Keynote Speakers

Rosamond Mahony

Rosamond (Ros) is the younger daughter of Richard Adams, beloved author of Watership Down. She was born in London and grew up there in Islington, witnessing the birth of the book being told as a story on journeys in the car with her father and sister. Currently a Director of Watership Down Enterprises, Ros is committed to the legacy of this children’s classic for current and future generations of readers and fans. She lives in Farnham and London where she enjoys walking, gardening, reading, and cooking at home in the country.

SF Said

SF Said read Watership Down as a child in the 1970s.  It was his favourite book, and inspired him to become a writer himself.  His first book, Varjak Paw, won the Nestlé Smarties Prize for Children’s Literature.  The sequel, The Outlaw Varjak Paw, won the BBC Blue Peter Book Of The Year.  His third book, Phoenix, was chosen to represent the UK on the IBBY International Honour Book List, and shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award.  He is currently working on a new book called Tyger.  Watership Down is still his favourite book.  

More information: 
http://www.sfsaid.com  
Twitter: @whatSFSaid 

Dr Briony Wickes

Briony Wickes is a Research Fellow in the School of English, Drama, and Film at University College Dublin, working on the European Research Council project, “European Migrants in the British Imagination: Victorian and Neo-Victorian Culture”. She is a scholar of nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, histories of migration, and literary animal studies. Her monograph, Animal Materials: Ecology, Settlement, and the Nineteenth-Century Novel, examines the diverse roles of nonhuman beings in Victorian expansionist culture and argues that the story of nineteenth-century settler colonisation was not a solely human narrative, but one that was entangled with animals – including rabbits. In Watership Down, she finds a novel that similarly draws together imaginations of species, territory, and expansion, and that positions rabbits as affective, adventurous beings with the capacity to subvert, or even resist, human orderings.

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