Thursday 11th October
Creativity and Solitude
Terry Waite CBE
During his visit to the Festival Terry Waite will make specific reference to two of his latest books: the first Out of the Silence is a collection of poems...
Churchill at the Gallop
Brough Scott MBE
Everyone thinks they know about Winston Churchill but few realise that horses were a part of his life from the very beginning and one of the defining elements of...
Adapted is the unabridged autobiography of writer Josh Barry and his constant struggle with his own identity as a result of having Cerebral Palsy due to complications at his...
The Kid on Slapton Beach
Felicity Fair Thompson
War is hard enough when your dad is missing in action, and even harder when you have to leave everything you know and love. Twelve year-old Harry is one...
A Harrowing Journey
It was at the height of the Somali Piracy. The Middle East was in chaos…the “Arab Spring”. My husband and I, an ordinary retired couple, who had taken the perhaps...
Culver Cliff and the Isle of Wight at War
For a brief moment in time this place was amongst the most important and most secret places on the entire south coast of England. It was guarded by huge guns, set...
The Wight Connections
John Hannam who was born on the Island has interviewed five thousand people during his 44 year career. These include movie stars, pop music legends, royalty, a prime minister,...
Tchaikovsky: The Man Revealed
In this exceptional talk John reveals the man behind the 1812 Overture, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. The complex and contradictory character, the sadness and emotional turmoil Tchaikovsky suffered,...
Friday 12th October
The Bounder: The Riotous True-Life Adventures of a Bon Viveur
This merry memoir tells how the author has lurched through a life full of friendship, laughter and bad behaviour. He has bonded with some of the most famous names...
The Scarlet Nightingale
Set in wartime London and occupied France, this is a thrilling story of love, danger and sacrifice from bestselling author Alan Titchmarsh. It tells the story of seventeen-year-old Rosamund...
The Uncommon Prison of Henry V Henry
In his debut crime fiction, The Uncommon Prison of Henry V Henry, Simon Bullivant tells the story of a man’s transformation from a marginalised, almost invisible human being, who...
Reflections on a Troubled World
General The Lord Richards of Herstmonceux GCB CBE DSO DL, Chief of the Defence Staff 2010-2013
General the Lord Richards was Chief of the Defence Staff from 2010-2013 and a member of Prime Minister David Cameron’s National Security Council as well as the government’s military...
In Hitchcock’s Heroines, Caroline Young explores the legacy of Alfred Hitchcock’s leading ladies – their iconic roles, unforgettable costumes, and complicated relationships with the man behind the camera. From...
I’m Champion Call Me Bob
In 1981 Bob Champion and Aldaniti amazed the world with their dual comeback story. A man with testicular cancer given eight months to live and a lame horse ready...
M: Maxwell Knight, MI5’s Greatest Spymaster
A gripping talk about two remarkable female spies and the man who ran them: an animal-loving drop-out who went on to become MI5’s greatest spymaster. Based on Henry Hemming’s...
From Business to Politics to Writing
Mark Price spent over three decades working for the John Lewis Partnership culminating in running Waitrose for a decade and concurrently three years as the Partnership’s Deputy Chairman. He...
Finding Eden: A Journey Into the Heart of Borneo
Forty years ago the interior of Borneo was a pristine, virgin rainforest inhabited by uncontacted indigenous tribes and virtually tame wildlife. It was into this ‘Garden of Eden’ that...
Money in the Morgue
Stella Duffy has written 16 novels – crime, literary and historical, over 65 short stories, written and devised 15 plays. She is also a theatremaker and the co-founder and...
Over the past 45 years, as foreign correspondent in Moscow for The Sunday Times and the BBC and as translator of Tolstoy, Angus Roxburgh has seen first-hand the crazy,...
Not to be missed, the Fizz Quiz offers you and your team the opportunity to pit your wits against other festival goers in the Festival’s quirky quiz that ranges...
Saturday 13th October
One Wild Song: A Voyage in a Lost Son’s Wake
Paul Heiney set sail for Cape Horn, one of the bleakest and most dangerous places on earth. He was to experience the changing moods of the Atlantic Ocean, the...
The Making of an Immigration Judge
As the western world struggles to cope with the influx of immigrants fleeing tyranny and war, The Making of an Immigration Judge cuts through the hysteria of the headlines...
25 Years of Chelsea
Rosy and Rob Hardy
A potted history of Hardy’s and the lead up to successful RHS Chelsea Flower Show medals, how we ended up doing a RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden which then...
Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities
Cancelled All tickets will be refunded in due course. Istanbul has always been a place where stories and histories collide and crackle, where narrative and perception is as potent...
Caroline Sheldon and Emma Oulton
Leading literary agent Caroline Sheldon and top social media publishing publicist Emma Oulton will take you inside the modern publishing industry. Caroline will offer her top ten tips for...
The Dark Angel
Join bestselling crime writer Elly Griffiths as she talks through her career and influences. A wonderfully engaging speaker Elly will discuss how she got her pen-name Elly Griffiths, her...
The Shipwreck Hunter
David Mearns has discovered some of the world’s most fascinating and elusive shipwrecks. From the mighty battlecruiser HMS Hood to the crumbling wooden skeletons of Vasco da Gama’s 16th...
Too Many Pills
James Le Fanu
The number of prescriptions issued by family doctors has soared threefold in just fifteen years with millions now committed to taking a cocktail of half a dozen (or more)...
The Digital Ape: How to Live (in Peace) with Smart Machines
Sir Nigel Shadbolt
The smart-machines revolution is re-shaping our lives and our societies. Sir Nigel Shadbolt (one of Britain’s leading authorities on artificial intelligence) dispels terror, confusion, and misconception. We are not...
Among Bohemian Women: Lesley Blanch
Georgia de Chamberet
Lesley Blanch MBE was born in London in 1904. She spent the greater part of her life travelling to Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East. A bold and...
Happy as Harry
Happy as Harry is a guide to human happiness as narrated by a wise and always happy dog called Harry. A lighthearted book that deals with serious matters, author...
The King’s Witch: James I and the Gunpowder Plot
In this talk, inspired by her debut novel, Tracy will take us into the turbulent world of the early Stuart court, where King James I waged a war on...
Fragile Lives: A Heart Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table
Fragile Lives is an incredible and award winning memoir from one of the world’s most eminent heart surgeons. In his 35 year career, Professor Stephen Westaby took chances and...
From Blenheim to Chartwell
Event cancelled. From Blenheim to Chartwell is a biography of Winston Churchill through the houses he lived in and the gardens he made. It culminates with the full story...
In her Forgotten Women series of books, Zing Tsjeng re-discovers the lost histories of influential women who have surmounted obstacles of life and times to shape the course of...
Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen
EVENT CANCELLED Eleven days after the bloody death of the Queen, Jane Seymour is dressing for her wedding to Henry VIII. She knows she must bear a son –...
War Stories: Gripping Tales of Courage, Cunning and Compassion
Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan
War Stories is a fascinating account of ordinary men and women swept up in the turbulence of war. These are their stories–many untold until now–of 28 individuals and three...
The Orchid Hunter
On one of the strangest pre-university gap years you’ve ever heard of, Leif Bersweden spent the summer of 2013 hunting down all 52 species of wild orchid native to...
Gardening Panel: Any Questions?
Rosy and Rob Hardy and Victoria Summerley
Trouble with pests? Looking for the perfect plant for that tricky location? Join our knowledgeable panel, with well known gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh, multi gold medal winners plantsmen Rosy...
We Were Warriors
Johnny Mercer MP
Johnny talks about his journey from a troubled childhood, through to his reasons for joining the Army, finding his feet in the military and then finding his way from...
Vesna Goldsworthy will talk about and read from Monsieur Ka, recently named one of the Times best new novels for 2018. The Guardian described this “deft continuation of Anna...
From Concept to TV Series
Dominic Minghella leads us on a journey from the initial concept to the final production of a successful TV series with amusing behind the scenes anecdotes and stories. Amongst...
The Husband Hunters: Social Climbing in London and New York
Anne de Courcy
Towards the end of the 19th century and the first few years of the 20th Britain, the citadel of power, privilege and breeding was breached. The incomers were a...
Harry: Conversations With the Prince
Angela Levin had the privilege of following Prince Harry on his royal duties for a year, at the end of which she had private and exclusive conversations with him...
This inventive historical novel gives a gripping account of real Cold War espionage from a new perspective. An unassuming Communist and UN diplomat turned Cold War spy stands on...
Confessions of a Political Maverick
Austin Mitchell is a political maverick. For 38 years he was a fly in the parliamentary ointment, a recurring itch on the body politic. A maverick may annoy the...
The Truth Game
As a teenager Vanessa Nicolson plays a game with her father: they take turns to ask a question and the other must answer truthfully. One day Vanessa asks: ‘Apart...
Primate Change: How the World We Made is Remaking Us
Come join Vybarr Cregan-Reid for a whistle stop tour of the modern body looking at how the environment we have made is changing us all, inside and out. From the...
Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low Wage Britain
We all define ourselves by our profession. But what if our job was demeaning, poorly paid, and tedious? Cracking open Britain’s divisions journalist James Bloodworth spent six months living...
Going Further Cabaret
Oxford in the ’60s was one thing: rock ‘n’ roll another. Playing the lead role in Hair!, creating (and losing) Rock Bottom, the first ever all-girl rock band, ought to...
Sunday 14th October
The Secret Gardeners
Award-winning journalist and author Victoria Summerley will be talking about her latest book, The Secret Gardeners – a best-seller on both sides of the Atlantic – which offers an exclusive glimpse over the...
The Sealwoman’s Gift
Set in Iceland and Algiers in the 17th century the debut novel by Sally Magnusson re-imagines the true story of a pirate raid on one of the tiny Westman...
No one is better placed to write an of-the-moment satirical thriller than Stanley Johnson, former MEP, a passionate environmentalist and an author with a clutch of thrillers under his...
Unsung Heroes…and a Few Villains
Algy Cluff OBE, will be talking about, and from, his most recent book, Unsung Heroes….and a Few Villains, in which he brings to life an array of characters whom he has...
Join Ann Cleeves, the international bestselling author of BBC One’s Shetland and ITV’s Vera, to discuss the final book in her Jimmy Perez series: Wild Fire. The Shetland series has...
People Like Us: Margaret Thatcher and Me
The first ever female private secretary to any British Prime Minister, Caroline Slocock was at Margaret Thatcher’s side for the final eighteen months of her premiership. A left-wing feminist,...
Confessions of a Publisher: It Needn’t Be Like This but Somehow It Is
Ian Macpherson 3rd Baron Strathcarron
Ever wondered what goes on behind the closed doors and padded cells in a publisher’s headquarters? Unicorn Publishing Group’s Chairman Lord Strathcarron takes you inside the sanctum. Told alphabetically as a...
Queen of the World
As well as being the most famous woman in the world, Elizabeth II is also one of the most respected world leaders of our age. It’s not just about...
The Deadly Trade: The Complete History of Submarine Warfare from Archimedes to the Present
The Deadly Trade is a comprehensive account of the history of submarine warfare by the acclaimed naval writer Iain Ballantyne. Considered ineffectual and originally derided and loathed in equal...
Art for the Workers: Propaganda and Art in Bolshevik Russia
Dr Natalia Murray
Art for the Workers explores the mythology and reality of proletarian art from the first school for Russian workers on the island of Capri to post-revolutionary Petrograd. Specifically, this talk will be...
In the Wake of Heroes
Tom Cunliffe’s book In the Wake of Heroes is a celebration of the best in nautical literature. In the talk he traces something of his own genesis as a...
Emily Wilding Davison: The Martyr Suffragette
Emily Wilding Davison was the most famous suffragette to die in the battle for women’s rights after she rushed onto the Epsom racecourse in 1913 and collided with the...
Fighters and Quitters: Great Political Resignations
They say the first rule of politics is never to resign. But in recent decades Britain’s politicians have all too often failed – or refused – to cling on....
Politics Panel: Any Questions?
Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, Austin Mitchell, Bob Seely MP and Julian Critchley
Untangling and making sense of the issues of the day, this year’s political panel includes maverick Labour former MP Austin Mitchell, the Conservative MP the Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell,...