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THE North Herts Book Festival will comprise almost 40 events across Comet country, including films, poetry, story-telling for children, fact, fiction and food. The festival begins on March 1 – World Book Day – and will continue for 16 days. The festival s

THE North Herts Book Festival will comprise almost 40 events across Comet country, including films, poetry, story-telling for children, fact, fiction and food.

The festival begins on March 1 - World Book Day - and will continue for 16 days.

The festival's president - broadcaster and writer Richard Whitmore - will launch his latest book, The Ghosts of Reginald Hine, at Eric Moore's Bookshop in Bridge Street, Hitchin, from 11am until 1pm on March 3.

Appearing at the Surfin Cafe in Letchworth GC on March 5 are authors Sophie Hannah, whose novel Little Face is currently one of the country's leading best sellers, and Jill Dawson, whose book Watch Me Disappear was January's Book Club of the Month choice in The Mail on Sunday newspaper.


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Lois Pryce will be recounting her epic 20,000-mile trek by motorbike from Alaska to South America when she visits the Sun Hotel in Hitchin on March 9.

Rowan Coleman, author of The Accidental Mother, will be talking about her latest book The Baby Group on March 12, at Letchworth GC's Surfin Cafe.

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Among the events at the newly-opened Letchworth Arts Centre will be a speaker revealing how the Enigma Code was cracked during World War II and two afternoon talks by experts on suffragette Lady Constance Lytton and police fingerprinting.

Other events have been organised by David's Bookshop in Letchworth GC, the library service, schools, groups and individuals. They include talks on railways, Great War battlefields and historic samplers, as well as two poetry and pints evenings in Baldock and a book sale at the British Schools in Hitchin on March 10.

Other festival speakers include Baldock supermodel Daphne Selfe talking about the real world of The Devil Wears Prada and TV broadcaster Andrew Cook talking about the inspiration for James Bond and his links to Rasputin.

Several story-telling sessions have been arranged for children, including wildlife tales at Letchworth Museum and an event with children's author and illustrator James Mayhew at Hitchin Museum.

The Broadway cinema in Letchworth GC and the newly-formed Hitchin Film Club will be showing films linked to books for children and adults.

Councillor Tricia Gibbs, North Hertfordshire District Council's portfolio holder for community engagement, said: "This has been a huge effort by the organising committee and a wonderful example of how different organisations and businesses can work together to provide something that will become a first-class cultural festival. I am sure it will really put North Herts on the map."

The full programme of events is available on the NHDC's website: www.north-herts.gov.uk or by calling Sue Fisher on: 01462 474544.

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