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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 events 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.

Jessie Childs

Thursday 2nd June, 7.30pm

Jessie Childs’ The Siege of Loyalty Houseis an immersive and electrifying account of a defining episode in a war that would turn Britain – and the world – upside down. ‘Brilliant. Original. Gripping.’ Antonia Fraser It was a time of climate change and colonialism, puritans and populism, witch hunts and war. A greater proportion of […] See more »


Antony Beevor

Wednesday 8th June, 7.30pm

Join Antony Beevor for a nuanced and fascinatingly timely exploration of his new book Russia: Revolution and Civil War 1917-1821. Between 1917 and 1921 a devastating struggle took place in Russia following the collapse of the Tsarist empire. Many regard this savage civil war as the most influential event of the modern era. An incompatible White […] See more »


Reading Group – The Gallows Pole, Benjamin Myers

Tuesday 14th June, 7.30pm

Join us for an evening exploring Myers’ novel, The Gallows Pole. A place at the reading group is £7, which can be redeemed against any book in the bookshop. From his remote moorland home, David Hartley assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and […] See more »


Reading Group – Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday 14th June, 7.30pm

Join us for an evening exploring Vonnegut’s novel, Mother Night. A place at the reading group is £7, which can be redeemed against any book in the bookshop. Less wacky and science-fictional than most of his novels, Mother Night is nonetheless a thoroughly characteristic work of black satire, often cited as one of Vonnegut’s very best. The […] See more »


Peter Doherty

Wednesday 15th June, 7.30pm

Join Libertine legend Peter Doherty for an unmissable evening to celebrate his memoir A Likely Lad. With sober and sometimes painful insight, Doherty candidly explores some of his greatest and darkest moments, drawn out by Manchester DJ Dave Haslam, our interviewer for the evening. Peter Doherty is the last of the great rock n roll […] See more »


Ulysses: A Centenary Celebration

Thursday 16th June, 7.30pm

Since its publication in 1922, James Joyce’s Ulysses has been one of the most discussed and disputed novels ever written. Whilst for many Stephen Deadalus and Leopold Bloom’s tragicomic wanderings round 1904 Dublin constitute one of the most dazzlingly, hilarious and richly entertaining reading experiences literature has to offer, others are repelled by the book’s […] See more »


James Boyce

Friday 17th June, 7.30pm

Join James Boyce to discuss his book Imperial Mud, a masterfully argued reimagination of not just the history of the Fens, but the history and identity of the English people. WINNER OF THE HISTORY AND TRADITION CATEGORY, EAST ANGLIAN BOOK AWARDS 2020 LONGLISTED FOR THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2021 Between the English Civil Wars and […] See more »


Charles Moseley

Thursday 23rd June, 7.30pm

Join Charles Moseley as he tells us about his new book, To Everything a Season, a beautifully crafted personal and reflective account of many years of the changing seasons, from autumn to autumn, in and around a village on the edge of the Cambridge Fenland. It is an uplifting reflection about change: what was, what is, […] See more »


Reverend Richard Coles

Monday 27th June, 7.30pm

Join the Reverend Richard Coles for an evening of vicars, rude old ladies, murder and sausage dogs, celebrating Murder Before Evensong, the first novel in his Canon Clement Mystery series. Canon Daniel Clement is Rector of Champton. He has been there for eight years, living at the Rectory alongside his widowed mother – opinionated, fearless, […] See more »


Bonnie Garmus

Thursday 30th June, 7.30pm

Join us in the bookshop for what will be a wonderful event, celebrating Bonnie Garmus and her debut novel Lessons In Chemistry. Your ability to change everything – including yourself – starts here Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is […] See more »


Natasha Pulley

Tuesday 5th July, 7.30pm

Natasha Pulley explores The Half Life of Valery K, a sweeping historical adventure told in Pulley’s inimitable style. The truth must come out. In 1963, in a Siberian gulag, former nuclear specialist Valery Kolkhanov has mastered what it takes to survive: the right connections to the guards for access to food and cigarettes, the right pair […] See more »


Felicity Cloake

Thursday 7th July, 7.30pm

If there’s one thing that truly unites Britain, from Aberdeen to Aberystwyth, St Ives to St Pancras, it’s an obsession with breakfast. Join the nation’s taster in chief for a mouth-wateringly entertaining evening. We all have an opinion on the merits of brown sauce versus ketchup on our morning bacon sarnie. In Red Sauce Brown […] See more »


Dinner with José Pizarro

Tuesday 12th July, 7.30pm

Join leading Spanish chef, José Pizarro, to sample dishes from his new book The Spanish Home Kitchen. José travels back to his mother’s house to draw inspiration from the flavours he grew up with, and shares over 80 of his favourite recipes, gathered from all over Spain. From nostalgic childhood favourites that his mother fed […] See more »


Jill Dawson

Thursday 14th July, 7.30pm

Local author Jill Dawson returns to Ely with The Bewitching, a dazzling, shocking novel of witchcraft and persecution that speaks to our times. Alice Samuel might be old and sharp-tongued, but she’s no fool. Visiting her new neighbours in her Fenland village, she suspects Squire Throckmorton’s household is not as God-fearing as it seems and […] See more »


Ben Macintyre

Wednesday 21st September, 7.30pm

Author of Agent Sonia and The Spy and The Traitor Ben Macintyre returns to Ely with Colditz: Prisoners of the Castle, the incredible true story of the most infamous prison in history. In a forbidding Gothic castle on a hilltop in the heart of Nazi Germany, an unlikely band of British officers spent the Second […] See more »


Caroline Davison

Wednesday 28th September, 7.30pm

Join us upstairs in the Bookshop to celebrate the publication of Caroline Davison’s  The Captain’s Apprentice, a beautifully written exploration of the world of Edwardian folk music, and its influence on the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. The timing could not be more fitting, marking to 150th Anniversary of Vaughan Williams! In January 1905 the young […] See more »


Max Hastings

Monday 7th November, 7.30pm

Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, we are delighted to welcome Max Hastings back to Ely to discuss his new book Abyss: The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962. In his characteristically gripping historical narrative, Max explores one of the most perilous event in history, when mankind faced a looming nuclear collision between the United […] See more »


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