Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The bath of Culture and Events: Bath Literature Festival


(getty images)

History means heritage and this is definitely an issue to be taken seriously, as it builds our identity and shows us the way – past paths with a view towards the future. No wonder that there are so many cities worldwide proud of their own unique history! As there is a sense of pride in paying tribute to one's own past and identity. It is in such places that we find our inspiration, that we usually connect with ourselves and manage to see clearly towards the future, as the remnants of old civilizations are usually able to trigger not only the  imagination, but also a broader vision towards life and the course of things.

From the once almighty Rome to classic Athens and from China to the Pyramids of Egypt, the world hosts innumerable monuments worth exploring. And what makes us feel even more fulfilled and pleased when visiting a historical place is the sense that the mere story of the place is being well taken care of, mingled in the webs of present moment, as if still an ongoing story that we – visitors – can also be part of. Cultural events are the glue of the past with the present, making us feel part of something grand that still brings life and energy to places that, otherwise, might give one the impression that gave their all already. Bath is one of these places with a breathtaking story that, somehow, still manages to breath – and it does it fully, by all means!


Bath is an historical city of England. Located in the Somerset County, in the South Western part of England, Bath is already well known to the informed tourists. Bath flourished as a famous spa town during the Georgian era and the city’s Roman Baths are the region’s most visited touristic attraction up till today. Moreover, the whole city of Bath has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. Thus, wherever you may find yourself walking in Bath, bear in mind that you are taking a stroll through history, witnessing the miracles and wonders of it, created for us to enjoy.

We might all know by now that holidays in England can mean a trip to history and an embrace of our modern culture just as well; it feels in no way different when visiting Bath. Culture manages, with its always transforming vibrant events, to adapt places to an adopted moment in the present, and it surely plays a special role, even in a place such as Bath, which have already a story and a voice of their own. In Bath, a number of cultural events are offering the chance to locals and visitors alike to feel that the city cares deeply about its past, its story and its status as a place with a unique cultural heritage. As for hotels in Bath for your stay to be worth it, my recommendation would be to keep it simple and search for a Travelodge hotel in Bath where comfort meets reasonable prices. After all, it is all about visiting Bath, not the expensive hotels!
Let’s now take a look at what qualifies as the most renowned festival that takes place in Bath year by year: the Bath Literature Festival!

Bath Literature Festival


Established in 1995, the Bath Literature Festival is by now a very prestigious international literature event. Over the years, a number of leading writers and intellectuals have been giving lectures in front of those audiences that are always thirsty for knowledge. Influential figures such as Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, Tariq Ali, the late Anna Politkovskaya and Eric Hobsbawm, Steve Bell and Wendy Cope among many others have participated in this celebration of literature.

This year, the festival was held in the first week of March and was met with significant success. The two most prominent figures that naturally stole the attention were Hilary Mantel and J.K. Rowling.

Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel is the only female writer that won twice the Booker Prize, one of the most significant of all literature awards. Her books belong to the historical fiction genre, but her splendid writing skills make these books the exact opposite of a book filled with boring, endless information about facts of historical relevance. Recently, she found herself in the middle of a storm due to a highly critical statement that she made against the Duchess of Cambridge. Hopefully for her (and her fans), though, during her lecture at the festival the audience didn’t seem to care a lot about the controversy.

JK Rowling
As for JK Rowling, well… you know what they say: it is difficult to write her name in a sentence that doesn’t include the words “Harry Potter” as well! The publishing phenomenon of the last decades, Rowling, for good or for bad, will always be linked with the books that made a generation of kids and teenagers or those who always feel teenagers at heart to fall in love with reading (while forgetting about their game consoles for a bit)! To be honest, I don’t think people will stop asking her questions about the books that made her rich and famous, no matter how many years will have passed. After one of these types of questions during her speech at the Bath Literature Festival, Rowling rejected the idea of writing a prequel to Harry Potter’s adventures. As far as it concerns her latest book, the first after the Harry Potter series, it took mixed responses from the critics, but it still sold fast!


Nevertheless, the Bath Literature Festival is not the one and only cultural event taking place in Bath, but just the most prolific. However, there are other festivals held in Bath that are worth the attention, such as the Bath International Music Festival and the Children Literature Festival. With all these cultural events taking place in such a marvelous location, Bath does sound like a very attractive destination!



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