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The Really Popular Book Club: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Cambridge University Library's Keeper of Early Manuscripts comes to talk to us about Umberto Eco's historical murder mystery.

‘Secrets Never To Be Told’

Tue 9 August

Ross Street Community Centre

Local resident and former BBC journalist FIONA CHESTERTON will talk about how she came to write a book about what started as a small amateur research project into a distant cousin called Jessie Underwood. She wanted to find out more about how she came to inherit thirty-five thousand Canadian dollars from this woman’s son – a couple completely unknown to her and her family.

In her talk, Fiona will tell how she pieced together the story of Jessie’s life in Cambridge and then in London, Scotland and Canada with the help of local historians, the resources of the Cambridge Collection, and a range of digital archive material. She found out much more than the Canadian authorities ever did, including the identity of Jessie’s father.

Fiona will also reveal how memorabilia she was fortunate to receive from Canada, including photographs and a birthday book, could be used as additional resources to build up the jigsaw of the life of an ordinary Cambridge woman who kept no diaries and about whom there were few formal records.

Fiona Chesterton lives in the Petersfield ward and came to Cambridge in 2015, having lived before that for the previous twenty-odd years in a small village near the Cambridgeshire/Northamptonshire border. She had a long career in television, having been a journalist, producer and commissioning editor for the BBC and Channel 4. She is now enjoying writing, having made several contributions to books and journals on media issues. ‘SECRETS NEVER TO BE TOLD’ her first full-length book was published by the Conrad Press in November 2021, copies will be available to buy on the night.

This talk will take place at Ross Street Community Centre. We ask for a suggested donation of £3 to cover our costs. Doors open at 7pm for a 7:30pm start.

Fiona Chesterton: https://www.fionachesterton.com
Mill Road History Society: https://millroadhistory.org.uk

Note this event was originally scheduled for 4 April but had to be cancelled and has now been rescheduled.

Cost: £3

Enquiries and booking

No need to book.


In person

All times

Tue 9 August 7:30PM - 9:00PM


Address: Ross Street Community Centre
Ross Street