Everybody loves Buster Keaton, so we are thrilled to reveal our ‘mystery’ silent film, which is being screened at the wonderful Electric Palace Cinema in Harwich as part of our Criminally Good Weekend.

Sherlock, Jr. is a 1924 American silent comedy that follows the misfortunes of a film projectionist (Buster Keaton) who longing to be a detective, ends up being framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend’s father’s pocket watch.

What better place to watch it than one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas to survive, complete with its silent screen, original projection room and ornamental frontage still in tact.

Why not make a day of it, or even a weekend of it, and savour the delights of our criminally good author events taking place on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June. From BBC Radio 4’s James Naughtie to spoken word sensation Lady Unchained, it’s going to be quite a feast!

Saffron Coffee Morning

Festival Director Ros Green has been practising her culinary skills for our Saffron Coffee Morning. The event is takng place on 20th June at Talliston House & Gardens in Great Dunmow as part of our Radical Pilgrimage from Southend-on-Sea to Saffron Walden.

Keeping with the theme of saffron, British Egyptian artist Lora Aziz, who is leading the Radical Pilgrimage and walking the entire 70-mile length of The Saffron Trail, will be serving saffron coffee, while Ros will be offering slices of her special Saffranska Swedish Saffron Cake. Storyteller Glenys Newton will be regaling us with saffron-infused myths and tales. Join us if you can.

The Invention of Essex – EA Festival

Essex Book Festival is very pleased to be partnering with EA Festival for the second year running. For those of you unfamiliar with EA Festival, it is one of East Anglia’s leading art and cultural festivals, and will be taking place yet again in the grounds of Hedingham Castle on 10th and 11th June.

This year we are teaming up on an author event featuring Essex-based writer Tim Burrows. Tim will be talking about his new book The Invention of Essex: The Making of an English County, which digs beneath the Essex stereotype to expose a strange and secret place with a rich history of smugglers and private islands, artists and radicals, myths and legends.

Deeply researched and thoroughly engaging, The Invention of Essex shows that there is more to our fabled county than meets the eye, or indeeds appears in the tabloid media. It is also one of the Financial Times’s ‘Books to Read in 2023’. We can second that!

We Love Libraries

Essex Book Festival has always been deeply embedded in the county’s libraries and this year we have a wonderful line-up. Here’s a little selection…

Photo of author Liz Trenow and book cover image of The Secret Sister

Liz Trenow – The Secret Sister
Thursday 8th June, 7.00pm
Coggeshall Library

International bestselling author, Liz Trenow, will be talking about the gripping and heart-breaking story which shines a light on the forgotten heroes of World War II

Photo of author Eleanor Shearer alongside image of River Sing Me Home book cover

Eleanor Shearer – River Sing Me Home, Thursday 8th June, 7.00pm
Brentwood Library

Enormously powerful and frequently heartwrenching, River Sing Me Home chronicles the former enslaved woman Rachel’s quest to reunite with the children taken from her on the plantation.

Photo of author Emilia Hart alongside image of Wayward book cover

Emilia Hart – Weyard
Tuesday 13th Jun, 7.00pm
Waltham Abbey Library

A woman fleeing an abusive relationship heads for Weyward Cottage and makes a startling discovery about her ancestors in this bewitching debut.