Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Growing up in Hitler's Greece - our next talk at Molesey Library


What could it have been like growing up in Nazi-occupied Greece?
East Molesey resident and author, Evangelos 'Van' Louizos, knows first hand and has written about it in his autobiographical book, “My Father had this Luger… A true story of Hitler’s Greece”.
It's a chronicle of his childhood in Greece during the Second World War and is the first book of a multimedia project, “The Sword of Zeus”, which Van will be speaking about when he visits Molesey Library at 7.30pm on Tuesday 22nd November, as our final guest author of 2016. Tickets are on sale at the Library now.
Nicholas J Slabbert, previously editor of Readers’ Digest and the producer of the project states.  “The book provides a useful window on what Greece endured during WWII.  It is not a textbook or a heavy-handed treatise on history or economics. It’s simply a true and vivid account of what the war and Germany’s occupation inflicted on Greeks. It is a human document and it provides the human background without which it’s not really possible to grasp the real nature of the relationship between Greece and Germany today. 
The book achieves this without demonizing anyone, least of all Germans, who, as a people, are presented with a compassion and respect that some people may find surprising in a book presenting the Greek side of the story. But that is one of the points of the book as well as of the current European  situation: namely, the fact that unless you pay people the respect to which they’re entitled, you won’t get far in solving the problems in which they’re involved.”
MY FATHER HAD THIS LUGER…”conveys the drama of the events through which Mr Louizos lived, in those years when the Italians invaded Greece, and then the  Germans, and finally the British forces intervened in ways the Greeks hadn’t really expected.
 

It is a poignant story as well an exciting one, and as we worked on it, it was difficult, even as an editor, not to be swept up by the characters and what became of them.  It is hard to read this and not be unmoved.”
Mr. Louizos was born in Kallithea, in the Greater Athens area, in 1933. After graduating from high school he joined the Greek merchant navy. He later obtained American citizenship and worked his way through university in the United States and Mexico becoming a teacher in California. In 1979 he relocated his family to Surrey, where he founded and headed the Department of English as a Second Language at the American Community School in Cobham.  He taught there for 18 years until his retirement in 1997.
Mr Louizos has lived in East Molesey for the last 35 years and has delivered talks about his book both Greece and the UK. He will be preparing some historical material for distribution before the talk.








Private lives of the Tudors laid bare at Molesey Library

Tracy Borman brought the Tudors to life at Molesey Library


There was a packed house at Molesey Library on 27th September when Tracy Borman came along to our latest Author Event to tell us all about the private lives of the Tudor monarchs.

Tracy, the Joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, has been on a ‘royal progress tour’ promoting her new book The Private Lives of the Tudors and we felt very privileged when she agreed to make Molesey Library one of the stops on that tour.

As Elizabeth I said "I do not live in a corner. A thousand eyes see all I do". The Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers and there are plenty of eyewitness accounts of their private lives which Tracy has used as the basis for her fascinating book. She spared us no details!

Friends chair Pauline Morozgalska and John Coope
As she explained, even in their most private moments, the Tudor kings and queens were accompanied by a servant specifically appointed for each task. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges, and when Elizabeth I retired for the evening, one of her female servants would sleep at the end of her bed.

These attendants knew the truth behind the glamorous exterior. They saw the tears shed by Henry VII upon the death of his son Arthur. They knew the tragic secret behind 'Bloody' Mary's phantom pregnancies. And they saw the 'crooked carcass' beneath Elizabeth I's carefully applied makeup, gowns and accessories.

The audience were fascinated by all the insights which Tracy  recounted and a lively Q & A session was evidence of a desire to know even more!

Please note - our next author event will be on Tuesday 22nd November, 2016 at 7.30pm and will be a talk with local man Van Louizos talking about his book My Father Had This Luger - a true story of Hitler's Greece. Tickets are available from Molesey Library.

 

Monday, 1 August 2016

Hampton Court historian to reveal secrets of the Tudors

Take a peep into the inner world of the Tudor Court when our successful series of Author Events resumes on Tuesday September 27th at 7.30pm.
We are very pleased to be able to welcome as our speaker Tracy Borman, Joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, who will be talking about her new book The Private Lives of the Tudors.
The Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers. Even in their most private moments, they were accompanied by a servant specifically appointed for the task. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges, and when Elizabeth I retired for the evening, one of her female servants would sleep at the end of her bed.
These attendants knew the truth behind the glamorous exterior. They saw the tears shed by Henry VII upon the death of his son Arthur. They knew the tragic secret behind "Bloody Mary's" phantom pregnancies. And they saw the "crooked carcass" beneath Elizabeth I's carefully applied makeup, gowns and accessories.
It is the accounts of these eyewitnesses, as well as a rich array of other contemporary sources which Tracy Borman has examined more closely than ever before. With new insights and discoveries, The Private Life of the Tudors reveals previously unexamined details about the characters we think we know so well.
Come along and join us for what promises to be a fascinating talk. Tickets cost £5 - which includes a glass of wine or soft drink - and can be obtained from Molesey Library.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Meet the authors event: Sexy detectives and the joy of crime writing

Come along to Molesey Library on Tuesday April 26 at 7.30 pm for the next in our  popular series of Author Events.

This time, we are pleased to welcome Susi Holliday and Molesey's very own Louise Voss for an informal discussion on topics such as creating sexy detectives and on generally why crime writing is such fun.

Both Susi and Louise are successful crime writers. Susi worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 16 years before discovering her passion for writing.  Her first novel Black Wood, inspired by a disturbing incident from her childhood, was published in 2015 and her follow-up work Willow Walk is out in June.

As for Louise, she began her writing career with four contemporary fiction novels before switching to writing thrillers with Mark Edwards. She and Mark were the first British indie authors to reach No.1 on the Amazon charts with Catch Your Death and this success led to a four-book deal with a leading publisher. Louise’s first solo psychological thriller The Venus Trap came out in February 2015, and her sixth novel with Mark, The Blissfully Dead, was released last September.

So come along and enjoy two authors for the price of one in what promises to be a fascinating and entertaining evening.  Tickets are £5 each to include a drink and are available from the Library.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Guest author Vanora Bennett to speak about 'Russian obsession'

Vanora Bennett will give a talk on February 23rd
Russia and Putin have been looming large on the TV news and in the press of late. Is she friend or foe, a danger to the West or misunderstood?

Next month the Friends of Molesey Library offers you an opportunity to delve a little deeper into the Russian psyche by accepting our invitation to attend our latest Meet the Author event. It’s on Tuesday February 23rd at 7.30pm and will be with Vanora Bennett, a writer with considerable first-hand experience and who admits to having ‘an obsession with Russia’.

Vanora started her career as a journalist, working in Paris, Cambodia, and parts of Africa and finally landing in the country which stopped being the Soviet Union three months after she arrived. She spent much of the early 1990s in smoky taxis in the Caucasus mountains, covering a series of small post-Soviet conflicts that built up to the war in Chechnya. As an afterthought, she started writing books. She now has eight books to her name, including two novels set in Russia or about Russians - The White Russian and Midnight in St Petersburg. She has also written two works of non-fiction about Russia - Crying Wolf, about the start of the post-Soviet war in Chechnya, and The Taste of Dreams: An Obsession with Russia and Caviar, which is a travelogue through the wilder parts of newly capitalist Russia in the 1990s.

Vanora will speak about the fate of Russia’s White EmigrĂ©s after the 1917 Revolution in a talk entitled Down & Out in Paris & London, and will take your questions about her work and what lessons we can learn in today’s world.  Signed copies of her books will be available to purchase on the night.

Tickets cost £5 – which includes a glass of wine or soft drink – and they can be purchased at Molesey Library. Alternatively, you can send a cheque (made payable to Friends of Molesey Library) with a stamped addressed envelope, to Author Event, Molesey Library, The Forum, Walton Road, West Molesey KT8 2HZ.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Police psychologist turned crime author to give talk at Molesey Library

Former police psychologist John Marzillier will be the guest speaker at the next Author Event organised by the Friends of Molesey Library.

John’s talk will take place on Tuesday January 26th 2016 at the Library following the Friends’ Annual General Meeting, which will start at 7.30pm. His talk is entitled To Hell and Back and will reflect his work as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist.

John, who is now retired and working as a writer, was employed for many years by the Thames Valley Police Force as their Force Psychologist. He has extensive experience working with people who have been through major traumas and has written a number of books on the science of trauma and on the many and varied psychotherapies available to trauma sufferers.

You are warmly invited to join the Friends of Molesey Library Committee for a drink at our Annual General Meeting and find out more about how the group is supporting Molesey's local library.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Stop press: Vanora Bennett author evening postponed

The Author Event planned for next Tuesday has been postponed as Vanora Bennett has been admitted to hospital. Those who had already bought tickets were notified immediately by phone. It is a shame as I think many of us were really looking forward to the event especially as our June event was also postponed because of the uncertainty with staffing at the library.

Our next event will be on Tuesday 25th November so please put the date on your calendar and you will receive further details in due course.

The Friends started a KNIT and NATTER session this month. These sessions are planned for the third Tuesday afternoon each month from 2.00 onwards. The first event was very enjoyable. Everyone is welcome so do come along or if you are unable to come yourself, please spread the word. Next session is Tuesday 20th October 2015.

A reminder that the drop-in Coffee Mornings every Friday are very popular and a bargain - just £1.00 for coffee/tea & cake!  Do come along if you can.

Please remember that we can always use volunteers to help at these events if you have a little time to spare. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Kind regards,
Pauline Morozgalska
Chair of the Friends

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Next Author event: Vanora Bennett: an obsession with Russia


When the autumn nights start to draw in, why not head over to Molesey Library for one of our popular Author Events?

The first of the new series will be held on Tuesday September 29 at 7.30pm and will feature Vanora Bennett, who admits to having ‘an obsession with Russia’.

Vanora started her career as a journalist, working in Paris, Cambodia, and parts of Africa and finally landing in the country which stopped being the Soviet Union three months after she arrived. She spent much of the early 1990s in smoky taxis in the Caucasus mountains, covering a series of small post-Soviet conflicts that built up to the war in Chechnya. As an afterthought, she started writing books.

She now has eight books to her name, including two novels set in Russia or about Russians - The White Russian and Midnight in St Petersburg. She has also written two works of non-fiction about Russia - Crying Wolf, about the start of the post-Soviet war in Chechnya, and The Taste of Dreams: An Obsession with Russia and Caviar, which is a travelogue through the wilder parts of newly capitalist Russia in the 1990s.

When she comes to the Library, Vanora will look at the fate of Russia’s White EmigrĂ©s after the 1917 Revolution in a talk entitled Down & Out in Paris & London.  Signed copies of her books will be available to purchase on the night.

Tickets cost £5 – which includes a glass of wine or soft drink – and they can be purchased at Molesey Library. Alternatively, you can send a cheque (made payable to Friends of Molesey Library) with a stamped addressed envelope, to Author Event, Molesey Library, The Forum, Walton Road, West Molesey, KT8 2HZ.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Molesey Library gets a vivid portrait of the life of Jane Austen

We'll all be seeing a lot more of Jane Austen as the famous author - beloved for classics like Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility - appears on £10 notes from 2017.

And at Molesey Library guests had an opportunity to discover more about Jane's life and times and settings for her novels, courtesy of the immensely knowledgeable Elizabeth Proudman, vice chairman of the Jane Austen Society and a life-long enthusiast for the author.

Elizabeth gave a talk at Molesey Library in April and painted a vivid portrait of Jane and her life and, in particular, of her attractive and talented family.

Jane’s father George had a handsome and charming man and her mother was witty. Jane’s sister Cassandra was her lifelong friend and, although little is known about her brother George, who lived with a local farming family, her five other brothers were all extremely talented and successful. Francis was a serving officer in the navy for 81 years and ended up as admiral of the fleet. Charles similarly had a long naval career and became a rear-admiral.  Edward, adopted by relatives, became a very wealthy man while Henry was a member of the militia and, for a time,  a successful banker who lived a very grand life.  James was an Oxford scholar before following his father into the Church.

In her talk, Elizabeth acknowledged that Jane Austen had only a fairly short formal education but argued that her life with her family more than compensated for this and gave her a wide range of travel and experiences which she was able to draw on when writing her books. She said she had no doubts about Jane’s authorship of her books – contrary to the views of West Molesey author Nicholas Ennos (who was in the audience for Elizabeth’s talk) - who at a previous author event put forward his controversial view that the novels were written not by Jane herself but by her cousin and later sister-in-law, Eliza de Feuillide.

Elizabeth defended Jane’s authorship by pointing out direct links between Jane’s experiences in her own life and references and incidents in her books.

Elizabeth concluded that it was a fitting tribute to Jane Austen that she will join a distinguished line of great Britons who have adorned the nation's banknotes.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The great Jane Austen debate continues at Molesey Library this April

Elizabeth Proudman
The next Author Event at Molesey Library – on Tuesday April 28th at 7.30 pm – will see a welcome return visit from Elizabeth Proudman, formerly Chairman and currently Vice-Chairman of the Jane Austen Society.

Elizabeth came to the Library a year ago when Molesey author Nicholas Ennos gave a talk putting forward his controversial view that Jane Austen’s novels were written not by Jane herself but by her cousin and later sister-in-law, Eliza de Feuillide. Nicholas’s talk provoked a very lively debate in which Elizabeth mounted a staunch defence of Jane’s authorship.

We are very pleased that Elizabeth has now agreed to return to give us further insight into Jane Austen. Her talk, entitled ‘Who was Jane Austen?” will tell us about Jane and her Hampshire family. Elizabeth will also include more about Eliza de Feuillide, her relationship with the Austen family, and the reasons why she is completely convinced that Jane wrote her books and that Eliza did not!
Nicholas Ennos doubts Jane Austen is the true author

Elizabeth is a lifelong lover of Jane Austen’s books and for much of her working life was a Blue Badge tourist guide. For over 10 years she led an annual 10- day tour of the Austen sites in England for JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America). She believes that it is fair to say she has been everywhere Jane knew or wrote about!

This should be a fascinating evening. Tickets for the event are £5 – which includes a glass of wine or soft drink – and they can be purchased at Molesey Library.

Alternatively, you can send a cheque (made payable to Friends of Molesey Library) with a stamped addressed envelope, to Author Event, Molesey Library, Walton Rd, West Molesey KT8 2HZ.