Festival Launch Date: 15th March 2012

The exciting news is that we will be launching this year’s Festival at Waterstones, Piccadilly, in London, at 10.30am on Thursday, 15th March.  We’ve got two of our patrons coming, Countess Rothermere and Antony Beevor, and the Secretary of State for Education, the Rt. Hon. Michael Gove, who is one of the judges of the inaugural Chalke Valley History Prize – more of which in another blog.

Anyway, after a long few months, we now finally have our programme – not quite 100% set in stone, but I’d say 96%.  It’s a pretty stellar line-up, I have to say…

Dan Snow and Georgian Night

We were talking to Dan Snow this morning about his first appearance at the Chalke Valley Festival.  Dan is coming on Wednesday 27th June, as part of our Georgian Night double-bill.

We reckon the double-bill format works well: people come and hear one talk, then everyone pauses for supper, and then return for the second part of the evening.  Dan is teaming up with the legendary and brilliant Professor Jeremy Black, Professor of History at Exeter University, to discuss the rise of Britain in the 18th Century.  Entitled ‘Death or Victory – The Rise of British Global Power,’ Dan and Prof Black will analysing why such a small island nation like Britain suddenly emerged as a global superpower.  ‘Really, it’s remarkable,’ said Dan, ‘and the rise was pretty rapid.  I’m fascinated by that.’

It should be an equally fascinating discussion.  There are few historians so adept at conveying their passion for the subject as these two, and the 18th Century is a specialist period for both.