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Cliveden Literary Festival

Simon Sebag Montefiore at Cliveden Literary Festival.

Cliveden Literary Festival runs from 30 September – 1 October at Cliveden House, Berkshire and tickets are now on sale. Photos courtesy of Cliveden Literary Festival.

Taking place at the historic Cliveden House in Berkshire, this year’s festival features the leading writers and thinkers of today, with speakers including Zadie Smith, Tom Holland, Mary Beard, Maggie O’Farrell, Peter Frankopan and Marlon James.

Described last year by Succession’s Brian Cox as ‘[an] extraordinary environment … I can’t think of anything more perfect’ and author Robert Harris as ‘beautiful … like a rolling intellectual house party to which everyone is invited’, the Cliveden Literary Festival is renowned as a forum for lively discussion, thought-provoking ideas, and political debate.

William Boyd and Sam Leith at Cliveden Literary Festival.

Now in its seventh year, the festival revives Cliveden House’s rich history as a literary salon frequented by writers and thinkers from Alexander Pope to Alfred Lord Tennyson, George Bernard Shaw, Jonathan Swift and Sir Winston Churchill.

The full programme of the Literary Festival is detailed on their website. It includes almost 60 distinguished writers and historians talking on a host of fascinating topics ranging from an explanation of their literary craft to modern espionage. Between the talks and panel discussions, there's the unique setting of Cliveden gardens and the house itself to enjoy.

The gardens are a delight – 376 acres of park and woodland 100 acres of which are formal gardens. A 6-acre Parterre with 30,000 plants and bulbs; Japanese water gardens, a rose garden, beautiful structures, statues and fountains. While the architecture and interiors are matched only by the palpable sense of history that infuses its walls: for over 350 years the house has been dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure, power and politics. Built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham as a gift to his mistress, Cliveden from its first incarnation was a site of intrigue and glamour. And so it remains.

Take time out to enjoy the spectacular gardens at Cliveden.

Cliveden Literary Festival is run by a committee of writers and historians:

Lord Andrew Roberts is President of the committee. He has written over 20 books, many of which have won prestigious literary awards. Lord Roberts is a distinguished member of various important literary societies including a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Historical Society.

Natalie Livingstone began her career as a feature writer at the Daily Express and now contributes to Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar, US Vogue, Elle, The Times and The Mail on Sunday. Her first book was the Sunday Times bestseller, The Mistresses of Cliveden which tells the story of five extraordinary women and this remarkable house.

Catherine Ostler is Vice Chairman of the committee. She is also the author of The Duchess Countess which was selected as Book of the Year in the Times & Sunday Times, The Telegraph, the Spectator, Vogue and History Today magazine.

Simon Sebag Montefiore is Vice Chairman of the committee he is a bestselling historian and novelist whose books are published in 48 languages. He has won many prestigious prizes for his fiction and history.

A sell-out success every year, tickets can be booked on the Cliveden Literary Festival website.


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