Summerhall, Edinburgh’s award winning Arts Centre is proud to announce the launch of Britain’s largest Historical Fiction Festival with a line up of award winning and acclaimed authors. It is only right that its should be held in Edinburgh is the cradle of historical fiction, from Sir Walter Scott, Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson, to a growing number of modern day historical novelists.
Home » Speakers
Home » Speakers
Dr Alison Lumsden leads The Walter Scott Poetry Project. Dr. Lumsden is a senior lecture in English and Scottish literature at the University of Aberdeen, and co-director of the Walter Scott Research Centre. Her publications include numerous volumes in the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels, she is co-editor of Contemporary Scottish Women Writers (2000), and is currently developing the book Walter Scott and the Limits of Language.
Allan Massie is a Scottish writer who has published nearly 30 books, including a sequence of novels set in ancient Rome. His non-fiction works range from a study of Byron's travels to a celebration of Scottish rugby. He has been a political columnist for The Scotsman, The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph and writes a literary column for The Spectator.
Andrew Greig is the author of six acclaimed books of poetry, two Himalayan mountaineering expedition books, and five novels including the Saltire-Award winning In Another Light, That Summer, When They Lay Bare and Romanno Bridge. His non-fiction books include Preferred Lies and At the Loch of the Green Corrie. He lives in Orkney and Edinburgh, with his wife, the novelist Lesley Glaister.
Andrew Williams was born in Sheffield and brought up in Lincolnshire. After studying English at Oxford University he worked for ten years as a senior current affairs producer with the BBC. His programme on the massacre at Srebrenica in 1995 was shortlisted for an Emmy and used in evidence at the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague. For the next ten years, he wrote and directed historical documentaries for the BBC and international co-producers, including the award winning series ‘The Battle of the Atlantic’. He has also written two best selling accounts of Second World War campaigns, ‘The Battle of the Atlantic’, and ‘D-Day to Berlin’. Andrew’s first novel, The Interrogator, was shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Thriller of the Year Award and the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, and it was The Daily Mail’s debut thriller of 2009. His second, To Kill A Tsar, was one of The Mail’s thrillers of 2010 and was shortlisted for The Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, the Ellis Peters and Crimefest Awards.
Celia Rees is the author of many books for young readers including the bestseller Witch Child. She has been shortlisted for both the Guardian and the Whitbread children's fiction awards and her novels have been translated into over twenty languages.
David Hewitt was Regius Chalmers Professor of English Literature when he retired from the University of Aberdeen in 2008. He has been editor-in-chief of the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels since its inception.
Debra Daley is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. Her first novel, The Strange Letter Z, was published in 1995. Born in New Zealand, she has also worked as an editor, copywriter and journalist. She currently lives in Auckland, NZ and will be in the UK on publication.
Elizabeth Speller lived in Berlin, Rome and Paris before reading Classics at Cambridge. She currently has a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship at Warwick and divides her life between Gloucestershire and Greece. Her first novel was THE RETURN OF CAPTAIN JOHN EMMETT which was followed by THE STRANGE FATE OF KITTY EASTON.
Iain Gale is a well-known and highly respected author of fiction and non-fiction books. He has written novels on the early eighteenth century wars of the army under Marlborough and of World War II. His first novel was the acclaimed Four Days in June, a time to which he returns in April 2013 with the first of a series of novels for Heron Books set in the Peninsular War. Iain has been art critic for newspapers including the Independent and Scotland on Sunday. He has appeared on BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and Radio Scotland. He has featured at a number of literary festivals including the Cambridge History Festival, Wigtown and he Edinburgh Book Festival. He lectures on both art and military history, and regularly organises trips to the battlefield of Waterloo.
James Benmore was born in Kent and currently lives in South-East London. He studied literature at the Open University and has since completed an Mst in Creative Writing from Oxford University. A prolific short story writer, his short fiction has been published in various anthologies, including All These Little Worlds published by The Fiction Desk and The Failed Novelist’s Anthology 2011. These have received positive reviews from magazines such as Cherwell’s. Dodger is his first novel.
James Robertson is one of Scotland’s finest novelists with a deep understanding of our cultural history. His novel, “The Testament of Gideon Mack” tells of a Kirk minister’s encounter with the Devil, a theme previously explored by James Hogg and John Buchan.
Joseph Farrell is Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies at the University of Strathclyde. He has written on and translated Italian theatre widely. He is theatre reviewer for The Scotsman, as well as the author of Dario Fo and France Rame: Harlequins of the Revolution (Methuen, 2001), and has edited A History of Italian Theatre (CUP, 2006) as well as Methuen Student editions of Six Characters in Search of an Author and Accidental Death of an Anarchist.
Jonathan Falla was born in Jamaica and read English and Art History at Cambridge. He went to Java to edit magazines for an Indonesian publisher, then worked for Oxfam in Uganda. He has trained paramedics for insurgents in Burma, was Co-ordinator for Save the Children in Darfur, and their Field Director in Nepal. His writing is mostly based on experiences abroad. A study of Burmese rebels, True Love & Bartholomew, was published by Cambridge University Press. His Ugandan play, Topokana Martyrs' Day, was produced at the Bush Theatre (London). A feature film, 'The Hummingbird Tree', was produced by the BBC, winning several awards. He has had many stories and two novels published: Blue Poppies (set in Tibet) and Poor Mercy (set in Sudan). Jonathan has held a Fullbright Senior Fellowship in screenwriting, and has also taught creative writing for the Arvon Foundation.
Owen Dudley Edwards was born in Dublin and is Reader in Commonwealth and American History at the University of Edinburgh. He is the general editor of the Oxford Sherlock Holmes series, and is a recognised expert on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, P. G. Wodehouse and Oscar Wilde, about each of whom he has written.
Patrick Mercer is Conservative MP for Newark. He is a frequent commentator on defence and security issues having served as infantry officer in the British Army and held the position of Shadow Minister for Homeland Security. He is a former journalist for the BBC and has published a number of non-fiction accounts of the Battle of Inkerman during the Crimean War.and four military novels. He is a patron of the Victoria Cross Trust.
Christopher Harvie is an expert on “academic liberalism in Victorian Britain,” has taught at the Open University, and served as Professor of British Studies and directed the British regional studies element of the International Economics faculty at Tübingen. He is Honorary Professor of Politics at Aberystwyth, and of History at Strathclyde. His publications include Fool’s Gold: the Story of North Sea Oil (1994), Broonland: the Last Days of Gordon Brown (2010), and Scotland the Brief: a Short History of a Nation (2010). He stood for the SNP in the 2007 Holyrood elections, and was returned as List Member for Mid Scotland and Fife. He was an MSP until parliamentary dissolution on 22 March 2011, and served as a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee and as Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the First Minister.
Robert Harris is well known as the author of a number of worldwide bestsellers including Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium and The Ghost. His work has been translated into thirty-three languages. Now he turns his hand to the Dreyfus Affair, that terrible spy scandal which shook the French 1890s establishment to the core.
Having experienced war first hand in Vietnam, Robert Low chose to write about the subject from the safety of Scotland. A craving for action and an obsession with ancient warfare brought him to riding, archery and re-enactment, with a Viking group. His Oathsworn Series begun in 2007 runs to four titles: The Whale Road, The Wolf Sea, The White Raven and The Prow Beast, all available from HarperCollins. The Kingdom Series deals with the Scottish Wars of Independence.
Robyn Young’s first published novel, BRETHREN, went straight into the Sunday Times top ten, where it remained for five weeks, becoming the bestselling hardback debut of the year. It entered the New York Times top twenty on publication in the US. Her second novel, CRUSADE, reached number 2 and REQUIEM completed the trilogy.
Ronald Frame was born in Glasgow in 1953. He is the author of thirteeninternationally published works of fiction, and is an award-winningtelevision and radio scriptwriter. His debut novel, Winter Journey, was the joint winner of the first Betty Trask Prize for fiction. The Lantern Bearers was longlisted for The Man Booker Prize and won the Satire Award for Scottish Book of the Year.
Rosemary Goring studied social and economic history at the University of St Andrews; and was the literary editor of Scotland on Sunday, followed by a brief spell as editor of Life & Work, the Church of Scotland’s magazine, before returning to newspapers as literary editor of the Herald, and later also of the Sunday Herald. In 2007 she published Scotland: The Autobiography: 2000 Years of Scottish History By Those Who Saw it Happen, which has since been published in America and Russia.
Sara Sheridan is an historical novelist who writes two different kinds of books. One is a series of cosy crime noir mysteries set in Brighton in the 1950s and the other is a set of novels based on the real-life stories of late Georgian and early Victorian explorers and adventurers (1820 - 1845). Tipped in Company and GQ magazines, she has been nominated for a Young Achiever Award. She received a Scottish Library Award for Truth or Dare, her first novel, and was shortlisted for the Saltire Book Prize. An occasional journalist and blogger, Sara appears on BBC Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent and blogs for the Guardian and the London Review of Books. She is a twitter evangelist and a self-confessed swot. Sara sits on the Committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland where she lives and also on the board of the UK-wide writers’ collective ‘26’ and took part in the acclaimed 26 Treasures project in 2010 at the V&A, in 2011 at National Museum of Scotland and in 2012 at the Children’s Museum, Bethnal Green. She is a member of the Historical Writers Association and the Crime Writers Association. Sara also mentors for the Scottish Book Trust.
Stuart Kelly is a writer, critic and reviewer. He is the author of The Book Of Lost Books: An Incomplete Guide To All The Books You’ll Never Read and Scott-Land: The Man Who Invented A Nation, which was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Non-fiction Prize and was Radio 4’s Book Of The Week, as well as introductions to several novels. He writes reviews for The Scotsman, Scotland On Sunday, The Guardian and The Times and is a regular guest on BBC Radio Scotland’s book programmes.
Trevor Royle is a broadcaster and author specialising in the history of war and empire. He is Associate Editor of the Sunday Herald and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Trevor's books include The Flowers of the Forest: Scotland and the First World War and A Time of Tyrants: Scotland and the Second World War.