Barnett's Literary Lounge is an opportunity to meet leading authors and to hear them discuss their work in an intimate but relaxed setting over a glass of wine and refreshments.


Attendance is by ticket only - available in advance from the bookshop.


Guinevere Glasfurd - Thursday 4th November 2021 

We were delighted to welcome Guinevere Glasfurd back to Barnett's to discuss her wonderful, latest novel, The Year Without Summer.

Guinevere was nominated for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2021 for this intricate novel, which weaves together six separate lives, from John Constable to a farm labourer, unknowingly linked by the effects of the explosion of the Mount Tambora volcano in 1815. 

Thank you to everybody who turned out at the Commemoration Hall for a glass of wine and an entertaining discussion. And, of course, a big thank you to Guinevere and to Sue Gaisford, who led the discussion with Guin.

Watch this space for the next literary lounge event in the Spring!


Literary Lounge events gallery

Photographs from our most recent Literary Lounge events

  • Guinevere Glasfurd: The Year Without Summer (4 Nov 2021)

  • Ruth Thomas: The Snow and the Works on the Northern Line (22 June 2021)


Guinevere Glasfurd
The Year Without Summer

4 November 2021

We were thrilled to welcome Guinevere Glasfurd back to Barnett's to discuss her latest novel, in discussion with Sue Gaisford. With a few pertinent slides, Guin discussed the historical and cultural context for her story and brought out the intricacies of using creative license to give her historical characters agency in developing their inter-related narratives.

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Ruth Thomas 
The Snow and the Works on the Northern Line


22 June 2021

In our first Literary Lounge since lockdowns, Ruth Thomas gave a very engaging reading of extracts from her latest novel and provided wonderful (and surprising) insights into the realities of the novel-writing process. Having enjoyed the sometimes dark humour of The Snow..., we all look forward to wherever Ruth takes her characters next.​


Peter Fiennes 
Footnotes: A Journey Round Britain in the Company of Great Writers

3 December 2019

Peter rounded off a successful year of Barnett's Literary Lounges with an absorbing synopsis of his latest book, Footnotes, in which he follows twelve writers around Britain, delving into literature and landscape. Peter's enthusiasm for his subjects, from the twelfth century Gerald of Wales, to Beryl Bainbridge, is reflected in his engaging prose style - this is a wonderful book that informs and entertains in equal part.


Alan Judd
Accidental Agent

15 October 2019

We thoroughly enjoyed welcoming Alan Judd to Barnett's again for an lively evening of  discussion based around his gripping and topical new spy thriller Accidental Agent.

Brexit looms and Charles Thoroughgood, Chief of MI6, is forbidden for political reasons from spying on the EU. But what happens when an EU official reports the EU's negotiating bottom lines?

Added into the mix is Charles' possible family connection with a terrorist...


Anne Youngson on her successful first novel 

Meet Me at the Museum

10 September 2019

Yet another sold-out Literary Lounge! We were delighted to welcome Anne Youngson for a discussion of Meet Me at the Museum, a moving and thoughtful meditation on life, encouraging us to look to the future rather than the past. 

Anne's account of how she came to writing as a second career via an MA and PhD will no doubt have fired the literary ambitions of some audience members!

We're looking forward to Anne's next novel set on a narrow boat and hoping that the option to film Meet Me at the Museum is exercised soon!

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Peter Fiennes explores our relationship with woods in Oak, Ash and Thorn

18th June 2019

In conjunction with Wadhurst Culture's 'When the Oak Spoke', Peter Fiennes gave an inspiring talk to a capacity crowd based on his book, 'Oak, Ash and Thorn', a Guardian Best Nature Book of the Year.


Peter explored our long relationship with trees and woods and the sad and violent story of how so many have been lost. 


Miranda Seymour talks about
In Byron's Wake

5th March 2019

Miranda treated us to a lively and informative introduction to her latest book, In Byron's Wake: The Turbulent Lives of Lady Byron and Ada Lovelace. This was a fascinating glimpse into the unconventional lives of Lady Byron, great social reformer and Ada, pioneer of computer science, accompanied by entertaining insights on Byron himself. Miranda left us with the tantalising possibility of a new book to be based on Ada's own writings. Watch this space! (See photos here)


Robert Winder talks about
The Last Wolf

17th January 2019

A hugely entertaining and informative discussion with journalist and author, Robert Winder, whose latest book, The Last Wolf, asks the questions "What sort of place is England? And who are the English?". Robert's answers lie not in royal pageantry or politics but in the landscape and history.


Davina Langdale introduces
The Brittle Star

25 September 2018

Davina entertained us with the story of how an English writer came to write an utterly convincing novel set in the American West, drawing on her deep interest and extensive research. The Brittle Star, Davina's first novel, has been described as "part High Noon, part The Good the Bad and the Ugly - crying out to be made into one of the great Western movies"


Amanda Craig talks about 
The Lie of the Land

20 March 2018

In conversation with Sue Gaisford, Amanda Craig described the themes and inspiration for her witty yet thought-provoking tale of a "modern couple" facing the pressures of modern life. Not for nothing was The Lie of the Land chosen as Book of the Year by ALL the quality broadsheets!

If you liked The Lie of the Land, you should also read her Hearts and Minds


Alan Judd presents
Deep Blue

6 February 2018

Drawing on his experience as a soldier and a diplomat, Alan gave an interesting talk to present his latest novel, Deep Blue, and the character developments that the novel explores. Deep Blue  is a spy thriller set in the UK, which moves between the present day and Cold War intrigue, from an author likened to Le Carre, Graham Greene and Charles Cumming. 

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Guinevere Glasfurd's debut 
The Words in my Hand

19 September 2017

Guinevere Glasfurd introduced her debut novel - nominated for the Costa First Novel Award 2016. The Words in My Hand, set in 17th Holland, tells the little-know story of an affair between the celebrated philosopher Rene Descartes and a lowly Dutch maid.


Francis Spufford discusses
Golden Hill

13 June 2017

Renowned non-fiction author. Francis Spufford gave a highly engaging presentation of the enjoyment he encountered in writing his first fiction work, Golden Hill, set in the Manhattan of the mid-18th century, which won the Costa First Novel award in 2016.