Thursday, 18 October 2018 Contact us

TREE PORN (NO REALLY…)

Ancient Oaks

Tolkien’s Ents (walking, talking trees for the uninitiated) WERE queuing outside but the entrance to Blenheim’s Marlborough Room is very low so despite a lot of unnecessary pushing and shoving, they were eventually turned away. Yes, life is tough, especially if you’re a conifer, but for those of us mere humans, Dutch botanist Aljos Farjon’s talk on England’s ancient oaks was fascinating.
Indeed, this is precisely the kind of event that typifies this festival - slightly quirky, unexpected but totally, totally engrossing. And Farjon proved the perfect guide too - dry, urbane and deliciously Dutch.
So much so, what I and the rest of his audience don’t now know about England’s ancient oaks frankly isn’t worth knowing.
Yet despite his wonderful delivery and fact-packed narrative, it was his pictorial slide show that held me most in awe. Hell, Oaks really are beautiful aren’t they? Old and wise and limb-twisted supermodels of the hardwood kind, I just sat and drank in their beauty.
Ludicrous to say I know, but I was genuinely moved by this talk.

Blenheim Palace HSBC In partnership with HSBC Desmond and Fiona Heyward Lady Hatch Jill Dunsmore Mary and Cecil Quillen Italian Cultural Institute Owen Mumford Schools programme partner HM Government of Gibraltar Sponsor of festival green room Gibunco Group Hedges Law Lawyers to the festival Seabourn Luxury Cruises Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller European Commission Schools and colleges programme The Oxford Times Regional media partner Bear Ram Elk Digital Strategy and Web Design Eynsham Hall Floris of London Oxford Cultural Collective Macdonald Bear Hotel Festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Lord’s Taverners Festival sports charity partner The Feathers Hotel The King’s Arms The Sloane Club Literary Review Liaison Financial Services OX magazine K T Bruce Photography Save the Children Bookshop Experience Oxfordshire Wake up to Woodstock

Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature Film & Music 2018 partners & sponsors

Blenheim Palace HSBC In partnership with HSBC Desmond and Fiona Heyward Lady Hatch Jill Dunsmore Mary and Cecil Quillen Italian Cultural Institute Owen Mumford Schools programme partner HM Government of Gibraltar Sponsor of festival green room Gibunco Group Hedges Law Lawyers to the festival Seabourn Luxury Cruises Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller European Commission Schools and colleges programme The Oxford Times Regional media partner Bear Ram Elk Digital Strategy and Web Design Eynsham Hall Floris of London Oxford Cultural Collective Macdonald Bear Hotel Festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Lord’s Taverners Festival sports charity partner The Feathers Hotel The King’s Arms The Sloane Club Literary Review Liaison Financial Services OX magazine K T Bruce Photography Save the Children Bookshop Experience Oxfordshire Wake up to Woodstock