The Harriet Martineau Lecture: Val McDermid

Saturday 25 May
Adnams Spiegeltent, Chapelfield Gardens
12.30 - 13.30
£ 12.00 - £7.50 (U18/Young NNF)

Join us for the Harriet Martineau Lecture, delivered this year by multi-award-winning novelist, Val McDermid

The Harriet Martineau Lecture celebrates the legacy of a remarkable, world-changing woman by inviting globally-renowned radical speakers to respond to her life and work. This year’s lecture will be delivered by one of the UK’s most accomplished and respected novelists, Val McDermid. 

The first Harriet Martineau Lecture was delivered by Ali Smith in May 2013 and featured a call to draw Harriet Martineau’s face onto £5 notes in protest at the decision to remove Elizabeth Fry from the same note. Since then the likes of Kate Mosse, Masha Gessen, Linton Kwesi-Johnson, Sarah Perry, Ellah P. Wakatama, Kit de Waal and Charlotte Higgins have given the lecture, variously exploring Martineau’s internationalism, inspiration for feminism, and role in the abolition of slavery.

Supported by The Martineau Society


Part of City of Literature weekend 2024


City of Literature is a Norfolk & Norwich Festival and National Centre for Writing presentation, programmed by the National Centre for Writing.


One of the UK’s most accomplished and respected novelists, Val McDermid has sold over 19 million books to date across the globe and is translated into more than 40 languages. She is perhaps best-known for her Wire in the Blood series, featuring clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, which was adapted for television starring Robson Green and Hermione Norris. She has written four other series: private detective Kate Brannigan, journalist Lindsay Gordon, cold case detective Karen Pirie, whose debut appearance in The Distant Echo is now a major ITV series. The second in the series, 1989 was published in paperback in February 2023. Val has also published several award-winning standalone novels, books of non-fiction, short story collections and a children’s picture book, My Granny is a Pirate. Val returns to Karen Pirie with her latest book, Past Lying.

Val has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year, the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger, the Grand Prix des Romans D’Aventure, the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award, the Stonewall Writer of the Year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. 

Image © Charlotte Graham