young man who, when paralyzed with polio in Africa, decides that he will not let the condition ruin his life. The film's supporting cast includes Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) and Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones). Screenwriter William Nicholson introduces the film, and will host a Q&A to follow. General admission tickets are $25 and include the screening and Q&A and VIP tickets are $60 and include a private champagne reception before the film. 
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Friday beginning at noon at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, there will be a "Small World: Charleston Connections with Charles Anson and Juliet Nicolson" lecture. Anson, a former British Diplomat and Press Secretary to the Queen, and Nicolson, both live close to Charleston, Sussex and have surprising Lowcountry connections. Anson is a descendant of Admiral George Anson who was a popular figure in 1720s Charleston where he acquired land and sold plots forming the Ansonborough neighborhood. Nicolson is the granddaughter of author and gardener Vita Sackville-West (to whom Virginia Woolf's gender shifting novel, Orlando, was dedicated). Tickets to the lecture are $25 and $50 for lecture and reception.

Speaker Juliet Nicolson - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Speaker Juliet Nicolson
Fri. at 3 p.m. at the Library Society, there will be a talk by historian of the American South and former professor at Middlebury College Barbara Bellows Rockefeller and art historian professor and biographer Frances Spalding. The two will discuss Charleston, a small farmhouse in Sussex, England that served as the rural home of the Bloomsbury group painters, and Charleston, S.C., as epicenters of modernism in the first half of the 20th century. Rockefeller and Spalding will consider the circumstances of these two disparate creative hubs. Tickets are $25, and $15 for students.



Rounding out Friday's activities, there will be a talk titled "Reimagining Shakespeare: The Bard at Home and Away" held at Circular Congregational Church starting at 5:30 p.m. Speakers include internationally best-selling author Bernard Cornwell, director of London's Globe Theatre for 11 years Dominic Dromgoole, and professor emeritus of English at the College of Charleston Dr. Nan Morrison. Tickets are $50 for the talk, and $150 the talk and post-talk reception at the Library Society. 
Speaker Bernard Cornwell - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Speaker Bernard Cornwell


Saturday's events include a talk with Marjorie Spruill, Belinda Gergel, and Margaret Bradham Thornton on the battle over women's rights; "Meditations on Greatness" with poet and novelist Ben Okri and local artist Jonathan Green; "Babyboomer Blues" with journalist and broadcaster Miranda Sawyer, Breathe screenwriter William Nicholson, and historian Juliet Nicolson; and "Reimagining Shakespeare: The Gap of Time," an event that promises a "zestful performance" from Jeanette Winterson, author of The Gap of Time, a response to Shakespeare's late play The Winter's Tale. 

Round out your beautifully wordy weekend with two programs on Sun. Nov 5. The first will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. at CLS and highlights the influence the Bloomsbury painters had on the work of Virginia Woolf; Professor Spalding, who curated the 2014 exhibition "Virginia Woolf: Life, Art and Vision" for the National Portrait Gallery in London (and wrote the accompanying book of the same title), will lead the discussion.

The final event of the weekend will be at CLS starting at 3:30 p.m. Virginia Nicholson and Juliet Nicolson will discuss sharing their famed childhood homes in England (Charleston and Sissinghurst, respectively) with the public, and the challenges inherent in being seen as "keepers of the flame." President and CEO of Drayton Hall Preservation Trust Dr. Carter Hudgins will join the discussion. 

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