The Secret Diaries

The 'gorgeous and humble' Mr Philip Ardagh!


On Sunday, I went to the Imagine Festival Festival at the South Bank Centre where my first event was to see Philip Ardagh discussing the latest of his secret diaries books, ‘The Secret Diary of Kitty Cask’. This is an excellent series of historical stories which mix humour and facts set in different periods of English history. The first three are very popular with my class- I have just had to buy replacement copies for the library- so I was very keen to hear from the man himself.


Philip started by explaining how he wrote these books for the National Trust and discussed the role of the NT in protecting the countryside, the coastline and special buildings across the country.


With lots of laughs and fun facts, the gorgeous and humble Mr Ardagh introduced Kitty Cask, her father and other characters from his new book. Despite the heat, he himself bravely donned the costume of a customs officer and dressed up various children from the audience to explore the life of a smuggler. This proved to be a very entertaining and hazardous experience even through the children were not allowed a real flintlock pistol or chains.


The event finished with a quiz about expressions commonly used in the eighteenth century. The whole session was pacy, extremely funny and very interesting. And Mr Ardagh was gorgeous and humble… well, that’s what he told me to say!

The Secret Diary of Kitty Cask Philip Ardagh, illustrated by Jamie Littler

Nosy Crow and the National Trust ISBN: 978-1788000574

You can read our review of John Drawbridge here, Jane Pinny here and Thomas Snoop here.