The Evening and the Morning will be published in September 2020
The Evening and the Morning, a 'prequel' to The Pillars of the Earth, will be published in the US and UK on Tuesday, 15 September, 2020, and in France on Thursday 17 September. Publication dates in other countries will be added when they are confirmed.
“The story is set at the end of the Dark Ages and the beginning of the Middle Ages, so it’s an evening and a morning", Ken says. "And the phrase is Biblical, of course: ‘And the evening and the morning were the first day’.”
The Evening and the Morning takes place around the year 1000, when England is under constant attack from Vikings and soon to be conquered by Normans. The theme of the story is the origins of a legal system that does not merely serve the ruling chieftains. Ken describes it as "a journey that will end where The Pillars of the Earth begins".
“This is a time when people began to demand the rule of law, which means that disputes are settled according to rules, regardless of how rich or powerful you are. This is a vital component of freedom.”
Den Evige Ild musical re-opens in March
The Bellevue Teatret in Copenhagen will be presenting the musical of Den Evige Ild (A Column of Fire) from 1 March 2020. This highly-regarded Danish adaptation was dramatized by Lasse Aagaard, Thomas Høg and Sune Svanekier. It is directed by Mads Nielsen and stars Morten Hemmingsen, Silke Biranell, Camille Rommedahl, Kasper Dalsgaard, Pernille Pettersson, Karsten Jansfort, Rikke Buch Bendtsen, Marie Louise Hansen, Søren Bech-Madsen, Daniel Trelborg Hansen, Christoffer Brodersen and Martine Levinsen.
For more information visit https://www.bellevueteatret.dk/forestillinger/den-evige-ild/
Ken plays and sings on 'Blue Christmas'
Ken recently featured on a recording of “Blue Christmas”, a single produced in aid of Home-Start Hertfordshire. Ken is a patron of Home-Start, which is one of the leading charities in the UK working with families in need. Home-Start has been operating in Hertfordshire since 1983.
For a donation of £1 you can download the single, or you can buy a compact disc or digital album for £5. You can buy it here: https://folkstockrecords.bandcamp.com/album/blue-christmas
Ken appointed an Officier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Ken has been promoted to the rank of Officier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters), established in 1957, recognises significant contributions to the arts and literature.
The French Ambassador to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Jean-Pierre Jouyet, presented Ken with the insignia at a ceremony in London on the evening of 20 March.
Ken said: “I’m extremely happy to receive such a distinction from the people of France, a country I’ve loved ever since my first visit in 1966.”
Cécile Boyer-Runge, CEO of Editions Robert Laffont, Ken's French publishers, said:
“We’re very proud that Ken Follett, a Francophile and French-speaker, regarded as one of the world’s most popular authors, is being distinguished by France in this way.”
Ken made a Commander of the British Empire
Ken was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List. His appointment, announced on Friday 8th June, is for his services to literature and charity.
Ken received the award from the Prince of Wales at an Investiture Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Friday 16th November.
“I am very pleased and proud to receive this honour for doing something I love – making books and stories as entertaining and accessible as possible," Ken said. "Reading is a hugely important part of my life and I am glad to have helped others to enjoy it too.”
Ken is one of the world’s most successful authors. Over 165 million copies of the 31 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages.
Ken has been active in numerous literacy charities and was president of Dyslexia Action for ten years. He was chair of the National Year of Reading, a joint initiative between government and businesses. He is also active in many Stevenage charities and is President of the Stevenage Community Trust. Ken also set up The Follett Trust, in 1990, which awards single donations to the arts and in cases of social deprivation and education.
University of Hertfordshire awards Ken an honorary doctorate
The honour was given at a ceremony on September 11 at St Albans Abbey in recognition of Ken's contribution to literature and the promotion of literacy.
Ken, pictured above with Chair of the University of Hertfordshire's Board of Governors, Richard Beazley, said: “I am proud to receive this honour from the University of Hertfordshire, which is in the county that has been my home for over 20 years."
As a resident of Hertfordshire, Ken actively supports several local and national charities. In 1990 he set up The Follett Trust, which awards grants and scholarships to students in higher education, organisations involved in community work and the arts, and supports the promotion of reading among those with dyslexia. Last year the trust awarded £160 000 in grants.
"Reading is something that should be accessible to all and I thoroughly enjoy working with some fantastic local and national organisations to help make that a reality," Ken said.
Ken elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
Ken Follett was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (RSL) on Monday 4 June 2018 when he signed its historic, leather-bound, Roll Book at the RSL’s Summer Party at The Bloomsbury Hotel in London.
This unique literary honour, which the RSL has given to distinguished writers since its foundation in 1820, means Ken joins literary greats like Thomas Hardy, J.R.R Tolkien and J.K Rowling as a lifetime Fellow.
“I am delighted to have been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature," Ken said. "I am very pleased to join an esteemed group in the Fellowship of such a renowned and valuable institution.”