For budding authors and more! OPEN BOOK 2017: The brand new Literary Festival for Hitchin – Saturday 29 July 2017

By Allan Esler Smith

I am part of the Group organising the inaugural Open Book 2017 at British Schools Museum and we have a significant ‘history’ content in the day.

Please see some detail below on one of my talks on my new book Theirs is the Glory. Arnhem, Hurst and Conflict on Film, published by Helion and Company, and then information on everything else relating to this event.

I’m really looking forward to the event and delighted to have Hugh Bicheno joining me to talk about Arnhem and Conflict on film. Hugh is an historian of conflict who has published ten books ranging from the Falklands War (Razor’s Edge) to his latest, a two-book account of the War of the Roses. He was born in Cuba and went to school in Chile and Scotland, and to the University of Cambridge. He was an intelligence officer for eight years and a kidnap negotiator in Italy and Latin America for 15. He wrote a brief account of the Arnhem campaign for the book ‘Battlefields of the Second World War’ by his lifelong friend the late Richard Holmes in 2002.

Some folk may know my side of the story:  I look after the Estate of Brian Desmond Hurst, one of the greatest film directors to come out of Ireland. Hurst directed Scrooge and Tom Browns Schooldays and 28 other films; the list includes an impressive catalogue of war films. At the top of the list is Theirs is the Glory – a 1946 film about the Battle of Arnhem. I believe it is the greatest war film ever made in the UK because it ooozes authenticity but is now rarely screened. My new book Theirs is the Glory. Arnhem, Hurst and Conflict on Film, co-authored with Arnhem expert David Truesdale, looks at how my Uncle, an infantry private, survived the slaughter of Gallipoli then trained as an artist and went on to use film as his vast canvas for interpreting and portraying warfare.

I am also talking on my other book which hit the Amazon best sellers in its category earlier this year – The Good Retirement Guide 2017. The subject is: ‘Can you retire early rich and happy?’

It’s an all afternoon event with 17 authors, an agent and lots of tips for budding authors in case you have ambitions to publish your first book. So much choice and only £4. More info about all the authors taking part can be found here, and an overview of the programme can be seen below:


Lifestyle Neville Davis The Dangers, Limitations & Fascinations of Family History Research

Creative Owen Knight Young Adult Fiction: Writing, Getting Published and Beyond

History Jon Beattiey The hidden depths – behind the bookshelf


Lifestyle Ella Kahn (agent) How to Hook an Agent

History Hugh Bicheno Hertfordshire – Battleground of the Wars of the Roses

Creative Rowena M Love School Days: Poetry Workshop

Kids Andrea Shavick Grandma Was Eaten By A Shark!


Lifestyle Allan Esler Smith Can you retire early, rich and happy?

History Dr J D Davies Don’t Mention Jack Sparrow: the Best (and Worst) Sea Stories

Creative Julie Stock My Journey from Complete Beginner to Self-Published Author

Kids Andrea Shavick Grandma Was Eaten By A Shark!


Lifestyle Terry Gillen You Can Do It: 7 Ways to Unlock The More Confident You

History Jane Dismore Royals, Rebels and Aristocrats

Creative J.S. Watts Writing with your senses: Creative Workshop


Lifestyle Simon Michael “Murder. It’s a living.”

History Hugh Bicheno & Allan Esler Smith The battle of Arnhem and conflict on film

Creative D A Adamson The Joys and Sorrows of Self-Publishing


Lifestyle David Lister Dr Johnson’s blockheads

Lifestyle Wendy Berliner Great minds and how to grow them

Creative Rowena M Love & J.S. Watts Chalk and Cheese: A fun interative poetry reading

 All day Banter Carol Deacon Cake Characters: Demonstrating the ‘icer’ things in life

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