The Madhatters are delighted to be the box office for this year’s festival which promises to be the best ever. We have several great literary speakers and events lined up. Dinah Jeffries will be talking about her latest book Before the Rains set in 1930s India.  Dinah’s earlier novels, The Silk Merchant’s Daughter and The Tea Planter’s Wife have all been bestsellers and Dinah will be talking about her novels as well as her abiding love of South East Asia. For history lovers, the critically acclaimed author John Julius Norwich will be describing the turbulent history of Sicily while Catherine Merridale will be talking about her book Lenin on the Train. Recreating Lenin’s journey back to Russia from Switzerland and across war torn Europe, Lenin on the Train is hugely entertaining, having been voted a book of 2016 by The Times, The Financial Times and The Economist. Please refer to the festival’s website for details

Anyone interested in receiving our new Newsletter from next month please contact us on with your email address and let us know you would like to be included in our mailing list-Look forward to hearing from you!


Over the last few Months a number of ladies have visited the shop specifically to buy red hats – when one lady bought three red hats we ventured to ask why and that’s when we learned of the RED HAT SOCIETY.

The RED HAT SOCIETY came to the UK in 2001 having begun in the US in 1998 ( .The definition of a RED HATTER is “over 50 and fabulous”, something we at Madhatter’s whole-heartedly applaud.

So RED HATTERS be assured of a very warm welcome and a good selection of red hats when you visit us and don’t forget to mention you are a “REDHATTER” Oh and PINK HATTERS* we have some lovely hats for you too.


(* Pink Hatters are ladies under 50 who wish to join the society.)

Playwright turned author Barney Norris’s debut novel tells the story of five people all caught up at the moment of a serious car accident in Salisbury. Beautifully written, the novel explores the everyday griefs, worries and hopes that affect us all. A young boy, a flower stall holder and an army captain’s wife and an elderly man all face critical moments in their lives one ordinary evening. ‘There exists in all of us a song waiting to be sung which is as heart-stopping and vertiginous as the peak of the cathedral” One of the most moving books I have read for a long time.

Published 21/4/16 £12.99

Immediately after the end of the second world war a young Hungarian is recovering in a refugee camp in Sweden having survived the horrors of Belsen. Miklos is told that he has a terminal illness but he is desperate to live and to love. Undeterred by the grim news, Miklos writes to 117 Hungarian women from his village in search of a wife. Will Miklos find love before it is too late? Inspired by the true story of the author’s parents, Peter Gardos is an award winning Hungarian film director. He tells his parents’ story with a great deal of affection, hope and humour. (Hardback £12.99)


Elemental by Amanda Curtin

Meggie Tulloch decides to write her life story for her granddaughter, Laura. Beginning in north-east Scotland in the early 1900s where life has hardly changed for generations, men strive to make a living from the unforgiving sea while the women struggle to keep their children fed. Leaving her village to find work in the herring trade, Meggie travels to the Shetlands, Great Yarmouth and then across the world to Freemantle in Australia in search of a better life. But Meggie’s life is littered with unspoken memories and secrets. And thirty years after her grandmother’s death, Laura receives her notebooks and discovers the truth about Meggie and her family’s past. The novel is a gripping read, historically detailed and fascinating. Perfect for lovers of M L Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans.

Broadcaster and journalist Anne Robinson is coming to the Madhatters Bookshop Burford on Saturday 5th March to help us celebrate World Book Day. A great reader and enthusiastc supporter of independent bookshops  come and meet Anne who will be our resident bookseller for the day. We are all very excited!

This is the time to curl up with a jolly good read so I thought I would recommend my  favourite new book. Midnight in Berlin by James MacManus is set in 1938 Germany and the British government’s policy of appeasement as Hitler sets his sights on Austria and beyond. It’s a thrilling read with plenty of fascinating historical details.

Liz Cowley will be signing copies of her books Gardening in Slippers and Outside in my Dressing Gown at the Madhatter Bookshop at Burford’s Advent  Sunday  29th November.

Recently featured on Radio 4 Saturday Live, Liz Cowley combines her love of gardening, visiting famous gardens and flower shows with her passion for writing poetry. Liz Cowley is a real treat for all poetically minded gardeners.

Gardening in Slippers and Outside in my Dressing Gown, both in hardback priced £9.99, will make perfect gifts so please come and have a glass of wine and browse these and other Christmas titles.

In view of London Fashion Week I think it is only fitting that I should recommend the British editor of Vogue’s latest novel The Parrots (hardback £14.99).

Alexandra Shulman expertly describes the very privileged life style of London’s super rich. Set against a backdrop of gallery openings, private views and fundraising galas the novel tells the story of Katherine and Rick Tennison, “who are a couple at the centre of things”. However cracks quickly start to appear in the couple’s perfect marriage with the arrival of Mateo and Antonia, beautiful and idiosyncratic siblings from a famous Italian fashion dynasty. The plot is fast paced, entirely satisfying and a gentle satire of a glamorous, luxurious and cosseted world.