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Horatio Clare in Conversation

Horatio Clare in Conversation

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Heavy Light is the story of a breakdown: a journey through mania, psychosis and treatment in a psychiatric hospital, and onwards to release, recovery and healing.

After a lifetime of ups and downs, Horatio Clare was committed to hospital under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act. From hypomania in the Alps, to a complete breakdown and a locked ward in Wakefield, this is a gripping account of how the mind loses touch with reality, how we fall apart and how we can be healed - or not - by treatment.

By booking a Digital Pass you'll be able to access all the talks and events and revisit anything you missed for up to a week after the Festival.

You will need to order your pass at least 24 hours before the start of the first event you wish to attend.


It's a story of the wonder and intensity of the manic experience, as well as its peril and strangeness, and is shot through with the love, kindness, humour and care of those who deal with someone who becomes dangerously ill.

Partly a tribute to those who looked after Horatio, from family and friends to strangers and professionals, and partly an investigation into how we understand and treat acute crises of mental health, Heavy Light's beauty, power and compassion illuminate a fundamental part of human experience. It asks urgent questions about mental health that affect all of us.

Horatio Clare’s books include Orison For A Curlew, The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal, A Single Swallow and Down to the Sea in Ships. He has also recorded a series of different walks for BBC Radio 3.

An extraordinary book: deeply moving, darkly funny and hugely powerful [...] This book confirms that Horatio Clare is among the most brilliant and compassionate writers of non-fiction I know.
- Robert Macfarlane on Heavy Light

This event will be chaired by Julia Wheeler.

A copy of their book can be found on the CCCU website (

This year the festival will be presented online and in-person wherever possible and in line with the latest government guidance. You can find more information about the festival here.

This event is a Folkestone Book Festival screened event at Quarterhouse. Speakers will be streamed live from their homes to our auditorium for a limited audience. All events can also be enjoyed online as part of our Digital Pass.

Creative Folkestone Book Festival is made possible thanks to the generous support of our funders and partners. We are proud to welcome the return of NewsNow as our Principal Partner for the Creative Folkestone Book Festival.


Mill Bay,
CT20 1BN

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Quarterhouse live screening £3 / £2.70
Streamed as part of Book Festival Digital Pass

Sorry, this event has sold out

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