Bookfest 2009 set to celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin


The third annual Wimbledon Bookfest returns this October with a packed programme of events for all ages.


By Abigail Parris

FAMOUS literary names will descend on Wimbledon for the annual book festival from October 3-11.

This year, Bookfest is commerating the 200th birthday of Darwin with special events involving Darwin’s great great granddaughters, Ruth Pendel and Emma Darwin.

Potential highlights of this year’s festival include Simon Beaufoy, the scriptwriter of award-winning film, Slumdog Millionaire, leading a question and answer session at the Polka Theatre on October 8.

There is also a literary lunch with June Whitfield CBE, one of the festival’s patrons, on October 9.

Other notable authors include Alison Weir, Julian Fellowes and Gyles Brandeth.

Festival co-ordinator, Susan Archer, said:  “It’s a celebration of books. It’s not just focusing on English, it’s multicultural.”

Bookfest was established in 2007 to celebrate and further develop the cultural landscape of Wimbledon.

There are events for the whole community including children and the festival is designed to promote an active enjoyment of books.

On October 11, the Polka Theatre will be hosting a childrens’ word festival. The day is filled with workshops hosted by authors and illustrators who write for children.

Bookfest also has a dedicated school programme, including the Young Writer’s Competition. The winner will be announced during the festival.

The festival is run by Wimbledon residents who work as volunteers.

Sarah Hodgson said: “I am delighted to be part of the festival – there are lots of us who are all so keen to see something so wonderful in SW19.”

For more information on Bookfest and to book tickets for events visit:


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