Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson leads Daunt Book’s festival line-up

Howard Jacobson at Heath Library. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Howard Jacobson at Heath Library. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Archant

After the BBC’s triumphant adaptation of War and Peace many will be intrigued to find out more about Russia’s ruling elite.

Simon Sebag Montefiore. Picture: Ian Jones

Simon Sebag Montefiore. Picture: Ian Jones - Credit: Ian Jones

Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore is among the line up for Daunt Book’s two-day festival at its flagship Marylebone store this month.

After acclaimed histories on Catherine the Great and Stalin his latest tackles the rise and fall of what was once the world’s greatest empire.

On March 11, he will talk about The Romanovs the 20 mad, brilliant and ruthless Russian Tsars - six of them murdered - who ruled Russia from 1613-1918.

Also lining up at the Marylebone High Street bookshop are Booker Prize winner Howard Jacboson, who appears tomorrow with literary critic Nicholas Lezard.

His retelling of The Merchant of Venice; Shylock is My Name relocates Shakespeare’s tale to leafy Cheshire and recasts the story in the world of art collecting and philanthropy.

Other events include a ‘walking book club’ in Regent’s Park with writer Emily Rhodes to discuss views on Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel Offshore; a children’s hour with author Philip Reeve and illustrator Sarah McIntyre talking about their adventurous dogs and polar bears in Pugs of the Frozen North, and a session for gastronomes with Highgate food writer Diana Henry talking to food historian Bee Wilson about our first tastes and how they influence the way we eat and cook for the rest of our lives.

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Satirist Craig Brown and actress Eleanor Bron present an A-Z of Humour on Friday in aid of the British Red Cross Syria Crisis Appeal and earlier that afternoon the Trio Aeolian perform works by Debussy and Bax.

The festival runs tomorrow and Friday, and some daytime talks will be blessed with treats from local food heroes Ginger Pig, Rococo Chocolates, La Fromagerie and Honey&Co.

Ticketholders are also welcome to bring a sandwich along to lunchtime talks.

A festival pass to all 14 events costs £38 or you can book events individually.