For all its diminutive size, Gibraltar has left a big footprint on literature. From the Spanish and North African chroniclers of the Middle Ages through to the chart-topping thrillers of today, the strategic location of the Rock and its rich mix of peoples has attracted authors of many kinds. In this lecture, journalist and writer Boyd Tonkin will look at the dramatic and often surprising role that Gibraltar plays in fiction, poetry and history. From William Thackeray and Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Mark Twain and Anthony Burgess, many renowned writers have found inspiration on the Rock. Others, notably James Joyce, never visited but still imagined it as a place of mystery and enchantment. More recently, the Rock has had a key part in bestselling novels from writers such as John Le Carre and Stieg Larsson. Far from being an isolated outpost, literary Gibraltar is a hub where many histories, peoples and cultures meet. Come along to discover why this small territory has had such a grand story to tell.
Boyd Tonkin, formerly Literary Editor and Senior Writer of The Independent, was Chair of the Judges of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. He now writes for The Observer, the Financial Times and The Spectator, and broadcasts for BBC Radio.