image for Literary Event item typeMarie-Elsa Bragg: Author Afternoon Tea at Cakes and Ale Cafe

Literary Event, Sat 13 May 2017

Marie-Elsa Bragg

Marie-Elsa Bragg


Cakes and Ale Cafe

01228 544560


17-19 Castle Street,


Bookends are delighted to host Marie-Elsa Bragg for an author afternoon tea in Carlisle. Marie-Elsa Bragg will be discussing her debut novel ‘Towards Mellbreak’, life and writing over afternoon tea in Cakes and Ale cafe.

Marie-Elsa Bragg is the daughter of renowned broadcaster and author Melvyn Bragg, and painter and novelist Lise Roche. She considers herself part French and part Cumbrian and spends a considerable amount of time in Cumbria – the setting which her debut novel ‘Towards Mellbreak’ profoundly evokes. Marie-Elsa is a writer, lecturer, ordained Anglican priest and Duty Chaplain of Westminster Abbey. She has previously been a professional ballet dancer and a Jesuit Spiritual Director.

Praised in early readership by key figures such as Tim Pears and Ian McMillan, ‘Towards Mellbreak’ is a poetic and beautiful novel; at its heart it is a hymn to the landscape of Northern England and to a disappearing world. Marie-Elsa Bragg embraces the old and beloved English tradition of writing about the land, reminiscent of Dorothy Wordsworth and Ted Hughes, and encapsulates the Northern landscape, and those who tend to it. Set in Cumbria between Spring 1971 and Spring 1994, ‘Towards Mellbreak’ covers four generations of a Herdwick hill farming family. It examines religion, folklore and tradition at a time when farming life went through further industrialization and subsidy led changes. It also sensitively examines the consequences of government enforced rules on the farming community.

“This novel is so subtly written, building up the stories of good people and their tough lives, that we feel and then understand the depth of their relationships to each other and this beautiful, hard land – and so the tragedy of what happens is all the more heart-breaking.” – Tim Pears

Event details

Dates Times
Sat 13 May 2017 16:00


Tickets: £12 (includes afternoon tea) available from Bookends (01228 529067) and online at

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