Word weekend gets stretched by director

John Lennon, Laurence Olivier, the Real Downton Abbey and the Second World War all come under the spotlight at the third Petworth Festival Literary Weekend

With events spreading over five days, Petworth Festival artistic director Stewart Collins admits to stretching the word weekend just a bit.

“But we thought we’d stick with the title as we know from comment received that the short, sharp format of the autumn event is appreciated.”

Stewart added: “To our great joy, the whole idea of the literary weekend seems to have been taken to the collective heart of Petworth, and once again we are delighted to present a range of events that promises to explore, challenge and entertain. We are also delighted that we are

now firmly on the map as far as the country’s major authors and publishers are concerned given the quality of events that we are attracting.”

The programme is:

Wednesday, November 6: 12 noon, St Mary’s Church, Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey with Lady Carnarvon; 7pm, Petworth House, Olivier: A Biography with Philip Ziegler.

Thursday, November 7: 4pm, Leconfield Hall, Woodsman with Ben Law; 7pm, Leconfield Hall, The Second World War with Antony Beevor.

Friday, November 8: 12 noon, Leconfield Hall, The Antiques Magpie with Marc Allum; 4pm, Leconfield Hall, The Poetry of Charlotte Smith; 7.45pm, Leconfield Hall, The John Lennon Letters with Hunter Davies .

Saturday, November 9: 11am, Leconfield Hall Family Show: Nobody Rides the Unicorn; 2pm, United Reformed Church, The Natural History of the South Downs National Park with Robin Crane; 5pm, United Reformed Church, After Liff with Jon Canter; 7.30pm, St Mary’s Church, Winterreise/The Fatal Chance.

Sunday, November 10: 4.30pm, Leconfield Hall, Churchill’s First War with Con Coughlin; 7pm, St Mary’s Church, The Great Reform Bill with Antonia Fraser.

Tickets: 01798 344576 or www.petworthfestival.org.uk.