Tickets on sale for literary festival

Althorp House
Althorp House
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Tickets have gone on sale for the 13th Althorp Literary Festival taking place over four days later in the year.

The largest literary festival to date at the stately home from Thursday June 30 to Sunday July 3.

Brian Blessed

Brian Blessed

This year’s line-up includes Britain’s bestselling non-fiction author, Bill Bryson, screenwriter Andrew Davies – whose most recent triumph was War and Peace and established star of film and TV Brian Blessed.

Racehorse trainer Henrietta Knight, Today broadcaster James Naughtie as well as journalist, presenter and Labour peer Joan Bakewell will also appear.

Television personality and heritage campaigner Loyd Grossman, former Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King as well as comedian and columnist Sara Pascoe will talk about their lives and careers.

Completing the line up is historian and television presenter Suzannah Lipscomb, renowned director Sir Richard Eyre, popular Classic FM presenter John Suchet; cricket authority Simon Hughes, investigative journalist and biographer Tom Bower, veteran radio presenter Paul Gambaccini, author and biographer Paula Byrne and one of Britain’s greatest experts on Shakespeare, Sir Jonathan Bate.

Dame Joan Bakewell

Dame Joan Bakewell

The 13th Althorp Literary Festival line-up also features a number of terrific local authors including Sue Bentley, Christine L. Corton, Lord Charles FitzRoy and Damian Collins, MP.

The Althorp Literary Festival is a unique and intimate celebration of the written word. In its first twelve years, the Festival has been privileged to host over 300 novelists, historians, comedians, actors, politicians, sportsmen and television personalities, including Boris Johnson, Alastair Campbell, Jung Chang, Julian Fellowes, Clare Balding, Sebastian Faulks, Helen Fielding, Michael Palin, Darcey Bussell, Sir Tom Stoppard and Twiggy.

“I took as the theme of this year’s Althorp line-up ‘originality’ – only one of the speakers has been to any of my previous literary festivals – and that’s Bill Bryson. I have resisted the temptation to stick with past successes, and have gone for freshness and diversity. It’s a lip-smacking line-up,” said Charles, Ninth Earl Spencer.

There are at least nine talks taking place on each of the four days with something to suit all interests.

Complimentary fringe events include live music, poetry and performance art. There will also be pop-up shops, a variety of food and drink choices, and a spa service.

The Althorp Literary Festival is one of England’s great, summer, celebrations, and it takes place against the backdrop of one of the world’s most remarkable, private, historic homes.

Tickets to the 13th Althorp Literary Festival are on sale now and they cost £17.50 per session. Day tickets offer a large discount.

For more details or to book tickets visit www.spencerofalthorp.com or call 01604 770107.

The telephone booking lines will be open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.