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Prospect Cottage Talk: Tom Crewe

Prospect Cottage Talk: Tom Crewe

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To celebrate Prospect Cottage and its continued inspiration for artists, queer icons, and creative minds of all varieties, Folkestone Book Festival is delighted to present the Prospect Cottage Talk. Each year, we invite someone who we feel embodies the pioneering creativity of Jarman. For 2023, we are delighted to welcome Tom Crewe.

Tom Crewe considers the occasional appearances of gay men in the 19th-century novel, ranging from Austen to Balzac to Tolstoy. Why are these men there? What roles are they performing in the text? What kinds of lives might we imagine them to be leading off the page – and how might the history of the novel have been different, if the great writers of the past had been willing to follow them wherever they led?

Tom Crewe was born in Middlesbrough in 1989. He has a PhD in nineteenth-century British history from the University of Cambridge. Since 2015, he has been an editor at the London Review of Books, to which he contributes essays on politics, art, history and fiction. The New Life, his first novel, won the 2023 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and the 2023 Southbank Sky Arts Award for Literature. In 2023 he was named one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists.

Following his talk, he will be in conversation with CP Hunter, co-founder of the radical, independent bookshop and community hub, The Folkestone Bookshop.

Prospect Cottage is the former home and sanctuary of artist, filmmaker, gay rights activist and gardener Derek Jarman (1942–1994). Following a successful campaign led by Art Fund, Prospect Cottage was saved for the nation and Creative Folkestone became custodians of this unique and inspiring place. Since then, Prospect Cottage has been publicly accessible for the first time through a limited tours, and artists residency programme.


Folkestone Book Festival is our annual celebration of books, ideas, reading and writing in its many magical forms. This year's festival has been curated by Jen Thatcher and James Harkin. Curating the festival for the first time, Jen and James have been inspired by Folkestone and how we can all come together through inspired discussion about global ideas, global thinking and possible futures.


This year's festival is for everyone and we want to make it possible for more people than ever before to be able to come together and enjoy a packed festival. To make this possible we have introduced a £5 ticket. This is a no questions asked ticket for those that may be struggling to afford events and performances.


We would like to thank our Principal Sponsor Saga, our Education Partner Canterbury Christ Church University, Le Shuttle and our Travel Partner, Southeastern. Creative Folkestone is also supported by Arts Council England, Folkestone and Hythe District Council, Kent County Council and The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust.


Mill Bay,
CT20 1BN

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Age Restrictions

No Age Restriction


£12 Standard
£8 Concession
£5 Cost of Living

PLEASE NOTE: Concessionary rates apply to under 21s, full time students, registered unemployed and registered disabled – just show us proof of status.

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