Master storyteller Ken Follett is coming to Peterborough Cathedral to give a talk, as part of a tour of five cathedrals to mark the 25th anniversary of the publication of his global bestseller, The Pillars of the Earth.
It’s a rare opportunity to hear him talk about the inspiration behind this classic historical masterpiece and to put your questions to the man himself.
In the introduction to the book he explains how a chance visit to Peterborough Cathedral in the early 1970s was part of his inspiration for writing it. “It was one of those moments,” he said. “I was enraptured by Peterborough Cathedral.”
Reflecting on the success of The Pillars of the Earth, which has sold an estimated 19 million copies worldwide, Ken writes: “Many times I have been asked why Pillars has such a big impact. There is no simple answer, because a novel is so complex. But I come back again and again to the people who built the cathedrals. Those men and women were by modern standards, poor and ignorant. They lived in wooden huts and slept on the floor. Yet they created the most beautiful and awesome buildings the world has ever known.
“Human beings have the capacity to rise above mundane circumstances and touch the eternal. That is what Pillars is about and, in the end, I think that may be why it has so profoundly touched the hearts of so many readers for so many years.”
Copies of a selection of Ken Follett’s novels will be on sale on bookstall by Waterstones at the event and he will be available for signing after his talk.
Tickets for Ken Follett’s talk, entitled ‘Why Cathedrals?’, are £11 (including a glass of wine or soft drink after the talk) / £5.50 for under 18s. They are available online from www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/91198 or in person at Peterborough Cathedral shop. All the proceeds from the event will go towards the preservation of Peterborough Cathedral’s Cloister and Precinct walls.