Festival of Romance 2013

Last weekend I attended the Festival of Romance in Bedford and thoroughly enjoyed myself!  At the moment, it’s the only event of its kind here in the UK, and if you ask me, we need more of them because it was such fun!

The weekend started with an Art & Romance evening on the Friday night at the newly opened Higgins Museum, which was great.  We were given a quick tour and being a history buff, I really liked the China collection (especially the tea pots and caddies), fascinating pieces of furniture and other displays.  The house itself was lovely too!  After the tour, there were readings by authors of historical novels, including me.  Most of us had dressed up in period costume and mine was that of an ordinary woman of the 1640s (English Civil War) – this was in order to fit the clothing of the heroine from my novel The Gilded Fan.

Romance Fair

On the Saturday, there were lots of things going on at the same time – a Romance Fair, a Coffee & Cake morning with readings, an author panel (led by the brilliant Louise Graham), plus talks and workshops.  I enjoyed all the events I took part in and only wished I’d had time to go to everything.

Author panel led by Louise Graham

The day culminated with the FoR Ball and Awards, where Choc Lit triumphed as Publisher of the Year and a lot of my friends won other categories – Liz Fenwick for Best Romantic Read, Charlotte Betts for Best Historical Read, Fiona Harper for Best Short Romantic Novel, among many others.  I also accepted an award on behalf of the Romantic Novelists’ Association who were inducted into the FoR Hall of Fame for “being a defining, driving and positive force for the genre since 1960” – well deserved I think!

Accepting the RNA's award from FoR organiser Kate Allan

All in all, it was a great weekend which even the miserable weather couldn’t put a dampener on!

Choc Lit's awards!

Historical reading

Jenny Barden, Liz Harris and John Jackson

My 1640s costume

Liz Harris and I at the Fair

With Sue Moorcroft and Jane Lovering at the Fair

With Adrienne Vaughan and Liz Harris at the Ball

Saying thank you on behalf of the RNA

Shortlistees for Best Historical Read


  1. It looks like such fun. I am sorry I wasn’t able to come. Roll on next year. I shall be there with bells on…

    Comment by Janet Gover — November 12, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

  2. Great pics – and a great weekend!Next year, I’m planning to make Saturday night.


    Comment by John Jackson — November 12, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

  3. A great blog, Christina. I love the Festival of Romance.

    Comment by Sue Moorcroft — November 12, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

  4. It was lovely to see you again and hear you read from The Gilded Fan.
    Another one of your novels I had enjoyed.

    Your costume was really lovely, too.


    Comment by carol - DizzyC — November 12, 2013 @ 8:54 pm

  5. A lovely reminder of a lovely occasion, Christina.

    Liz X

    Comment by Liz Harris — November 12, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

  6. Gutted I couldn’t make it this year. Will try harder next! Lovely photos and an excellent summary. Thank you!

    Comment by Cara Cooper — November 13, 2013 @ 7:13 am

  7. Janet and John – look forward to seeing you there next year! 🙂

    Sue – thank you, me too! xx

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — November 13, 2013 @ 10:09 am

  8. Thank you, Carol, so glad you enjoyed the reading and liked my outfit! It was lovely to see you again 🙂 xx

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — November 13, 2013 @ 10:10 am

  9. Liz – I forgot to say thank you for taking some of these pictures – thank you! It was great, wasn’t it? 🙂 xx

    Cara – Thanks and hope you can make it next time! xx

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — November 13, 2013 @ 10:11 am

  10. Loved your shoes, too, Christina! Totally amazing.

    Comment by Linn B Halton — November 13, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

  11. Great to see all the photo’s. Would have liked to come, sadly couldn’t. Maybe next year, glad you all enjoyed yourselves.
    Lorraine x

    Comment by Lorraine — November 13, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

  12. Thank you, Linn, it was great to see you again!

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — November 14, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

  13. Thanks, Lorraine, do hope you can make it next year – I’m sure you’d love it! 🙂 x

    Comment by Christina Courtenay — November 14, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.