Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Friday 21 June 2024

The Invention of Essex – Author Event with Tim Burrows

Event Details

Date: 28/10/2023 | Venue: St Mary’s Annexe
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm



The Invention of Essex

Tim Burrows & Gillian Darley in Conversation

7pm Saturday 28th October

St Mary’s Annexe


Tickets £6.00 incl Glass of wine/soft drink

Join us to celebrate the secret history of England’s most notorious county with journalist Tim Burrows, author of  The Invention of Essex, and Gillian Darley, architectural historian and author of Excellent Essex.

The Invention of Essex

Essex. A county both famous and infamous: the stuff of tabloid headlines and reality television, consumer culture and right-wing politicians. England’s dark id.

But beyond the sensationalist headlines lies a strange and secret place with a rich history: of smugglers and private islands, artists and radicals, myths and legends. It’s where the Peasants’ Revolt began and the Empire Windrush docked. And – from political movements like Brexit to cultural events like TOWIE – where Essex leads, the rest of us often follow.

Bringing together history, memoir, literature and cultural critique, deeply researched and thoroughly engaging, The Invention of Essex shows that there is more to this fabled English county than meets the eye.

About Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows is a journalist, who has written about society, culture and place for the Guardian, New Statesman, Vice, the Daily Telegraph, Dazed & Confused, the Quietus and Somesuch Stories, among others.

A recurring subject in his work is Essex and the Thames Estuary. His Guardian longread ‘The Invention of Essex’ has been published to widespread acclaim. He lives in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

Praise for The Invention of Essex

‘A love letter to a county whose variety and richness is so often overlooked because it fails to adhere to the dreary English ideal of picturesque gentility. Burrows digs deep. He meanders like a creek. Nothing is off limits. It’s a stellar performance’ Jonathan Meades

A deeply sensitive and engaging portrait of a misunderstood county and its people’ Financial Times, ‘Books to Read in 2023’

‘Celebrates the rich history and legacy of Essex’ Daily Mail

‘If you are interested in this remarkable microcosm of England, the book will grip you; if you aren’t, it will make you realise that you jolly well should be.’ Simon Heffer, Spectator

Excellent Essex

Historian and Essex champion Gillian Darley takes us on a vivid personal tour, from the seaside piers to the empty marshlands and the New Town high-rises, revealing a landscape and a story like no other. Alongside Essex Man and Towie, there’s the Essex that despatched the first puritan settlers to America, welcomed refugees from Europe and beyond, offered fresh hope to bombed-out East Enders, and where dreamers and makers, punk poets, anarchist sects and inventors all found inspiration.

‘Excellent Essex’ is a brilliant guide to England’s most misunderstood county.

About Gillian Darley

Gillian Darley is an architectural historian, writer, speaker and broadcaster whose books include Excellent Essex and biographies of Sir John Soane, John Evelyn and Octavia Hill, the founder of the National Trust. She is currently President of the Twentieth Century Society, a British charity that campaigns for the preservation of architectural heritage from 1914 onwards.

Praise for Excellent Essex

‘Beyond white vans and stilettos … an original and beautifully written celebration of a much-maligned county.’ Guardian

‘A delightful new biography of Essex… akin to barrelling through Essex lanes in an open-topped sports car while Darley swigs from a hip flask yelling “Ask me anything”‘ Observer


Bookings closed