This year’s Clapham Book Festival takes place on May 6th at Omnibus in Clapham, South London.  And at half past three in the afternoon, J.J.Anderson, the author of Reconquista, will be leading a discussion on writing history, both fictional historical novels and non-fiction history books. The session is called The Past is Another Country.

She will be talking with Elizabeth Fremantle, author of The Girl in the Glass Tower, a Times Book of the Year 2016, about her novels set in Tudor and Stuart England. The Girl follows the tragic story of Arbella Stuart, the Queen England never had.

Julie Anderson will also be talking with Robin Blake, whose North Country coroner Titus Cragg solves all manner of mysteries in 18th century, pre-industrial Preston, with the aide of his trusty colleague and local doctor Luke Fidelis. His latest novel featuring the crime-busting duo is Skin and Bone.

The fourth member of the discussion is Simon Bershon, award-winning TV documentary film maker, whose history book Warlords was made into a series for Channel 4. Simon has just started to write historical fiction and his book, Woman of State, is published in the Summer.

There are other events on the Programme, beginning at 2 o’clock in the afternoon with ‘Death in the Afternoon’  This is a panel discussion chaired by Natasha Cooper, crime writer and former Chair of the British Crime Writers Association.  Authors taking part are Sabine Durrant, whose bestselling ‘Lie with Me‘ is a Richard and Judy Book Club Choice; J.P.Delaney whose new book ‘The Girl Before‘ is already winning praise. The fourth writer is Clapham-based Annemarie Neary, whose new novel ‘The Orphans‘ comes out in July and is set in and around Clapham.

The third panel discussion of the afternoon is at 5.00 entitled Spies Under the Bed. This is chaired by novelist Elizabeth Buchan, whose latest novel The New Mrs Clifton‘ is set in post-WWII Clapham and whose previous book ‘I Can’t Begin to Tell You‘ told the story of Danish Resistance fighters and the SOE. On this panel are Andrew Lownie, Chair of the Biographers Club and author of a new biography of Guy Burgess ‘Stalin’s Englishman‘, Jane Thynne, creator of Clara Vine, British spy in 1930s Germany, who features most recently in ‘Solitaire‘ set in war-time Berlin and Rick Stroud, historian and author of ‘Kidnap from Crete; the true story of the abduction of a Nazi general‘ and ‘The Phantom Army of Alamein; the men who hoodwinked Rommel‘ .

From 6.30 until 7.30 there is a general open session in the Omnibus Bar attended by a number of Clapham writers, including the author of Reconquista, and then at 7.30 broadcaster and author Kate Adie in conversation with Simon Berthon.

You can find out more about the Festival and its Programme of events on the Clapham Book Festival web-site. Tickets are on sale for The Past is Another Country on the Omnibus web-site. They cost £10 ( £8 concessions ). Or you can follow the Festival on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

If you want to find out about the 2016 edition of the Festival take a look at Clapham Writers web-site.