Gulliver’s Marathon

By Lisa Marie Griffith

During the Dublin Writer’s Festival I met the illustrator Chris Riddell, beloved children’s author, illustrator and political cartoonist. He was speaking with Paul Stewart to some school groups about how a children’s book is written and published. They had a fantastic way of engaging with their audience. It was only after the event while looking through his books that I realised he had illustrated a beautiful version of Gulliver’s Travels which I have on my shelf at home. I had purchased it to give it to a niece as a gift but it has never made its way out of my own collection, but considering the above cover who can blame me? The illustrations are really superb. Although I can’t make it I was delighted to hear that there is a marathon reading of Gulliver’s Travels being undertaken this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) for charity as part of the Trim Swift Festival. They are looking for readers, 5 euro allows you to read for 10 minutes with all proceeds going to Aware. They are looking for an audience too and readings take place in Suzuki Swift in Trim. It sounds like good fun!You can get more details here.

5 Responses to “Gulliver’s Marathon”

  1. Póló Says:

    I hadn’t heard of this festival until the extensive radio coverage this year (Newstalk).

    I hadn’t had any contact with the marathon reading format, though I was aware of marathon readings of Joyce, until a local event this year – a King James marathon Bible reading in Raheny:

    As to illustrations, I was very taken with the visuals on this building at the corner of Bride St. and Golden Lane, Dublin.:

  2. puesoccurrences Says:

    Have you any idea how the marathon reading of the King James Bible went? What a great idea.
    Thanks for your link to those illustrations, I had seen some, but not all of them, before.


  3. Póló Says:

    The King James marathon went a bomb for a number of reasons. There was great interfaith cooperation with Roman Catholics, Methodists and Presbyterians pitching in to do the reading, and even an unbeliever like myself taking a turn. They succeeded in reading the book (big volume which was presented by Lord Ardilaun – Guinness – on the dedication of the Church in 1889) from cover to cover in the allotted time (Palm Sunday to Holy Thursday). I don’t know how much they made for the roof fund. There was potential for around €12K if there were no repeat readers and if each reader donated the suggested €10. I will ask the Rector and come back here to the comments with an answer, if I get one.

    There is a great community spirit in the (greater) Raheny area. The recent Raheny Festival had throngs in the streets and the park and the atmosphere was fabulous. Mind you, it took a lot of organising, which was first class.

  4. Póló Says:

    I was informed today that the King James Marathon Reading brought in about €6k to the church roof fund.

    That is very good as I’m sure not every quarter hour reading brought in €10. Some people, for example, read for up to 3 hours, particularly during the night when volunteers were scarce on the ground, and others may well have contributed to the roof fund via other channels.

    I figure that, under the circumstances, achieving half the maximum potential revenue was a magnificent achievement.

    It also took a lot of courage to embark on this very ambitious project in the first place.

    Quite fortuitously I ended up on a tour of the church this morning. I learned that the parish has really done a great job over the last few years ensuring that this marvellous church is preserved for future generations. I hope to do an illustrated piece for my blog or website on this in the near future.

  5. puesoccurrences Says:

    Thanks for the update Polo.


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