Monday, 5 January 2015

Bodies from the Library

Fresh and exciting evidence of the striking growth of interest in Golden Age fiction is supplied by the announcement that Bodies from the Library, a one day conference, will take place at the British Library on Saturday 20 June. The organisers have set up a website as well as a Facebook page, and I am optimistic that this venture will attract a great deal of interest.

John Curran, the pre-eminent expert on Agatha Christie, is a guiding spirit behind the setting up at the conference. It sprang from discussions at Crimefest last year about the fact that, over the years, Golden Age fiction has not been discussed very often at crime conventions (other than the Forgotten Authors panel at Crimefest and some of the papers given at St Hilda's each year). As a result, John, Mike Linane and fellow enthusiasts including Liz Cooper, Norman Home, and Susan Cooper decided it would be a good idea to set up a dedicated conference. Naturally, I think they were absolutely right. But putting on a conference, especially when starting out, is very hard work. 

John, Mike and company have done a great job, gaining enthusiastic and valuable backing from both the British Library and Harper Collins. They are in the process of finalising what will be a packed programme. The speakers include the pre-eminent publishers of Golden Age-related books, David Brawn of Harper Collins,and Rob Davies of the British Library. Other speakers include Jake Kerridge of the Daily Telegraph, and Barry Pike and Tony Medawar, two of the leading authorities on Golden Age fiction. If you like traditional fiction, the chance to hear Barry, John and Tony really should not be missed.

Contemporary novelists with a strong interest in the Golden Age will be speaking; they include Len Tyler, Dolores Gordon Smith, and me. At least one leading present day crime writer is likely to be added to the list shortly.This is a ground-breaking event, and I'm very glad to be part of it. I hope that some of the GA fans who read this blog will be able to attend. 

A few words from Mike Linane: :"Golden Age is a huge topic and to have a day where true experts talk about their favourite authors and suggest books to read as well as hearing from the publishers what they take into account before republishing out of print titles as well as finding out about todays authors who are carrying on in the GA tradition.   There's something for everyone and I am sure the entire audience will leave at the end of the day with a list of books they are desperate to read  Oh,  and there are goody bags and spot prizes as well!"



Sarah said...

This is going to be great. I've already booked my place.

Martin Edwards said...

Terrific, Sarah. I'm sure it will be memorable.

Christine said...

Sounds great. Hoping to be there.

Martin Edwards said...

Very much hope you can make it,Chrissie.

Fiona said...

Brilliant! But, having decided that I wanted to attend, I realised I have a commitment for that same weekend of June which I don't want to miss. Bother! Then I thought that since my husband is waiting for surgery we may not be going to our annual June jaunt I'm thinking of getting a ticket for the conference, just in case!

Martin Edwards said...

Fiona, I hope you can attend, as it would be good to meet you at at last. Most of all I hope the surgery is not long delayed and proves a success.