Bolton celebrates Victorian fiction 


Over the next three months, a number of events are taking place across Bolton to celebrate the best historical writing from Victorian times to the modern day.

Reading organisation Time to Read is working with the University of Manchester, writers, publishers, museums and heritage organisations across the North West to run the events.

Both Smithills Hall and Bolton’s Central Library will be hosting historical writing events related to the Victorian era.

This Friday (August 6) from 7pm until 9pm at Smithills Hall, local storyteller Simon Entwistle will be telling some spooky tales from the Victorian era. Light refreshments will be provided and the event is suitable for all ages.

Also at Smithills Hall on September 19 from 2pm until 4pm, author Jane Eagland will be reading from her new novel Wildthorn. The story describes a young girl confined to a Victorian asylum, who finds love that sets her free.

Copies of the book will be available to buy on the day courtesy of Sweetens bookshop. Light refreshments will be available to purchase. The book contains some adult content and is therefore only suitable for those over 14 years old.

Finally, local author and historian, Steve Fielding will be hosting a question and answer session on Victorian murders in Bolton at the central library on October 14. This event takes place from 6pm until 7pm, with free tea and coffee provided, and is suitable for those over 11 years old.

Executive Member for Adult and Community Services, Councillor Elaine Sherrington, said: “These events offer an exciting chance for people to celebrate the best of Victorian writing. The Victorian era was a time when people enjoyed reading and writing romantic, Gothic and horror stories and the more scary the story the more they enjoyed it!

We hope that people will enjoy listening to these tall tales of the supernatural, murders and Gothic romances and enjoy some escapism from the modern world.”

Tickets for the Victorian Ghost Stories event are £8 adults and £4 children and concessions. Jane Eagland’s ‘Wildthorn’ reading is £3 for adults and £2 concessions.

Contact Smithills Hall to book in advance for both events on 01204 33 2377 or email

The Murderous Victorian Bolton event is free for everyone. Please contact Bolton Central Library to book in advance on 01204 33 2853.

There are book displays of Victorian fact and fiction in all Bolton libraries throughout the summer. Visit Time to Read’s website at for more information on events across the North West and to enter their historical writing competition.


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George Wright
01204 331023