The 12th Althorp Literary Festival will take place on Wednesday 10th, Thursday 11th, Friday 12th and Saturday 13th June 2015 at Althorp House, Northamptonshire, NN7 4HQ.

This is the first time that it has run over four, as opposed to two or three, days.

This year’s exceptional line-up includes former fashion model, and author, Sophie Dahl; one of Britain’s leading broadcasters, Clare Balding; the playwright and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Sir Tom Stoppard, OM; and the former prima ballerina, and judge on Strictly Come Dancing, Darcey Bussell, CBE.

They join a stellar array of talent that includes: Downton Abbey creator Lord Fellowes of West Stafford; former MP Louise Mensch, leading Labour MP Alan Johnson, ‘the master of women’s fiction’ – Marian Keyes, media personality Gyles Brandreth, TV host, gardening expert and novelist Alan Titchmarsh, explorer and historian Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, leading historians Antony Beevor, Lady Antonia Fraser, Bettany Hughes, Helen Castor, Dan Jones, and Andrew Roberts, Sharpe-creator and historian Bernard Cornwell, former EastEnders star Pam St Clements, BBC Radio 4 presenter, and former member of the pop group The Communards, the Rev. Richard Coles, candid newspaper columnists Rachel Johnson and Bryony Gordon, horseracing trainer Nicky Henderson, and former NATO chief General Lord (David) Richards. Charles (9th Earl) Spencer – the festival’s host – will talk on Killers of the King – the no. 2 bestseller in the UK in History, for 2014, recently released in paperback on May 21st.

The Althorp Literary Festival, sponsored principally by Christie’s, is a unique celebration of Literature. In its first eleven years, the Festival has been privileged to host 300 novelists, historians, comedians, actors, politicians, sportsmen and television personalities, including Bill Bryson, Boris Johnson, Alastair Campbell, Jung Chang, Julian Clary, Sebastian Faulks, Helen Fielding, Michael Palin, David Starkey, and Twiggy. This year’s line-up will build on the success of the Festival’s first decade.

“We’ve had some great line-ups at the Althorp Literary Festival over the years – but this is the best, yet. It’s been really very exciting to assemble such an eclectic mix of fascinating speakers. I can’t wait to see how they light up Althorp in June – there are a lot of feisty characters on that list, and not too many shrinking violets. It should be a lot of fun.” Charles, 9th Earl Spencer.

The festival begins on Wednesday afternoon, with an opening talk by Clare Balding. There are at least eleven talks on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with something to suit all interests, as well as a number of fringe events to enjoy over the course of the Festival.