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by Amy Sumner | Monday, 18th March 2019
My two year old daughter has been with me at Gladstone’s for the past few days. Like any parent of a toddler will tell you, her desire for play is tireless. Tell me a story. Let’s go outside. Shall we dance? I’m a monster. Rrrr. There is seemingly no end to her enthusiasm and joy for making things up and mucking around.
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 12th March 2019
After a certain age your body lets you know that sitting for hours at a desk requires a degree of physical fitness. Via carpal tunnel, twanging hamstrings or a classic 'bad back', you discover that you are not, in fact, capable of eight hours on what the Germans call your 'sitzfleisch' or 'seat meat'.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 06th March 2019
One of the most beneficial parts about coming to Gladstone’s is the opportunity to be far away from your usual daily routine. It’s amazing how much energy and brain-space is freed up when you take away so many parts of every day life - cooking, cleaning, commuting, and even having a television.
by Amy Sumner | Monday, 25th February 2019
Having never been a Writer in Residence before, I was extremely excited about the idea of getting an enormous amount of work done before having to head back to inconvenient ‘real life’. Write one book? The library is open from 9am to 10pm every day, after all - the problem will be writing too many books, if anything!
by Amy Sumner | Monday, 04th February 2019
We are now welcoming submissions for our 2020 Writers in Residence and Politics in Residence programmes, from which a selection of the best contemporary writers will be chosen to reside at Gladstone's Library to focus on their current projects.
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 15th January 2019
We are so pleased that this February two spectacular women will be taking up their places as Writers in Residence at Gladstone's Library, and will deliver three not-to-be-missed events!
by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 20th December 2018
This is my Christmas…I was going to say ‘letter’, but I guess it is more of a homily. Hey-ho! I don’t get to preach often these days but this is what I feel 'compelled' to write. My text, if you can call it that, comes from Naomi Alderman, now a much lauded and fully established novelist, who was our first Writer in Residence in 2012.
by Amy Sumner | Monday, 26th November 2018
You know that moment, when you really should be hard at work. When you really should be reading your way through a particularly dense chapter that is connected to the subject of your next book, with loads of footnotes and references which you have to laboriously work your way through, holding down the page number, consulting the back of the (heavy) book, with the name of the author, the publisher, the date of publication, and let’s face it, all the boring information you need. And your neck begins to ache, and you think you really must stretch your legs, at least stand up and take a turn along the shelves where the grass suddenly seems greener, and the books seem far more glamorous and fascinating. And so you do...
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 08th August 2018
At Gladstone’s Library we’ve been eagerly consuming the longlists for the 'Man Booker Prize', and its democratic counterpart, the 'Not the Booker Prize' (run by the Guardian), and we’ve spotted some familiar names!
by Amy Sumner | Monday, 02nd July 2018
We are delighted to today reveal the names of the 13 writers shortlisted for our prestigious Writers in Residence award for 2019.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 13th June 2018
Sitting with my feet in a river in rich yellow sun on a June evening, it’s hard to think of February with any clarity. Looking towards the summer solstice after six weeks of (almost) unremittingly fine weather, the library and my wintery sojourn there seems very far away, almost implausible.
by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 19th April 2018
A few of the many things I loved about my stay:
The rook convention outside the library; window sills so wide you can organise your life on them; the giant woodpigeons; the mushroom quiche; that there is a book called The Best Books which Gladstone wrote his name in (some things seemed simpler in the late 19th Century); treacle tart; that I thought a lot, read a lot and wrote quite a lot. That I worked out on the last day my villain’s bad, bad secret. Guilty pleasure: watching both series of The Hour again in the evenings. I love Romola Garai.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 07th March 2018
Emma Rees was Gladstone’s Library’s Political Writer in Residence in 2016 and returns to Hawarden on Friday, 11th May to lead a two-day residential course on reading Shakespeare without fear.
by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 04th January 2018
Gladstone’s Library is now open for submissions for its 2019 Writers in Residence programme, from which a selection of the best contemporary writers will be chosen to reside at the Library to focus on their current projects.
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 15th December 2017
Gifting the perfect book to a person is one of the great joys of life; creating a perfect partnership which you can just feel in your bones will last.
With that in mind and as a little Christmas treat, the Gladstone's Library team have gathered together some of our books of the year and reading recommends perfect for stockings. If you are still looking for that perfect gift for someone special, we hope you can find inspiration within this guide!
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 30th June 2017
Gladstone’s Library has today revealed the names of the 13 writers shortlisted for its prestigious Writers in Residence award for 2018!
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 28th April 2017
We’re approaching the deadline for submissions for our 2018 Writers in Residence and Politics in Residence programmes, from which a selection of the best contemporary authors and political writers will be chosen to reside at Gladstone’s Library to focus on their current projects.
by Amy Sumner | Monday, 27th February 2017
I’ve always been interested in the relationship between the work of the mind and that of the body, how one can influence the other, and the extent to which the physical overlaps with the mental: How the reservoir of one kind of energy seeps into or draws upon the other.
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 20th September 2016
A creative partnership has been recognised at a national awards ceremony.
During the annual Arts & Business Cymru Awards, support given to a scheme run by Gladstone’s Library was acknowledged as a ‘model of excellence in philanthropic giving’.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 07th September 2016
Gladstone’s Library has announced the names of the five winners of its Writers in Residence award and the recipient of its Political Writer in Residence award for 2017.
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 02nd August 2016
Ian Parks was one of the first Writers in Residence at Gladstone's Library in 2012. His collections of poems include Shell Island, The Landing Stage, Love Poems 1979-2009, and The Exile's House. He is the editor of Versions of the North: Contemporary Yorkshire Poetry and was Writing Fellow at De Montfort University, Leicester from 2012 - 2014.
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 15th July 2016
On 22nd -24th July, author and Professor at Baylor University Texas, Greg Garrett leads a course at Gladstone’s Library exploring depictions of the afterlife in contemporary film, music and literature. The course is entitled Entertaining Judgment: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination and follows Greg’s book of the same name...
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 24th June 2016
Last weekend I ran a workshop for around 20 people as part of my writing residency at Gladstone’s Library. I arrived a week earlier, on the Sunday when the news was breaking about the brutal murders of dozens of people at Pulse, an LGBTQI nightclub in Orlando. On Thursday, as the ghastly news from America had only just begun to soak into the fabric of the world’s narrative palimpsest, I was writing at my desk when I heard about the murder of Jo Cox on the streets of West Yorkshire. That same day, I read, Boko Haram had shot dead 18 women who were attending a funeral in Kudu, Nigeria. The news reports on all three cases, and the Twitter updates and Facebook posts about them, combined to have the effect of making the world – already a dangerous place – feel somehow more urgently precarious.
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 17th June 2016
We are thrilled to offer our congratulations to 2012 Writer in Residence and Trustee, Stella Duffy, who has been awarded an OBE for Services to the Arts in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List! It is always a pleasure to work with Stella and we can think of few people more deserving of this award.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 11th May 2016
Our final two Writers in Residence of 2016 year were Amy Liptrot (The Outrun) and Susan Barker (The Incarnations) who stayed with us in throughout March and April respectively.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 04th May 2016
This morning I put my swimsuit on under my clothes and drove from the Library to Snowdonia. On the way, I stopped at a Holy Well (‘The Welsh Lourdes’, 1 pound entry) where they displayed the crutches of pilgrims, no longer needed after taking the Holy Water.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 13th April 2016
A writer I like, Mohsin Hamed, wrote an essay for the New York Times a couple of years ago, in which he described the DNA of fiction as a double-helix: one strand comprised of what the writer knows, and the other strand comprised of what the writer wants to know.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 16th March 2016
If you are lucky enough to stay at Gladstone’s Library for a whole month, and I was, it is almost inevitable that, by the end of your stay, there will be things that get left behind and other things you will take away. I could get metaphysical about leaving behind a month of my life that had now become the past but, instead, I’ll tell you about the washing I left. Now is not the time for intimate detail but you’ll be relieved to know the washing was clean and had been left hanging on a rack. I was soon reunited with it when it arrived in the post neatly parcelled up as a kind of living proof that my stay at the Library hadn’t all been a dream…(cue wavy images, floaty music…).
by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 25th February 2016
Natasha Pulley is our February Writer in Residence here at Gladstone’s Library. This means that for the entire month, Natasha has been living in, working on her current project, reading, conversing and just generally giving us all a lot to think about over dinner!
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 26th January 2016
"How and why did you choose this subject?"
As a biographer, this is the question I'm most frequently asked. I've been on the road with my latest book, Eleanor Marx: A Life for nearly two years since it was published on May Day 2014, and there's not a single event, interview, lecture or festival so far where this question hasn't come up.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 25th November 2015
I’ve spent the day dusting off the historical connections between the Gladstones and the Pankhursts. These legendary British political families didn’t exactly have reciprocal dinner parties or exchange Christmas cards, but for the best part of two generations, they catalyzed each other’s lives.
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 10th November 2015
September isn’t the time to leave Australia and go travelling to the other side of the world. It’s the first month of spring. The air moves more lightly; the hard, hopeful buds are beginning to swell; the trees are coated in the bright green of young leaves; the blossom appears, seemingly, overnight; and the magpies turn ballsy. Outside my kitchen the Wisteria transforms from winding sticks to purple lanterns and the veggie garden grows weeds at an alarming rate.
by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 15th October 2015
On Monday, 12th October, guests, trustees and team members from Gladstone’s Library gathered at the National Liberal Club in London to officially launch the 2016 Writers in Residence programme.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 23rd September 2015
Details of our very special 2016 Writers in Residence Launch Evening which takes place at The National Liberal Club in London on Monday, 12th October.
by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 20th August 2015
Gladstone’s, when I first saw it, appeared at the end of the drive like a cross between an Oxford college and a Blyton boarding school. Turrets, a graveyard next door, esoteric books in the library, sticky toffee pudding EVERY DAY and the glee of never having to cook for myself...
by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 13th August 2015
On 10th August 2015, a panel of judges met in London to decide which four applicants would be successful in their bid to win a month-long residency at the UK's only residential library as part of its increasingly competitive Writer in Residence scheme.
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 31st July 2015
'On my way here, I read Joanne Limburg’s terrific new novel, A Want of Kindness, about Queen Anne. Quite apart from lighting up a patch of history I knew nothing about, the novel so engrossed me that I felt I was travelling through a much older country. I was therefore briefly startled by how much Gladstone’s Library is a child of his century...'
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 21st July 2015
'If he leant back in the seat at his working desk, he looked up at a handsome bust of Disraeli. A sort of political memento mori, I thought, but perhaps it was more a spur to renewed industriousness...'
by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 09th July 2015
Gladstone’s Library has revealed the 10 books shortlisted for its successful Writers in Residence programme.
Now into its fifth year, the prize was established by Gladstone’s Library in association with Damian Barr (saloniere and author of Maggie and Me) to explore and define liberal values in the twenty-first century.
The shortlist is made up of novels, poetry and creative non-fiction that, in the eyes of the shortlisters, best represent some of the most creative writing in the world today.
by Sam | Thursday, 23rd April 2015
Outside it there’s been a pageant of woodpeckers, jays, woodpigeons, blue and great tits, jackdaws and squirrels, in the yew and silver birch. The window, and its twin in my ensuite bathroom, is the first thing I noticed about the room.
by Sam | Tuesday, 24th February 2015
I write this approaching the end of my two week residency at Gladstone's Library. It is labelled a residency, but I have treated it perhaps more as a retreat.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 26th November 2014
Eight of the world’s most exciting writers will spend up to a month at Britain’s only residential and Prime Ministerial library, as part of Gladstone’s Library’s increasingly competitive Writer-in-Residence scheme.
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 22nd August 2014
During my month at the Library I became fascinated by what draws us to the places we choose to work. I was lucky enough to be able to use the same desk in the History Room all month. It was lovely t
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 29th July 2014The shortlist for our 2015 Writers in Residence programme has been announced.Now in its fourth year, the prize was established by Gladstone’s Library in association with Damian Barr (salonie
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 08th July 2014
I like the motto on the orange pencils (made out of CD cases) which you can buy at Reception. I couldn’t believe my luck at getting a chance to try. I’d half-wondered if it was the prose
by Amy Sumner | Thursday, 27th March 2014
Peter Moore, our current Writer in Residence, takes some time out of his busy schedule to draw on the magic of Gladstone's as he tells us what has made his stay special to him.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 30th October 2013
I am over half way through my residency at Gladstones and my public events are all over. I have decided what I want to achieve before I leave on 24th October. So what have I been up to while I have be
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 23rd October 2013
Writer-in-Residence, Angela Topping reminisces about her time spent in libraries, from ours to those of her childhood. In sharing her thoughts over the past two weeks, she presents a case for the Libr
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 18th October 2013
Our most recent Writer-in-Residence talks education, poetry and children. She expands upon themes to be discussed over the course of her stay with us and presents her own impassioned views of the situ
by Amy Sumner | Friday, 20th September 2013
Vanessa Gebbie, Writer-in-Residence at Gladstone's Library, explains how in finding a seat in which to work she found inspiration.
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 11th September 2013
Writer-in-residence Vanessa Gebbie talks about her experience at GladFest and her time at the Library.
by Amy Sumner | Tuesday, 11th September 2012
My first week here at Gladstones Library has passed by in a blur of books, great food and conversation. This library is a rare hidden gem of the type you only find in a country like Britain. It has ju
by Amy Sumner | Wednesday, 15th February 2012Booking for our Writer-in-Residence events is going well. Dont forget our offer of buying tickets for any four of our Writer-In-Residence events before 29 February and getting a 10% discount.