Wolverhampton Literature Festival: Historic city tales retold at event

By Annabal Bagdi | Wolverhampton | Wolverhampton entertainment | Published:

Festival-goers are set to step back in time when historical tales of the city's past are played out in front of their eyes.

Jefny Ashcroft will take part in this year's Wolverhampton Literature Festival

Writer and historian Jefny Ashcroft will celebrate the lives of a trio Mercian women at her string of free shows in Wolverhampton.

Her dramatic storytelling sessions will reveal the city's links with Saxon women Wulfrun, Aethelflaed and Aelfgifu during this year's Wolverhampton Literature Festival.

Ms Ashcroft said: "They have all got links to Wolverhampton. Lots of people don't know about the Anglo-Saxon history of Wolverhampton.

"I'm just trying to dramatise their stories in a fun way, to let people know that Wolverhampton was important in the Anglo-Saxon period."

The trio of free sessions, which all start at 12.30pm, will feature founder of Wolverhampton Wulfrun, known by many as Lady Wulfruna.

She was captured by the Vikings at the siege of Tamworth and is believed to have been ransomed before returning to her family.

Adults and older children will also discover more about Lady of the Mercians Aethelflaed, who was a general at the Battle of Tettenhall/Wednesfield in 910AD.

She is also thought to have built fortified towns such as Bridgnorth, Stafford, Warwick and Wednesbury.


Aelfgifu, the wife of former King of England Canute, will also feature in the 20-minute sessions at Wolverhampton Art Gallery from February 1 to 3.

Ms Ashcroft is also set to quiz author and historian Ned Williams during a special event at the City Archives on February 2.

The one-hour free event, which starts at 1pm, will explore his latest book 'Four Swallows and Two Elephants', which looks at the lives of seven people from the region who worked in entertainment.

It is the 52nd book penned by the London-born writer, who has since settled in the Black Country.


Ms Ashcroft added: "I'm looking forward to it immensely. People are going to have the chance to find out a bit more about him and his work."

More than 100 events will take place when the popular three-day literature celebrations return next month.

Literary-inspired workshops, readings, presentations and performances are set to take over the city from February 1.

Well-known figures set to visit the city include former politicians Alan Johnson and Ann Widdecombe, television star Kim Woodburn and Express & Star veteran Peter Rhodes.

Annabal Bagdi

By Annabal Bagdi

Senior reporter based at head office in Wolverhampton. Get in touch on 01902 319 229 or at


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