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My time studying English Literature at Chester University introduced me to Gladstone's Library at Hawarden. A beautiful building, and the only residential library in Britain. Created by William Ewart Gladstone, the only Prime Ministerial library in Britain became a tribute to his life and work after his death in 1849.
Steeped in heritage, the library offers silent study space, Glimpse tours of the reading rooms and even accommodation - the perfect place to visit for all book lovers near North Wales! Another unique feature offered by Gladstone Library is the Writers in Residence programme. This competitive scheme awards residencies of up to a month for four writers whose work engages with liberal values.
One of the other sell-out events held by Gladstone’s Library is Gladfest - a festival that celebrates the most exciting contemporary fiction. 2018 welcomes the sixth iteration of the festival, and the schedule is packed with talks and workshops from a range of popular authors, including a couple we’ve raved about here on LoveReading (Sunday Times Bestselling author Joanna Cannon will be at the event to give a talk about the spectacular Three Things about Elsie and Miranda Kaufman will be giving a talk on her Wolfson History Prize Shortlisted book Black Tudors: The Untold Story).
Gladfest 2018 is also celebrating 100 years of votes for (some) women, with the trimmings of this year’s festival decorated with a Suffragette theme. The opening spot of the weekend has been given to Diane Atkinson, for a talk on her book Rise Up, Women!
This year, to expand the successful literature festival, Gladstone Library will also be hosting the Gladfest Fringe on the back lawns of the grounds. This extension of the festival means there will be even more for literature lovers to enjoy, with carefully selected performances and stalls including music, storytelling, open-mic poetry and makers workshops.
This is a fabulous event held in the most spectacular surroundings and a perfect celebration of literature in the north of the UK. Gladfest runs from the 7th-9th September, or why not look into the accommodation, for the perfect book lovers retreat and weekend away. You can also see what's happening at the Library on Twitter (@gladlib), Instagram (gladstoneslibrary) or Facebook (@gladlib).