Visit by literary giants Andrew Davies and Jonathan Coe to mark Earlsdon library's new chapter on fun day - The Coventry Observer

11th Aug, 2022

Visit by literary giants Andrew Davies and Jonathan Coe to mark Earlsdon library's new chapter on fun day

Editorial Correspondent 22nd Mar, 2019 Updated: 25th Mar, 2019

TWO major literary figures will be visiting Coventry next month to officially mark Earlsdon library’s new chapter after its switch from being council to community run.

The newly named Earlsdon Carnegie Community Library’s official launch day on Saturday April 6 will be attended by internationally celebrated BBC TV screenwriter Andrew Davies and novelist Jonathan Coe.

Andrew Davies, who lives in Kenilworth, featured in a recent BBC documentary to celebrate his incisive adaptations for television of Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, Les Miserables and Middlemarch, among others.

Jonathan Coe’s books include The Rotters’ Club and What A Carve Up!

Earlsdon features marginally in his latest novel, Middle England, and extensively in A Touch of Love (2008).

He lived in the Coventry suburb in the 1980s while teaching at Warwick University where he completed a PhD in English Literature.

Both writers will be introduced by Earlsdon-based author and journalist Chris Arnot at around noon inside the library.

Earlier in the day there’ll be a km Fun Run, starting at 9am, with some competitors dressed up as literary characters.

A steel band will strike up around 10am and Morris dancers will kick up soon after 2pm.

Between times there will be performances by children’s and youth drama groups from the nearby Criterion Theatre. And senior members of the Criterion will appear at around 1.30pm to stage Larkin About in the Library, a celebration of the works of Coventry-born poet and eminent librarian Philip Larkin.

Earlsdon is one of three libraries from which Coventry City Council has withdrawn staff and funding.

The last professional librarian left in mid-March. Yet the building remains open three full days and two half days a week thanks to the efforts of some 80 volunteers.

“We still need to raise a minimum of £15,000 a year,” says Julie Rubidge, chair of the ECCL core group. “What we need more than anything is a regular income stream.”

Any money collected on the launch day will go towards the heating, lighting and maintenance of a building dating from 1912.

So will profits from a producers and farmers’ market to be held at the back of the nearby Royal Oak pub from 12 noon to 5pm on Sunday April 7.

* Businesses and individuals can offer financial support by going to the Earlsdon Carnegie Community Library website at and clicking on “Fundraising”.

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