In this true story, award-winning journalist Sam Knight digs into the oddest corners of science and reason in 60s Britain

In Person Event : Monday, 16 May, 19.00 London
Virtual Event: Monday, 16 May, 19.30 London / 14.30 EDT on Zoom

We are continuing our popular in-person literary series, bringing together Britain's best and brightest writers to read from their latest works and showcasing young writers alongside established literary names, putting a spotlight on intelligent and intriguing non-fiction stories with our overall aim being to curate a series of stimulating and engaging events. They will continue in a hybrid format and will also be streamed live online.

The next event will be on Monday 16 May with a reading of The Premonitions Bureau (Faber & Faber) by award-winning journalist Sam Knight.

Prior to each reading and discussion, guests are invited to enjoy a drinks reception with canapés in the Lotos Room. Each guest will also receive a copy of The Premonitions Bureau as part of their ticket, with an opportunity for signing after the talk.

The Premonitions Bureau is an enthralling true story, of madness and wonder, science and the supernatural - a journey to the most powerful and unsettling reaches of the human mind.

For those who prefer not to attend or live further afield, the event will be streamed live online and there will be an opportunity to submit questions to the author.

The Author

Sam Knight is a British journalist who has covered subjects such as the plans for the death of the Queen, sandwiches, late capitalism and art fraud, as well as profiles of Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May. His work for the 'Long Read' section of the Guardian and for the New Yorker has become influential and widely shared. 'London Bridge is Down,' published in 2017, was viewed four million times and remains the most popular Guardian long read ever published. Knight, a staff writer at the New Yorker since 2018, has won two Foreign Press Association awards and was shortlisted for the 2018 Orwell Prize for political writing.

The Book

Premonitions are impossible. But they come true all the time. Most are innocent. You think of a forgotten friend. Out of the blue, they call. But what if you knew that something terrible was going to happen? A sudden flash, the words Charing Cross. Four days later, a packed express train comes off the rails outside the station. What if you could share your vision, and stop that train? Could these forebodings help the world to prevent disasters? In 1966, John Barker, a dynamic psychiatrist working in an outdated British mental hospital, established the Premonitions Bureau to investigate these questions. He would find a network of hundreds of correspondents, from bank clerks to ballet teachers. Among them were two unnervingly gifted 'percipients'. Together, the pair predicted plane crashes, assassinations and international incidents, with uncanny accuracy. And then, they informed Barker of their most disturbing premonition: that he was about to die.

Live Event

Ticket Price: £35, including a copy of the book

Time: 19.00pm - drinks reception with canapés

19.30pm - reading, discussion and Q&A

Location: The Lotos Room at The Beaumont

Virtual Event

Ticket Price: Free of charge

Time: 19.30 London / 14.30 EDT

Location: Zoom - you will be sent Zoom joining details on the day of the event.

You will be able to follow the reading and discussion online and we will submit your questions for the author afterwards.