‘Thanks to everyone who makes the festival what it is, a great space in which to talk, listen and share the happiest of mutual obsessions.’ – Claire Harman

‘Thanks to everyone who makes the festival what it is, a great space in which to talk, listen and share the happiest of mutual obsessions.’ – Claire Harman

Today has been my first ever visit to the Hay Festival, but talking Brontë turns out to be an international language, with many fluent speakers. There was an ardent group of fans at the appropriately named Good Energy Stage today, all helping to celebrate the bicentenary of marvellous Miss Brontë, and not in the least put off by the rival anniversaries of Shakespeare, Roald Dahl, the Queen… Charlotte holds her place in people’s hearts and minds as powerfully as any of them.

When you’re at home – for years – thinking and writing in isolation about a subject, it’s hard to remember that the day will come when your book is finished, published, read and shared with people. When those people are as responsive and engaged as the crowd was today at Hay, it makes the whole project make sense: thanks to everyone who makes the festival what it is, a great space in which to talk, listen and share the happiest of mutual obsessions.

 

Photo by Sam Hardwick