Are you heading to St John’s for Tynwald Day?

Hopefully the sun will shine on the Manx national day and everyone - politicians, visitors and onlookers - will be able to savour a special day in the Isle of Man calendar.

We have a stand at the fair this year, please pop in and say hello!

Tynwald Day is good day for pomp and ceremony. Although the main purpose for Tynwald Day may be political, it is as much a celebration of Manx life and is steeped in history.

Perhaps it is down to the political jousting that sometimes goes on in Tynwald, but one of the first thoughts that came to mind for us, when thinking of a literary equivalent, was the tournament in Sir Walter Scott’s classic adventure, Ivanhoe.

Dating back almost as far as Tynwald itself, the novel is set in medieval times, although there are some suggestions of literary licence being used to introduce anachronisms.

It’s a rip-roaring read, with the jousting tournament central to events (not to mention a fairly significant appearance by Robin Hood!)

If it’s political and social intrigue you’re after, and you don’t get enough following Tynwald, then you need to go no further than dig out the Hall Caine blockbuster The Manxman.

In his day, Caine was one of the best-known writers in the world and his work is enjoying a resurgence, as a wider audience recognises its value.

The Manxman is his famous novel (later turned into a film by Alfred Hitchcock) and is a real page-turner.

It could be argued it is the equivalent of the soap operas we watch today, although we’d say it’s a very much superior version!

Politics has always been a rich mine of storylines for authors.

On one level, many of the events in the Harry Potter books are guided by politics - not to mention the fact that J.K. Rowling herself, is overtly political.

The Ghost, by Robert Harris, takes an interesting slant, when a biographer finds himself entangled in a web of intrigue and scandal when all he thought he was going to be doing was ghost-writing a former prime-minister’s autobiography.

The original House of Cards television series was based on a novel by Michael Dobbs.

It spawned two more series in the UK and a later US adaptation that has also proven to be a smash hit.

It’s supposed to be fiction. You may think that, we could not possibly comment!

All the authors and titles mentioned are available from the Family and the Mobile library.

by Paul Speller

Twitter: @norbertsdad