The Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival returns in October and we are excited to celebrate all things literature. There are so many writers out there waiting to make their appearance, but for now here are some writers from Bury St Edmunds or who have some connection to Bury!
These three will be at the festival this year:
Residing in Bury St Edmunds, Matt Gaw recently released his first book ‘The Pull of the River: a journey into the wild and watery heart of Britain’. In his book he talks about nature, place and friendship; it is a beautifully written ode to adventure. Matt Gaw writes the monthly country diary for Suffolk Magazine and his work has been published in The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Times.
Bury-born and raised, Sam Byers has released two successful novels; Idiopathy (2013) a satire infused novel about a dark love triangle and Perfidious Albion (2018) a dystopian novel with a political perspective and based in a post-Brexit World. He was long-listed for the Orwell Award for Political Fiction for his novel Perfidious Albion. His writing has been featured on The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, to name a few. Sam Byers is definitely one to watch.
Dr Francis Young
Dr Young is a well-known historian and folklorist. With an impressive 12 books behind him, Bury-born Dr Young is particularly interested in the history of magic and rituals, monastic history, folklore and the history of East Anglia. His book Peterborough Folklore was shortlisted for the 2018 Katherine Briggs Folklore Award. Many of his publications look at East Anglia – we’re looking forward to learning more about the history of the region we live in during the festival.
Other famous authors with a connection to Bury:
Blake had always loved writing and during her divorce, she started at a writing course at a local college and this is where her lightbulb moment hit and she decided to start writing seriously. Blake was born and raised in Bury and currently lives there with her daughter. She has written six novels and one collection of short stories and poetry. Her latest novel The Book of Eve is about friendship, romance with a sprinkle of secrets. The perfect piece of contemporary women’s fiction.
Dubbed the ‘Suffolk Queen of Crime’, Rendell lived in Polstead however she was exceptionally familiar with West Suffolk. She chose Bury St Edmunds and its surroundings as the setting for The Brimstone Wedding (1995), a murder mystery exploring love and madness. This novel was written under her pseudonym Barbara Vine, which was created from her middle name and her great grandmother’s maiden name.
This famous historical novelist from Bury St Edmunds is one to remember. Born into a Norfolk family in 1904, Norah Robinson moved to Bury St Edmunds in 1913 after her father sadly passed away. She grew up in the town and then left to train as a teacher in Norwich, but came back as soon as she could. She married Geoffrey Lofts in 1933 and gave up her teaching to write full time a few years later. She adored history and writing so it only felt right for her to write historical fiction which was based in East Anglia or had a strong connection to the region. She is well known for The Townhouse (1959), The House at Old Vine (1961) and The House of Sunset (1962) also known as the ‘Suffolk Trilogy’.
Marie Louise de la Ramee (famously known as Ouida)
Ramee went under her pen name of Ouida which was derived from a childhood version of ‘Louisa’. She was born on January 1st, 1839 in Bury St Edmunds. Her narrative style and fresh lack of sermonising gained attention from the public. Her first novel, ‘Granville de Vigne’ was published in 1861 and then was renamed to ‘Held in Bondage’ just two years later. She was famous for her animal stories including the popular ‘A Dog in Flanders’ (1872) which was a children’s favourite and later went on to be adapted into a film.
About the Author: Chloe Lamb is a Fashion Communication & Promotion student and writer who focuses on fashion, lifestyle, books and mental health awareness. If she’s not writing for her blog https://chloelwrites.wordpress.com then you can find her with her nose in a book!