THE Taunton Literary Festival returns for a sixth successful year, with events starting this weekend.

The festival, organised by Lionel Ward, owner of independent bookstore Brendon Books in Bath Place, runs from November 5 to November 26, with the majority of events taking place at the store.

As usual this year's festival features a number of Somerset and Devon based authors.

On Sunday, November 6, Frome-based author Julian Hight will be giving an illustrated talk on World Tree Story and Selwood Forest - history and legends of the world’s ancient trees.

Hilary Custance Green takes the lead on November 8 with her new book: Surviving the Death Railway.

Hilary lived in Taunton for many years and will return to discuss her father who was a Japanese prisoner of war who worked on the Burma railway and this is based on his diaries.

On November 9 festival-goers will hear from Philip Eade and Alexander Waugh, the grandson of Evelyn Waugh who is buried here in Somerset.

Alexander will be interviewing Philip on his new biography - Evelyn Waugh, A Life Revisited as this year marks the 50th anniversary of his death.

Evelyn Waugh considered by many to be the greatest English novelist of the 20th century.

On November 11at 6.30pm, Exmoor author Dawn Westcott will be telling of her experience of better understanding and taming the wild ponies of Exmoor.

She will be followed by South-West poetry author Paul Mortimer at 8pm who will give a poetry reading of Fault Line.

On November 17, you can hear all about the Church of England with Linda Woodhead and Andrew Brown.

Linda went to Bishop Fox's School and Richard Huish College and is returning to discuss That Was the Church That Was: How the Church of England Lost the English People with Andrew Brown.

On November 18, Adrian Webb and Emma Down will be discussing Somerset maps through history with the popular Somerset Mapped book.

On November 22, Russell Miller will discuss the life of Viscount Trenchard, the father of the Royal Air Force, who was born and spent his early years in Taunton.

The festival also pays special homage to William Shakespeare as part of celebrates to mark the 400th anniversary of his death.

The Wellington group Shakespeare Aloud is holding a participatory event to take part in reading many of the most notable passages from Hamlet.

Free event at Taunton Library, Saturday November 5.1 Will Contested: Was Shakespeare the author of the plays that carry his name. Two Shakespeare 'sceptics' discuss, both local authors, Alexander Waugh of Milverton (Sahekspeare in Doubt) and Malcolm Elliot of Ilminster (Christopher Marlowe). This events is at the Friend's Meeting House in Bath Place on November 5.

Essential Shakespeare - the very last event of the festival in which Taunton Thespians introduce and act out some key Shakespeare passages from his plays on November 26.

For more information about the festival include dates, times and ticket prices, visit