SCHOOL pupils had a history lesson with a difference as an author dropped in for a chat.

Dominic Sandbrook, in town for the Bridport Literary Festival, visited St Mary’s Primary School and Colfox to talk to pupils about books and history.

It came as organisers of the festival - BridLit - celebrated 'the best year' in its 17 year history.

Mr Sandbrook's school visit was organised by the festival with the support of a grant from Bridport Town Council.

He is the author of eight books on modern history plus a new series of children’s books called Adventures in Time.

He talked to years 5 and 6 at St Mary’s about the wives of Henry VIII and the Second World War, both of which are on the school curriculum. He was introduced by Antonia Squire from The Book Shop, Bridport.

Joanna Jacobson from Bridport Literary Festival said: ‘Dominic is brilliant fun. His infectious enthusiasm for history and storytelling and his great sense of humour immediately got the kids on board.

Covid precautions meant that other primary schools didn’t attend the event as first planned. Instead, year 9 pupils from Bridport Primary and Burton Bradstock School logged in via Zoom to enjoy an event in the sixth form study centre at Colfox.

Mr Sandbrook was interviewed by a panel of sixth formers about his books on the First and Second World Wars.

Said Joanna: "There were interesting questions about the process of writing and writing history, and then questions from the floor, both from students in the room and via Zoom, covering weaponry to diseases in the trenches."

Literary Festival organisers hope the event will set a precedent for authors coming into schools every year and eventually include all schools in live events.