Kassia St Clair and Sonia Velton

Journalist Kassia St Clair and Kent-based novelist Sonia Velton weave rich and fascinating stories set around the history and traditions of fabric and textiles, and in particular the loom of the silk weaver.

In The Golden Thread Kassia St Clair tells an alternative history of civilization and human ingenuity, a journey that takes us from Tutankhamun to Bing Crosby via the woollen sails of the Vikings, lace ruffs, moonwalking with astronauts, and the silk road. She is in conversation with Sonia Velton, whose debut novel Blackberry & Wild Rose – an evocative historical novel for fans of Tracy Chevalier – is set among the Huguenot silk weavers of Spitalfields in the eighteenth century, and inspired by real characters and historical events.

Kassia St Clair studied the history of women's dress and the masquerade during the eighteenth-century at Bristol and Oxford. She has since written about design and culture for the Economist, House & Garden, Quartz and 1843. Her much acclaimed first book The Secret Lives of Colour was a Radio 4 Book of the Week. She lives in London.

Sonia Velton grew up between the Bahamas and the UK. After graduating from university with a first-class law degree and living in the Middle East for eight years she now lives in Kent. Blackberry and Wild Rose was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work in progress, and longlisted for the Mslexia novel competition.

Sunday 24 February, Assembly Rooms, 12.30–1.30pm. Book tickets here