It was a night of celebrity authors, wine, inspiring readings, interesting company, wine, glamour (fee's fabulous ballgown), and wine.
As the Whitworth Art Gallery filled with eager Boyd fans (Boydettes?) there was a buzz going round the beautiful surroundings that said the Manchester Literature Festival had arrived. Fuelled by wine and nibbles, the already enthusiastic crowd was put in a receptive mood. William Boyd was a confident speaker, regaling his audience with tales of WWII espionage and the war of minds to persuade the Americans to join the war effort. His latest novel, Restless, certainly went down well last night, with Waterstones doing a roaring trade and Mr Boyd giving his autograph a lot of practice.
Other first day events, including Pennine Poets, Original Modern Stories and Mike Garry all also went swimmingly with positive reactions reported all round. Here's to another equally fantastic nine days!