Ely Events and Reading Groups

In this atmospheric medieval city, just over an hour from London by train, author events range from reading groups and intimate salons in the bookshop to the drama of performances under the world-renowned Octagon of Ely Cathedral. We hold events all year round, but in the autumn there is a special focus on the Ely Literary Festival.

SOLD OUT: Elly Griffiths

Wednesday 22nd February, 7.30pm

Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich’s web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they were recently buried, DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands. The boiling might have been just a medieval curiosity – now it suggests a much more sinister purpose. Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the […] See more »


Rory Clements

Tuesday 28th February, 7.30pm

Set against the background of imminent war and moving from Berlin to Cambridge, from Whitehall to the Kent countryside, and from the Fens to the Aragon Front in Spain, this international thriller marks the beginning of a major new series from  Rory Clements. When a renowned member of the county set and his wife are found […] See more »


Stephen Westaby

Thursday 2nd March, 7.30pm

World famous heart surgeon Professor Stephen Westaby took chances and pushed the boundaries of heart surgery, thereby  saving hundreds of lives over the course of a thirty-five year career. Now, in his astounding memoir, he tells of some of his most remarkable and poignant cases – such as the baby who had suffered multiple heart attacks […] See more »


SOLD OUT: Modern American Study Day

Sunday 5th March, 11am

Owing to the rapid selling-out of the first  day, this is a repeat session. Up until the start of the 20th Century America had only produced a very few poets of real note. All that was to change with the appearance of a remarkable generation of writers, determined to make verse into something new, vital, central to the […] See more »


Alison Bruce

Tuesday 7th March, 7.30pm

We are delighted to welcome bookshop friend and superb local author Alison Bruce back to celebrate the publication in the latest instalment in her thrilling series of Cambridge crime novels, Cambridge Black. Amy was seven years old when her father was arrested for murder. His subsequent trial and conviction scarred her childhood and cast a shadow […] See more »


Reading Group: T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land

Monday 13th March, 7.30pm

The Waste Land and Other Poems by T S Eliot Perhaps the most admired poem of the last century, Eliot’s haunting survey of a spiritually bankrupt post-war world retains its air of beauty and mystery, no matter how often one reads it. The group considers it in the context of other early Eliot poetry, from […] See more »


Reading Group: Song of Achilles

Monday 13th March, 7.30pm

The winner of the Orange Prize for fiction in 2012, the Song of Achilles is an exhilarating retelling of the Trojan war and events leading up to it. Described by Bettany Hughes as sexy, dangerous and mystical, and by A.N.Wilson as passionate, uplifting and different, this is a book which has captivated its many readers. […] See more »


Please note the rescheduled date! John Simpson

Tuesday 14th March, 7.30pm

All around the world, for hundreds of years, wherever war and strife break out, foreign correspondents have  been engaged in uncovering the latest news and – despite all obstacles  – reporting it by whatever means available. It’s a working life that is difficult, exciting and undeniably glamorous. If anyone has the right to tell the story of […] See more »


Professor Eamon Duffy

Thursday 16th March, 7.30pm

Published to mark the 500th anniversary of the events of 1517, Reformation Divided explores the impact in England of the cataclysmic transformations of European Christianity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The book challenges the traditional view of the Reformation by tracing the ways in which the project of reforming Christendom from within broke apart conflicting and often […] See more »


John Rees on the Levellers

Tuesday 21st March, 7.30pm

The Levellers, revolutionaries that grew out of the explosive tumults of 1642 and the battlefields of the Civil War, are central figures in the history of democracy. In this thrilling narrative John Rees brings to life the men and women who ensured victory at war, and brought England to the edge of radical republicanism. From […] See more »


Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough on Vikings and their Sagas

Tuesday 28th March, 7.30pm

The Vikings travelled to all corners of the medieval world and beyond, trading silver, skins, and slaves. Beyond the Northlands  explores these travels through the stories that the Vikings told about themselves.  From these tales emerges a mixture of realism and fantasy, quasi-historical adventures and exotic wonder-tales that go far beyond the horizon of reality. On the crackling brown pages […] See more »


Donna Leon

Tuesday 4th April, 7.30pm

    Donna Leon was named by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers for her award winning Brunetti series, and we are proud  to welcome her to Ely to celebrate her latest book, Earthly Remains. In need of a break from the Questura,  Brunetti is shipped off by his wife, Paola, to […] See more »


Professor A.C. Grayling

Monday 15th May, 7.30pm

Once again we welcome Professor A.C. Grayling  to Ely to celebrate his latest book War: An Enquiry.  In this  original and deeply considered work  Grayling examines, tests and challenges the concept of war, proposing that a deeper understanding of it might enable us to reduce its frequency, mitigate its horrors and lessen the burdens of its consequences. Professor […] See more »


Dr. Annie Gray

Wednesday 24th May, 7.30pm

We are delighted to welcome Annie Gray, resident food historian on Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, broadcaster and writer, to celebrate the publication of The Greedy Queen, which tells the story of Queen Victoria through the history of her food, the kitchens it was prepared in and the men and women who cooked it. From her early diet, restricted and […] See more »