Star names to light up book festival

A HOST of award-winning writers are getting ready to appear at the tenth Essex Book Festival.

A HOST of award-winning writers are getting ready to appear at the tenth Essex Book Festival.

Organisers of the event believe this year's line-up is one of the best ever, featuring both established names as well as up-and-coming authors.

The line-up for the event was unveiled yesterday and includes author and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, along with Lovejoy creator Jonathan Gash, and politician and journalist Roy Hattersley.

There will be a series of events and talks at venues across the county when the festival launches in March.

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David Finch, of Essex County Council, said: “The Essex Book Festival has surpassed itself yet again.

“The line-up for 2009 is spectacular, as befits the tenth anniversary year, and the marvellous reputation of the event has meant, once again, we will be graced by a number of very well-known and inspiring writers.

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“But it is not just the big names we attract that make this festival unique. It is the involvement with local writing and book groups across the county and the way the content spans such a wide and diverse area.

“This really is a treat for book lovers, whatever their interests, and I have no doubt that tickets will once again sell out fast.”

The county's history is set to play a large part in the event with Michael Foley exploring Essex during the Second World War.

Andrew Summers and John Debenham will take a “whirlwind ride” through Essex history discovering who and what left their marks on the county.

And Rachel Duffett, from Essex University, gives a flavour of life in the trenches of the First World War, including the special significance of food in men's lives.

The tenth anniversary event begins on March 2.

The box office opens on January 5 and is 01206 573948 and for more information go to

Festival brochures will be available from local libraries from the end of the month.

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