The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

Cheltenham College is pleased to support The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. On Saturday 11 October at 7pm College Chapel will host Wilfred Owen: Poetry and Music of the Great War. 

The evening promises to be entertaining, thought-provoking and moving, featuring Professor Tim Kendall, supported by the College choir and A Level students. It will be an opportunity to reflect not simply on the First World War, but also upon Owen’s experience of it, as documented in his poetry and letters. The evening offers time to reflect upon the terror, the suffering and the waste, along with the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity and the strange beauty of comradeship in battle. 

Ruth Matthews (OC, 2011 - 2014, A) has been commissioned to compose a piece, using the words from the diary of Captain Trevenen, MC (OC, 1908 - 1911, Day Boy), connecting pupils of College today with those who were in this Chapel 100 years ago. 

We hope that the evening will examine Wilfred Owen’s ‘Old Lie’ – did College’s pupils die believing the lie that it is honourable and good to die for their country as they had read and recited (Horace) during their time at College? Did they die for a lie? Does that, as Owen suggests, reek of futility? Perhaps it is braver not be sure but to overcome one’s fear to do one’s duty as it lay before them at the time. What is bravery?   

Tickets are available from The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

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