The eternal themes of literature, love and loss, time and place, humour and imagination, faith and identity, belonging and conflict are explored in Chapter and Verse: 1,000 Years of English Literature at the Pearson Gallery of Living Words, British Library, Euston Road, London WC1 until October 15. Exhibits include: the earliest manuscript of Beowulf and works by Shakespeare, the Bront s, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Seamus Heaney. For children there is a special display encompassing King Arthur, Winnie the Pooh, Lewis Carroll's Alice, J K Rowling's Harry Potter and much more.

Free admission, workshops, teachers' pack and preparatory visits for schools plus website projects at Related events include: Barbara Leigh-Hunt and Richard Pasco in Thomas Hardy: the man and the poet, June 4, 3-4.30pm; "Love and Laughter: Poems on the Underground", featuring Gerard Benson, Cicely Herbert, Valerie Bloom and Roger McGough, June 13, 6.15-7.15pm; and Peter Hamilton Dyer's performance of John Milton's Samson Agonistes, June 20, 6.15-7.15pm. Tickets range from pound;3.50-pound;7.50. Tel: 020 7412 7797 West End Words, a verbal arts festival organised by Mythstories Museum of Myth and Fable, is spilling out into the streets of Shrewsbury's West End, May 27-June 2. Events include: Off Road Odes, the second Poetry Olympics, Dr Poetry's Prescriptions, Shrewsbury's first 100 stor(e)y building, Librarians on the Loose and Muse in the Museum.Tel: 01743 357140E-mail:

Chester Literature Society is running a year-long celebration of literature. Events for adults include: David Edwards's illustrated talk on the geology, history and wildlife of the Grand Canyon, June 13, 7.30pm, County Hall; "Words around the wrld: books and the Internet", free drop-in session, June 24, 2-4pm, Chester Library; and "Lonely Planet Unpacked" by Lonely Planet author Nick Ray, an illustrated talk revealing the reality of life on the road, June 29, 7pm, County Hall. Tickets: pound;5, pound;4 concessions from the festival box office, 8 Abbey Square, Chester CH1 2HU.Tel: 01244 341200320700.

Whose Land Is It Anyway? is being performed at six National Trust properties by Stepping Stones Theatre in Education, a group of recently-graduated drama students. It casts pupils as journalists exploring a countryside property in search of a story and encountering such characters as an eco-warrior, a rambler, a framer, an archaeologist and a day-tripper. Pupils make decisions about whose point of view they support before conducting interviews and writing articles. Venues include: Clent Hills, Worcestershire, week beginning June 19; Calke Abbey, Derbyshire, week beginning June 26; and Formby, near Liverpool, week beginning July 3. National Trust, Tel: 020 8315

Penelope Lively, Anita Desai, Malcolm Bradbury, David Lodge, Ben Okri and D M Thomas are among the authors participating in the Ways with Words Literature Festival at Dartington Hall, Devon, July 7-17. Also talks by politicians Ann Widdecombe, Roy Hattersley, Norman Lamont and Douglas Hurd and by Harriet Walter on acting, Kate Adie on the media and Michael Brunson on life at ITN News. A five-day package, including full or half-board accommodation and a Rover ticket for entrance to the main events, starts at pound;273; individual events pound;6; day tickets pound;20-pound;35. Ways with Words Festival Box Office, Droridge Farm, Dartington, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6JQ.Tel: 01803 867373.

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