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Harleston is a small market town which lies on the Norfolk-Suffolk border next to Redenhall. Originally it was a strategic crossing point on the River Waveney. Harleston's main church is actually located in nearby Redenhall and boasts one of the finest towers in Norfolk.

Harleston Town Sign

Harleston Town Sign

Louis De

Novelist Louis de Bernières - who lives at nearby Denton - is a regular visitor to the Harleston and Waveney Festival and has also given at number of readings at the Swan Hotel. He is famous for his novel Captain Corellis' Mandolin (1994) which was subsequently made into a film starring Nicholas Cage. His other books include Red Dog, Birds Without Wings and The Partisan's Daughter.

Louis de Bernières

De Bernières was born in London in 1954 and undertook a variety of jobs before establishing himself as a writer. He is also a musician and plays the flute, the mandolin, the guitar and the clarinet. He works from a shed in his garden.

W. G. Sebald

In the book The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald, the narrator embarks on a walking tour through Suffolk and finally ends up back in Norfolk - where he spends a night in 'The Saracen's Head' in Harleston. The description of his room is wonderfully bizarre:

'....I had to get out at the Saracen's Head in Harleston, an inn several centuries old whose guest rooms, as it transpired, were furnished with the most fearful pieces one can imagine. The headboard of the pink bed consisted of a black marbled formica construction nearly five feet high, with various drawers and compartments, rather like an altar; the thin-legged dressing-table was lavishly decorated with gold arabesques; and the mirror which was fitted into the door of the wardrobe, made one look strangely deformed. As the wooden floorboards were very uneven and sloped towards the window, all the furniture stood at something of a tilt, so that I was pursued even while asleep by the feeling that the house was about to fall down.'





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