Guest Post: The Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature, Film & Music

Guest Post by Catherine Batac-Walder

aerial photo from blenheimpalace.com.jpgThe annual Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature, Film & Music in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, was held this past weekend on September 24-27, and I had the opportunity to attend the Endeavour event on Sunday. (Endeavour is a British TV drama series, a prequel to the long-running Inspector Morse series, based on the crime novels of Colin Dexter. The show follows the early career of the younger Morse in Oxford in the 1960s.) The panel consisted of actor Shaun Evans (who plays Endeavour Morse), writer Russell Lewis, and producer Dan McCulloch. Dexter, now 85, was present in the audience. The group showed us a clip from series three which airs in January.

As a fan of the original series and of Oxford as a location, it is always refreshing to find new Morse stories. As much as Russell Lewis remarked that Endeavour isn’t meant to be a tribute to what we know about Morse, I couldn’t help but notice the formula being used for these spin-offs. I do love literary mysteries, but it would be nice to have more variety and less crimes that relate to a poem, a crossword puzzle, or a piece of music. Other than this, in my opinion, the actors and creators of Endeavour are doing a great job, and to recreate a 1960s Oxford is no menial task.

Other guests at this year’s festival included Nobel Prize-winning Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, who talked about his new novel, A Strangeness in my Mind, and radio presenter Paul Gambaccini, whose new book is called Love, Paul Gambaccini.

On its own, Blenheim Palace is a fantastic place to visit with its park, gardens, miniature train, and 300 years of history. It is also the birthplace of Winston Churchill, whose grave is in nearby Bladon.

--Catherine Batac-Walder is a writer living in the UK.

Image via Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature, Film & Music.


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