Wednesday, 22 September 2021

So close, you can virtually feel the wind in the willows

IT’S that time of year again — literary week is upon us once more.

IT’S that time of year again — literary week is upon us once more.

This year’s Henley Literary Festival, incorporating the Children’s Literary Festival, runs from Monday to Sunday, October 4, and features a host of interesting and influential authors.

For instance, we can all get our current affairs on with Vince Cable (Kenton Theatre, September 30, 8.30pm), welcome a perfectly baked Sue Perkins (Kenton Theatre, October 2, 8.30pm), have the hijab drawn back by traditional-Muslim-girl-turned-special-forces-operative Azi Ahmed (Town Hall, September 28, 8.30pm), and uncover some horrible history with Greg Jenner (Town Hall, October 3, 1pm) over the week-long event, which this year sees over 100 authors/speakers taking part.

A short journey away by car — or boat — this house in Pangbourne overlooks the former residence of one of Henley’s most famous literary heroes, Kenneth Grahame.

So enduring are his children’s tales of Mole, Ratty and Toad that Henley’s River and Rowing Museum says its permanent Wind In The Willows exhibition is still the top attraction with visitors.

“Pangbourne Lodge is a fine Georgian house set in the heart of the village and walking distance of the River Thames, and is a stone’s throw from Grahame’s former home,” said Katherine Singleton of local agency Dudley Singleton & Daughter.

The property has five bedrooms, two bathrooms and a downstairs WC, glorious gardens extending to 0.65 acres, a swimming pool, two large timber outbuildings, a cellar and more.

It is currenly on the market at a guide price of £1.1million. Call Katherine on 0118 984 2662 for more information.

Don’t forget to support Henley’s beautiful local treasure, The Bell  Bookshop at 52 Bell Street, which has been promoting literature for the past 50 years and will be organising a series of book signings as part of the festival.The shop was recently visited by the Gruffalo after being named Julia Donaldson Independent Bookshop of the Month for August.

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