Entries by James Holland

Spitfire MH434 Starring at Festival

The sight of a Spitfire flying anywhere in the world is something to be relished, but there can be few better backdrops than the beautiful chalk downs of south-west Wiltshire, home to the Chalke Valley History Festival.  And while there are now around fifty of these amazing aircraft still flying around the world, there is […]

Neil Oliver Confirms

Good news – Neil Oliver, one of our most popular TV historians, has confirmed that he’ll be joining us at the 2013 Festival.  The presenter of Coast, Ancient Britain, and most recently, The Vikings, Neil is an inspirational and hugely passionate historian and archaeologist, so it will be wonderful to have him with us.  He’ll […]

Haydn Gwynne & Tom Bradby to Help With History Prize

Exciting news!  Actress Haydn Gwynne and political broadcaster and historical novelist Tom Bradby have agreed to come to the Festival on Sunday 1st July to read excerpts from the finalists’ entries for the Chalke Valley History Prize. Neither need much introduction.  Haydn Gwynne has been a hugely regarded and popular actor, having starred in a […]

My Greatest Briton – Peter Caddick-Adams

We’ve asked one of our patrons, Dr Peter Caddick-Adams, to choose his Greatest Briton. From our list of thirty, who would you would like to see in the Top Five debated at this year’s Festival? Everybody has heard of William the Conqueror, though few recall he was known before the Conquest as William the Bastard. […]

Images for the programme: The Odyssey

“One of the very brightest History stars, Tom Holland will be bringing Homer to life for an event principally aimed at kids. I’ll be going, naturally, as it’s a tale that never gets stale in the telling, and if you’ve read In The Shadow Of The Sword, or Persian Fire, Tom’s first book, you’ll realise […]

Images for the programme: Georgian babe

” This is an illustration to accompany the talk by Amanda Vickery and Stella Tillyard on Georgian women called Dangerous Liaisons. I saw Professor Vickery last year and I’m looking forward to this talk, She brings up to date these strange, distant times, and crudely, I’ve tried to do the same…”

Images for the programme: Berlin Games 1936

“Bit obvious, I know, the shadow of the fantastic Jesse Owens, too fast to catch, obliterating the souvenir medal as he goes for one his four Golds…” This is to illustrate a talk by Guy Walters in the John Aubrey Tent on the opening Tuesday. I haven’t read the synopsis, and rather jumped the gun, […]

Images for the programme: The Crusades

  “I want to make the pages in the programme as different from each other as possible. So, I’m attempting to use photography as well as illustration in as many styles as possible. Having already given the image of the Festival a unique twist – important to attract the casual browser in Waterstones, or wherever […]

Images for the programme: Greece: War and Turmoil in the 20th Century

“That caption should read, ‘…after an idea by Peter Brookes.’ I really wanted to avoid anything classical looking for Victoria Hislop’s Friday night event, that would collide with Tom’s talks, especially something wretchedly hack, like the Acropolis with a few flames behind it and then maybe putting graffitti on it. Like you’d expect to see […]