Building on the success of Festivals past, the 13th Althorp Literary Festival promises to once again be an intimate yet impressive event, with sessions from renowned historians, novelists, comedians, politicians, sportsmen, screenwriters, biographers and broadcasters.

For further information on each of our speakers at this year’s Festival, and to learn more about their sessions, please see below.

Thursday 30th June 2016

Conn Iggulden

Conn Iggulden

Ravenspur

5/26/16 12:30 pm - 5/26/16 1:30 pm

Following the Sunday Times bestsellers Stormbird, Trinity and Bloodline, Ravenspur is the fourth book in Conn Iggulden’s superb series, set during the Wars of the Roses, a remarkable period of British history. As one of the most successful [...]
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John Suchet

John Suchet

The Last Waltz

4/4/16 12:30 pm - 4/4/16 1:30 pm

Author and former newscaster John Suchet tells the intriguing story of the Strauss dynasty, and the tensions, jealousy and rivalries that almost destroyed its members. Set against the turbulence of 19th century Vienna, where the citizens drank [...]
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Suzannah Lipscomb

Suzannah Lipscomb

The King is Dead

4/4/16 2:00 pm - 4/4/16 3:00 pm

The King is Dead by Suzannah Lipscomb is a beautifully written account of the creation, impact and legacy of one of the most important records of the Tudor period – the last will and testament of Henry VIII. Historians have often disagreed over [...]
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A. C. Grayling

A. C. Grayling

The Age of Genius

4/4/16 4:00 pm - 4/4/16 5:00 pm

Renowned philosophy professor A. C. Grayling is the author of over thirty works, including The Good Book and The Challenge of Things. Founder and Master of the New College of the Humanities, in London, Grayling believes that philosophy should [...]
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Simon Hughes

Simon Hughes

Who Wants to be a Batsman?

5/26/16 5:30 pm - 5/26/16 6:30 pm

Simon Hughes is known in the cricket world as ‘The Analyst’, thanks to his thoughtful approach to dissecting the game on TV and radio, and in print. He is currently to be seen on Channel 5’s big match highlights, heard on BBC Test Match Special [...]
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Paul Gambaccini

Paul Gambaccini

Love, Paul Gambaccini

4/11/16 5:30 pm - 4/11/16 6:30 pm

Paul Gambaccini chose to live in Great Britain, arriving here at 21 from his home in the United States after winning a scholarship to Oxford. He went on to have a hugely successful career, primarily as a radio presenter. Then, in October 2013, [...]
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Henrietta Knight

Henrietta Knight

Not Enough Time

4/4/16 7:00 pm - 4/4/16 8:00 pm

Not Enough Time tells the romantic and rollercoaster story of the great love between racehorse trainers Henrietta Knight and Terry Biddlecombe. It is a tale of triumph and tragedy in equal measures, as together the married couple trained the [...]
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Friday 1st July 2016

Jack Cooke

Jack Cooke

The Tree Climber's Guide

4/4/16 10:00 am - 4/4/16 11:00 am

Part guidebook, part meditation on the consolations of nature, The Tree Climber’s Guide is a heartfelt appreciation for the natural world. In this charming, witty and exquisitely illustrated companion, Jack Cooke explores the secret city in the [...]
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Father Michael Collins

Father Michael Collins

Pope Francis: A Photographic Portrait of the People's Pope

4/4/16 11:30 am - 4/4/16 12:30 pm

Father Michael Collins is a native of Glenageary in south County Dublin, and currently serves St Mary’s Church in the Irish capital. Having studied Theology at the diocesan seminary of Holy Cross, Father Collins was ordained and served in two [...]
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The Duchess of Rutland

The Duchess of Rutland

Capability Brown and Belvoir: Discovering a Lost Landscape

4/4/16 11:30 am - 4/4/16 12:30 pm

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown changed the face of 18th-century England. He created landscapes with fresh hills, serpentine rivers, and expansive lakes that beautifully interact with the country estates and mansions for which they were made. In the [...]
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Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe

Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body

4/4/16 1:00 pm - 4/4/16 2:00 pm

Comedian and Guardian columnist Sara Pascoe has appeared on television shows such as Mock the Week, QI, Room 101, and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and has acted in Twenty Twelve and The Thick of It. In this, her first book, Sara combines [...]
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Charles Spencer

Charles Spencer

The Art of Queenship

5/26/16 1:00 pm - 5/26/16 2:00 pm

To mark HM the Queen’s 90th birthday, Charles Spencer will take us on an entertaining journey through the 2,000 year-old history of England’s queens, from Boadicea to 1952.
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Harry Parker

Harry Parker

The Anatomy of a Soldier

4/4/16 2:30 pm - 4/4/16 3:30 pm

Anatomy of a Soldier is a moving, enlightening and dramatic tale of one man’s journey of survival, and the experiences of those around him. In the words of Hilary Mantel: “It is a novel of concentrated ferocity and chilling accomplishments, [...]
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Sir Richard Eyre

Sir Richard Eyre

What Do I Know?

4/4/16 2:30 pm - 4/4/16 3:30 pm

Sir Richard Eyre has had a brilliant career as a director of theatre, film, television and opera has led him to work with the greats, including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Arthur Miller and Sir Anthony Hopkins. What Do I Know? brings [...]
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James Naughtie

James Naughtie

Paris Spring

4/4/16 4:00 pm - 4/4/16 5:00 pm

James Naughtie is one of the best-known broadcasters in the UK. He presented Today on BBC Radio 4 for twenty-one years and is now a special correspondent for BBC News. Naughtie has written books on politics and music, and published his first [...]
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Justine Picardie

Justine Picardie

Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life

4/4/16 4:00 pm - 4/4/16 5:00 pm

Justine Picardie is the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country. She is also the author of five books including If the Spirit Moves You, which she wrote after her sister, Ruth, died of breast cancer at the age of 33; it [...]
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Saturday 2nd July 2016

Sir Richard Evans

Sir Richard Evans

Art and Architecture in Hitler's Third Reich

4/4/16 11:30 am - 4/4/16 12:30 pm

Sir Richard Evans, who was recently described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘the greatest living historian of the Third Reich’, is Regius Professor Emeritus of History and President of Wolfson College at Cambridge University. He has [...]
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Christine L. Corton

Christine L. Corton

London Fog: The Biography

4/21/16 11:30 am - 4/21/16 12:30 pm

This is the brilliantly original tale of the classic London fogs, thick yellow “pea-soupers” by Christine L. Corton, from the industrial age of the nineteenth century to the clean air legislation that ended them. These fogs were sometimes so [...]
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Mervyn King

Mervyn King

The End of Alchemy

4/4/16 1:00 pm - 4/4/16 2:00 pm

The past twenty years saw unprecedented growth and stability followed by the worst financial crisis the industrialised world has ever witnessed. What had been seen as the age of wisdom was suddenly viewed as the era of foolishness, and almost [...]
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Joan Bakewell

Joan Bakewell

Stop the Clocks

4/4/16 1:00 pm - 4/4/16 2:00 pm

Joan Bakewell has led a richly varied life: she has been a teacher, copywriter, studio manager, broadcaster, journalist, the government’s Voice of Older People and chair of the theatre company Shared Experience. She has written four radio plays, [...]
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David Lough

David Lough

No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money

4/4/16 2:30 pm - 4/4/16 3:30 pm

Shortlisted for the Longman-History Today Book Prize 2016, as well as a slew of other awards, No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money is the previously untold story of Winston Churchill’s precarious finances. The popular image of Churchill [...]
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Arne Maynard

Arne Maynard

The Gardens of Arne Maynard

4/2/16 2:30 pm - 4/2/16 3:30 pm

Arne Maynard is one of the UK’s most sought after and world-renowned garden designers. He is celebrated for his ability to create gardens with a particular sense of harmony and belonging, which encompass his love of craftsmanship and eye for [...]
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Loyd Grossman

Loyd Grossman

My Favourite Literary Pieces

4/11/16 4:00 pm - 4/11/16 5:00 pm

Loyd Grossman is a broadcaster, writer and entrepreneur. Born in Boston and educated at Boston University, the London School of Economics, and Cambridge, he is famous for TV classics like Through the Keyhole and Masterchef. Chairman of the [...]
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Charles FitzRoy

Charles FitzRoy

The Rape of Europa

4/4/16 4:00 pm - 4/4/16 5:00 pm

The Rape of Europa is one of Titian’s great masterpieces, a work charged with eroticism and classical mystique, behind which lies a tale as compelling as the painting itself. The story ranges from its place at the court of King Philip II of [...]
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Daisy Dunn

Daisy Dunn

Catullus' Bedspread and The Poems of Catullus

4/4/16 5:30 pm - 4/4/16 6:30 pm

Join classicist Daisy Dunn as she explores the world of Catullus, Rome’s most splendid and notorious ancient poet – an earthy romantic with a ready wit and sharp, cursing, tongue. Daisy Dunn read Classics at Oxford, before completing a [...]
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Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz

Literary Inspirations

5/17/16 5:30 pm - 5/17/16 6:30 pm

Anthony Horowitz is one of the most prolific and successful writers working in the UK, and is unique for triumphs across so many media, juggling writing books, TV series, films, plays and journalism. Anthony has written over 40 books including [...]
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Sunday 3rd July 2016

Jonathan Agnew

Jonathan Agnew

7/3/16 11:30 am - 7/3/16 12:30 pm

Now one of the regular voices on BBC’s Test Match Special, Jonathan first came to note as a seam bowler of genuine pace. In a first-class career, spent entirely with Leicestershire, Jonathan took more than 650 first class wickets, including a [...]
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Paula Byrne

Paula Byrne

Kick

4/4/16 10:00 am - 4/4/16 11:00 am

“Kick” was Joe Kennedy’s favourite child and Jack’s favourite sister. Spirited, vivacious and quick-witted, her charm was legendary and with her jokes, effervescence and ease of manner she became a star amongst friends, family and the press. She [...]
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Ed Halliwell

Ed Halliwell

Into the Heart of Mindfulness

4/4/16 10:00 am - 4/4/16 11:00 am

A one-time editor for FHM magazine, His (Ed Halliwell) life was plagued by anxiety and depression for much of his twenties and early thirties. Frantically looking for ways to understand and relieve his distress, he eventually stumbled on [...]
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Sir Jonathan Bate

Sir Jonathan Bate

The Genius of Shakespeare

4/4/16 11:30 am - 4/4/16 12:30 pm

Renowned scholar Sir Jonathan Bate is Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford and the author of many books including the award-winning John Clare: A Biography. It is as one of the leading Shakespearean scholars that we [...]
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Flora Fraser

Flora Fraser

George & Martha Washington: A Revolutionary Marriage

4/4/16 1:00 pm - 4/4/16 2:00 pm

George and Martha Washington were America’s original first couple. From the 1750s – when young soldier George wooed and wedded Martha Dandridge Custis, a pretty and rich young widow – to the forging of a new nation, Flora Fraser [...]
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Brian Blessed – SOLD OUT

Brian Blessed – SOLD OUT

Absolute Pandemonium

7/3/16 1:00 pm - 7/3/16 2:00 pm

There is no one quite like Brian Blessed. One of this country’s best known and most highly respected actors, he is also a trained undertaker, secret romantic, martial artist and mountaineer. Trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, his [...]
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Bill Bryson – SOLD OUT

Bill Bryson – SOLD OUT

The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes From a Small Island

4/22/16 2:30 pm - 4/22/16 3:30 pm

Twenty-one years ago, author Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and [...]
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Damian Collins, MP

Damian Collins, MP

Charmed Life: The Phenomenal World of Philip Sassoon

4/4/16 2:30 pm - 4/4/16 3:30 pm

Northampton-born politician Damian Collins, MP read Modern History at Oxford University and worked at the M&C Saatchi advertising agency before entering national politics as Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe. He is a member of the [...]
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Tom Bower

Tom Bower

Broken Vows: Tony Blair - The Tragedy of Power

4/4/16 4:00 pm - 4/4/16 5:00 pm

Former producer and reporter for the BBC, Tom Bower is the author of many biographies including Gordon Brown, Richard Branson and Conrad Black. Now an investigative historian, broadcaster and journalist, Bower’s latest book, Broken Vows [...]
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