2017 Festival Programme

Alan Johnson

In Conversation 22 September, 7:30pm

Alan Johnson's memoirs tell the story of his extraordinary journey from the slums of West London to the corridors of power with honesty, humour and a total lack of self-pity. The third volume, The Long and Winding Road, describes his time in government from 1997 to 2010...

Literary Music

Literary Music: Jane Austen’s Music 25 September, 7:30pm

2017 is the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s death, and who better to provide a fitting tribute than soprano Rosie Lomas and pianist Katarzyna Kowalik from Literary Music?

Professor Stephen Smith

Russia In Revolution 26 September, 7:30pm

Drawing on newly opened Russian archives and recent scholarship, Professor Stephen Smith pays particular attention to the impact of the Revolution on the groups that made up Russian society, from peasants and workers and the army to women and families and the Church...

Emma Harding

Writing The Waves – The Art Of The Radio Poem 28 September, 12:30pm

Join us on National Poetry Day for a talk by poet and BBC Radio producer, Emma Harding...

Juliet Barker

The Missing Bronte 29 September, 7:30pm

Juliet is the author of the prizewinning The Brontes and The Brontes: A Life in Letters, and was the curator and librarian at the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth from 1983 to 1989. She will offer new insights into the extraordinary Bronte family...

Michael Rosen

Schools Event 29 September,

What better way to celebrate the opening of a long awaited new school building than the visit of the distinguished Children’s Laureate (2007 – 2009), poet, writer, broadcaster and Professor of Children’s Literature, Michael Rosen?

Sinclair McKay

The Mile End Murder 30 September, 2:30pm

We are whetting your appetite for this year’s Literary Tea by enticing you into the thrillingly murky world of true crime with bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bletchley Park and The Spies of Winter...

David Crystal

Making Sense 2 October, 7:30pm

Professor David Crystal makes a welcome return to the festival to champion the cause of English grammar...

Gloria Hunniford

Gloria Hunniford: My life 3 October, 12:30pm

Gloria Hunniford will discuss her new book, My Life.

Patricia Lovett

The Art And History Of Calligraphy 4 October, 7:30pm

Patricia Lovett has written extensively on calligraphy and illumination, and will be talking about her latest book, The Art and History of Calligraphy...

Mick Herron

In Conversation with Jake Kerridge 5 October, 7:30pm

Mick Herron’s award-winning Jackson Lamb series of spy thrillers has been acclaimed by critics and fellow writers alike. If you have not yet discovered them, you are in for a treat...

Hilary Spurling

Anthony Powell: His Life And Loves 6 October, 7:30pm

Hilary is one of the UK’s most outstanding biographers, and her compelling biographies are full of extraordinary insights into human lives...

Laura Barnett & Kathryn Williams

An Evening with... 7 October, 7:30pm

We close the festival with a very special evening with Laura Barnett, bestselling author of The Versions of Us, and Mercury-nominated singer Kathryn Williams...