Jeremy Irons to open Isle of Wight Literary Festival with Hunting of the Snark

Jeremy Irons will open the free digital literary festival by bringing Lewis Carroll’s enigmatic nonsense poem – The Hunting of the Snark – to life

Jeremy Irons

The Red Funnel Isle of Wight Digital Literary Festival is delighted to announce that the Cowes born, multi-award-winning actor Jeremy Irons will be opening the digital festival on Friday 9th October at 7pm.

Irons will read Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in Eight Fits).

Boojum and Snark
Irons’ reading brings Carroll’s enigmatic nonsense poem to life. The Hunting of the Snark describes the voyage of a bizarre crew of nine tradesmen and a beaver on their quest for the elusive and mysterious Snark, who lives in the sea and might be a dangerous, deadly Boojum.

The poem is a backward one with Carroll writing the last line of the poem first. Written in 1874 while caring for his sick cousin and godson the finished poem wasn’t published until 1876.

The Hunting of the Snark has been chosen for its Island connection:  the book is dedicated to Gertrude Chataway and opens with a poem that uses her name as a double acrostic. Carroll met the nine-year-old Gertrude on the beach in Sandown in 1875.

A nano-brewery, cafe and bar on the High Street – Boojum&Snark – also celebrates the connection in Sandown.

Esteemed career in the The Arts
Irons has a rich and much-lauded career in theatre, film and television. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1990 for his performance as Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune.  

He was awarded Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe and Emmy for his role in the television miniseries  Elizabeth I (2005) alongside Helen Mirren. He went on to play Pope Alexander in the Showtime historical series The Borgias (2011), and portrayed Henry IV in the BBC Two series The Hollow Crown opposite Tom Hiddleston. 

Irons may be best known for his role as Charles Ryder in the cult TV series Brideshead Revisited (1981). Most recently he starred alongside Regina King in the HBO series WATCHMEN, the revamp led by Damon Lindelof.

Free digital festival

  • Decide the talks you want to see – check out the programme
  • Take a note of the day and the time of each talk. It’s free; you don’t need to register, book a ticket or reserve a seat
  • A few minutes before the talk go to the Literary Festival Website
  • Follow the link on the homepage to Watch the 2020 Digital Festival

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest information about our digital festival and offers from our title sponsor Red Funnel.

Ankers: Can think of no better person to open our festival
Maggie Ankers, chair of the Red Funnel Isle of Wight Literary Festival, said,

“We can think of no better person to open our digital literary festival than the much respected actor Jeremy Irons.

“Jeremy’s connection to the Island and those of Carroll’s poem are a great start to a literary weekend that offers something for everyone.”


News shared by Janet on behalf of the Isle of Wight Literary Festival. Ed

Wednesday, 30th September, 2020 8:34am

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Filed under: Cowes, Isle of Wight News, Top story, What's On, Writers

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1 Comment on "Jeremy Irons to open Isle of Wight Literary Festival with Hunting of the Snark"

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tracy

This is great news. Yes, the poem is dedicated to Gertrude Chataway but also importantly it was begun whilst Lewis Carroll was on holiday in SANDOWN! Such a brilliant connection to the Isle of Wight. The dedication to a ‘dearest child’ perfectly described the haze of summer:

In Memory of Golden Summer Hours
And Whispers of a Summer Sea