Wednesday 1st October 7:00pm

trenchesWW1: Why Did It Happen?

To mark this important centenary year, we’re thrilled to present world-acclaimed historians Margaret Macmillan (The War That Ended Peace) and Paul Ham (1914: The Year the World Ended) for a fascinating discussion on what drove the world to war in 1914.

The First World War followed a period of sustained peace in Europe during which people talked with confidence of prosperity, progress, and hope. But in 1914, Europe walked into a catastrophic conflict that killed millions, bled its economies dry, shook empires and societies to pieces, and fatally undermined Europe’s dominance of the world. It was a war that could have been avoided up to the last moment—so why did it happen? Beginning in the early nineteenth century and ending with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, The War That Ended Peace uncovers the huge political and technological changes, national decisions, and just as impor­tant, the small moments of human muddle and weakness that led Europe from peace to disaster. This masterful exploration of how Europe chose its path towards war will change and enrich how we see this defining moment in history.

In 1914: The Year the World Ended, award-winning historian Paul Ham tells the story of the outbreak of the Great War from German, British, French, Austria-Hungarian, Russian, and Serbian perspectives. Along the way, he debunks several stubborn myths. European leaders, for example, did not stumble or ‘sleepwalk' into war, as many suppose. They fully understood that a small conflict in the Balkans—the tinderbox at the heart of the continent—could spark a European war. They well knew what their weapons could do. Yet they carried on. 1914: The Year the World Ended seeks to answer the most vexing question of the 20th century: Why did European governments decide to condemn the best part of a generation of young men to the trenches and four years of slaughter, during which 8.5 million would die?

Margaret MacMillan is the Warden of St Antony’s College and a Professor of International History at the University of Oxford. Her books include Women of the Raj (1988, 2007); Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (2001) for which she was the first woman to win the Samuel Johnson Prize; Nixon in China: Six Days that Changed the WorldThe Uses and Abuses of History (2008); and Extraordinary Canadians: Stephen Leacock (2009). The War that Ended Peace was awarded the International Affairs Book of the Year at the Political Book Awards 2014

Paul Ham is the author of Hiroshima Nagasaki (2011), Vietnam: The Australian War (2007) and Kokoda (2004). Vietnam won the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Australian History and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Prize for Non-Fiction (2008). Kokoda was shortlisted for the Walkley Award for Non-Fiction and the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Non-Fiction. Sandakan: The Untold Story of the Sandakan Death Marches was published in 2012 and was shortlisted for the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for History.

Monday 6th October 7:00pm

booktoberJoin us for a 'Global Book Night' to launch 'Booktober', a month-long campaign to raise funds and awareness for global literacy. Created and pioneered by children's literacy charity Room to Read, Booktober 2014 will be the charity's third month-long campaign, with exciting literary events taking place all over the world throughout the month of October. Join us upstairs at Shakespeare and Company from 7-9pm for an evening of readings from across the world, from countries where Room to Read is most active. There will also be special themed snacks and drinks, and one or two other exciting surprises. Discover new authors and learn more about this great charity---and help us kick off Booktober in style!

Monday 13th October 7:00pm

dsp logoJoin us in the library to celebrate the launch of a new edition of James Joyce's Dubliners by de Selby Press, an independent Irish publishing house based here in Paris, founded by Linda Fallon and Terry Craven. This limited edition of Dubliners, released on the centenary of the book's first publication, features seventeen original illustrations by Stephen Crowe, artist and Joyce obsessive, as well as an introduction by Irish novelist Paul Murray (Skippy Dies). Visit the de Selby Press website:

Wednesday 15th October 6:00pm

hamletThe Bard-en-Seine Readings

Throughout 2014, in honour of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, we’re hosting the Bard-en-Seine Readings. The goal is simple: to revisit and celebrate some of Shakespeare’s most loved plays. So, once a month, we will be hosting informal read-throughs in the library, which will be recorded and sent out as podcasts in this very newsletter.

For October, the play will be Hamlet and the reading will take place on Wednesday 15th at 6pm, in the library.

If you’d like to take part, please email Milly Unwin at, and tell her whether you’d prefer a larger or a smaller role. Parts will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis, and we’ll let you know a week in advance of the reading whether you have a role. No preparation necessary, and we’ll provide the scripts. Please note that, due to space restrictions, the Bard-en-Seine Readings will only be open to those taking part.

The allocated plays for each remaining month of 2014 are as follows:

November – Twelfth Night

December – Anthony and Cleopatra

Please check the newsletter and website each month for dates and times, and details of how to apply.

Friday 17th October 7:00pm

Philosophers in the Library: The Politics of Style

What is literary style? In what sense can it be said to be political? In this talk, Daniel Hartley will give a brief overview of the history of the concept of style and will explain why and how it became central to the work of three Marxist literary critics: Raymond Williams, Terry Eagleton and Fredric Jameson. He will provide an overview of the politico-philosophical problems that style raises (e.g., the advent of novelty, transindividual experience and historical temporality) and will share with the audience some of the concepts he himself has developed for the political analysis of literary styles.

Daniel Hartley is Lecturer in English and American Literature and Culture at the University of Giessen (Germany). His book, The Politics of Style: Marxist Poetics in and beyond Raymond Williams, Terry Eagleton and Fredric Jameson, will be published by Brill in 2015.

Monday 20th October 7:00pm

bonnie greerWe’re delighted to present the wonderful Bonnie Greer, who will be discussing her new memoir, A Parallel Life, and the search for an authentic voice over the course of her career.

Bonnie Greer is an award-winning playwright and has written more than a dozen plays for BBC Radio, a short film for BBC2, a documentary for BBC television, two novels, and a biography of the writer and social activist Langston Hughes. She has also turned her hand to acting, playing Joan of Arc on the Paris stage. Bonnie Greer has lived in the United Kingdom since 1986 and was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2010 for her contribution to the arts and, the following year, she was named one of the UK's Top 300 Public Intellectuals. A regular contributor to Sky News Paper Review, BBC2's The Review Show and Radio 4's Any Questions, she also writes occasionally for The London Evening Standard, the Guardian, and The Daily Telegraph.

A Parallel Life is the first volume of Bonnie Greer’s emotive, outspoken, and inspiring memoirs. It tells the story of a young African-American girl born into the black working class, growing up in a culture of racism and limited opportunity in 1960s Chicago—and ultimately receiving an award from the Queen for her contribution to the arts in the UK.

Monday 27th October 7:00pm

The New Shapes of Publishing

Each week in the media, we are confronted with claims that the published book is a dying breed. However, here at Shakespeare and Company we are constantly astounded by the variety and quantity of interesting independent publication projects in Paris and further afield. Join us on the 27th October to meet our panel of new publishing visionaries as we explore why alternative forms and methods of publishing seem such a necessary alternative. Vive le printed word!

The panel will be chaired by published author and fiction editor for 3:AM Magazine Joanna Walsh. Joanna is an experienced editor as well as being a prolific contributor to publications such as The London Review of BooksThe White Review, and Granta.

The panelists are...

Harriet Alida Lye: Harriet Alida Lye founded Her Royal Majesty in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2007 as a local arts and literary magazine. After a year, publication shifted to Paris and in turn, the scope of the magazine widened. Running for 13 issues and over 6 years, both online and in print, HRM published both emerging and established artists and authors such as James Franco, poet Robert Hass, and the first ever short story by Alice Munro. Harriet stopped the magazine in 2013 and now focuses on her own writing. Her first novel will be published next year by Simon & Schuster, and she's working with a director on adapting her second novel for a feature film. She also works as a scout for a French publisher.

Samuél L. Barrantes: As the first novelist published by Inkshares, author Samuél will be unfolding America's newest alternative publishing model. Inkshares allows budding authors to pitch their book and, if approved, sets a funding goal to cover publishing expenses, including editing, print, and distribution services from some of the industry's biggest names. From there, the book-buying public pledge money to the campaign in the form of pre-orders, fulfilling Inkshares’ pledge: "The crowd funds, we publish."

Johnny Lloyd/Hayden Kays: London based musician/author Johnny Lloyd and artist Hayden Kays established their own publishing press, Dirty Witness, in 2012 and subsequently published their debut collaborative novella, A Journey Through The Heart Of A Pig, as well as Hayden's art book, Hayden Kays Is An Artist. They will be discussing the idea of collaboration between different artistic disciplines, how and why they formed the press, and, in particular, their emphasis on the aesthetic presentation.

Will Cox: Will co-founded Belleville Park Pages in 2013. The Pages are focused on providing a more affordable, accessible, and frequent print publication, with a single double-sided sheet being produced each month. In their first year they published 200 writers from 23 countries and 6 continents. The publication is cheaper than a cup of coffee and can now be found in 29 stores in 9 countries. Will joins the panel to discuss the Pages’ uniquely affordable, quick production ethos and its place in increasingly diverse modern publication.