The Althorp Literary Festival

One of the English summer’s great events

The 13th Althorp Literary Festival will be taking place on Thursday 9th June – Sunday 12th June, 2016

Thank you to everyone that came to the 12th Althorp Literary Festival, making it our biggest and most successful Festival, to date.

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A unique celebration of the written word that takes place against the backdrop of one of England’s most beautiful, private, historic houses

Althorp House and the Palladian proportions of its honey-coloured, ironstone stables provide the most magnificent setting for the annual Althorp Literary Festival. It is hard to think of a more perfect or authentic venue – for literature is central to the story of Althorp.

George John, the 2nd Earl Spencer, amassed one of the greatest private libraries of Europe. By the time of his death in 1834, 43,000 volumes of priceless first editions sprawled through the house’s grandest rooms. Cut to today, and Althorp’s strong connection with literature remains very much alive, for the current Earl, Charles Spencer, is an acclaimed, bestselling, historian.

It is fair to say that, at Althorp, the story of the house is the story of a family – the Spencers; and that one of the driving passions of the Spencers has always been the enjoyment of books.

In its first twelve years, the Festival has been privileged to host over 300 authors who are stimulating leaders in their field, including internationally acclaimed actors, politicians, historians, novelists, and comedians.

Previous speakers include:

  • Bill Bryson
  • Boris Johnson
  • Michael Palin
  • Twiggy
  • Darcey Bussell
  • Sophie Dahl
  • Jeremy Paxman
  • Ann Widdecombe
  • Alastair Campbell
  • Helen Fielding
  • Clare Balding
  • Lord Fellowes of West Stafford
  • Antony Beevor
  • Andrew Roberts
  • Alan Titchmarsh
  • Lady Antonia Fraser