Swan Song is the fictionalised reimagining of the later life of Truman Capote. It is a novel about the line between gossip and slander, self-creating and self preservation and the public humiliation of the beautiful, wealthy, vulnerable women he called his Swans. After two decades of intimate friendship with Babe Paley, Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, Marella Agnelli and Lee Radziwill, Capote detonated a literary grenade by publishing a series of excerpts from his last, unfinished novel in Esquire. One excerpt told the barely disguised stories about the Swans, showing the multiple infidelities and crushing cynicism of those who dined and holidayed with the Vanderbilts and Kennedys. Capote committed an act of professional and social suicide with his most lethal of weapons – words. Keilleigh Greenberg-Jephcott presents a tale of betrayal, society, romance and rupture that moves between the cocktail soaked Manhattan parties and Capote’s childhood in Depression-era Alabama, capturing a great writer’s meteoric rise and self-destructive fall.
Other events on the 12th October 2019
To the Land of Long Lost Friends (new No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) The Peppermint Tea Chronicles (new 44 Scotland Street) The Second Worst Restaurant in France (sequel to My Italian Bulldozer) The Department of Sensitive Crimes (first in a new series, The Detective Varg novels)
Alexander McCall Smith
Explore the world of Alexander McCall Smith as he discusses the latest happenings with Mma Ramotswe and the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency in Botswana, the return of the...
This Is Not a Book About Charles Darwin
Part memoir, part biography, part book about creative writing and what really makes a novel, and also a brave book about failure, This Is Not a Book About Charles...
Superfast Lead at Speed
The world is changing fast. Everyone talks about disruption. We all know that the business world is accelerating at an exponential rate. As technology drives the expectation that everything...
Royal Yacht Squadron Tour
Join Royal Yacht Squadron Honorary Historian, Commodore David Hughes for a tour of this historic building. Founded in 1815 by a group of friends, the Royal Yacht Squadron quickly became the favourite...
Life Changing Magic of Numbers
Bobby Seagull, the BBC maths guru and University Challenge star, tells the story of his life through numbers and shows the incredible way maths can make sense of the...
Oscar A Life
‘Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.’ Oscar Wilde’s life – like his wit – as alive with paradox. He was both an early...
The Face Pressed Against a Window: A Memoir
Sir Tim Waterstone
Sir Tim Waterstone is one of Britain’s most successful businessmen, having built the Waterstone’s empire that started with one small bookshop in 1982. In this charming and evocative memoir,...
Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him
Henry VIII is famous for being the king who married six times. But it was the men in his life, far more than the women, who shaped this notorious...
Celebrating her 80th birthday Diana Moran’s new book has been written in association with the Royal Osteoporosis Society. The book is based on the latest research from the ROS...
Under Cover: A Poet’s Life in Publishing
Jeremy Robson talks about his life as a successful poet and publisher that saw him work with many bestselling authors and occupy a place at the heart of the...
How do our fellow creatures – large and small – find their way around? David Barrie explores the many wonders (and outstanding mysteries) of animal navigation. What guides a...
The Language of Birds
The Language of Birds was inspired by the Lord Lucan case and the ‘lovely young nanny’ at its centre, whose history has been largely forgotten. It’s the summer of...
The Imperial Tea Party; Family, Politics and Betrayal: the Ill-fated British and Russian Royal Alliance
The British and Russian Royal Families met three times before the Romanovs’ tragic end in 1918. Frances Welch draws back the curtain on those pivotal encounters between these two...
Andree’s War: How One Young Woman Outwitted the Nazis
Francelle Bradford White
Francell Bradford White shares the story of her mother, Andrée Griotteray, who was 19 when the Germans invaded France. Andrée helped her younger brother Alain set up an underground...
One Man’s Climb: A Journey of Trauma and Triumph on K2
British record-breaking adventurer, author, speaker and leadership coach, Adrian Hayes, details the deeply moving story of the beauty and brutality of life, and death, on the world’s notorious second...
Victoria & Albert: The Civic and the Global
Dr Tristram Hunt
Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, will discuss how the museum’s founding commitment to design, education and industry continues to define it today. Tracing the...
One Stop Literary Festival
Craig Brown presents his One-Stop Literary Festival, featuring parodies of Jilly Cooper, Robert Macfarlane, Richard Dawkins, Virginia Woolf and Paolo Coelho. ‘Pitch-perfect, laugh-out loud parodies from our greatest living...
The Creativity Code: How AI is Learning to Write, Paint and Think
Marcus du Sautoy
In The Creativity Code, Marcus du Sautoy examines the nature of creativity, as well as providing an essential guide into how algorithms work, and the mathematical rules underpinning them....
Our Man in New York: The British Battle to Bring America into the Second World War
A gripping, interactive 45-minute talk inspired by Henry Hemming’s new book Our Man in New York – the eye-opening story of how the British used ‘fake news’ to help...
The Quest for Queen Mary
Queen Mary, grandmother of the present Queen, died at Marlborough House in 1953. Two years later James Pope-Hennessy was invited to write her official biography. His first reaction was...
Kate Adie in Conversation with Alan Titchmarsh
Join Kate Adie and Alan Titchmarsh on a journey through Kate’s career. She was on the scene at the explosive end to the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980, and...