2015 Festival dates announced

We are delighted to announce that next year’s Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival will be Monday 22nd – Sunday 28th June 2015 in the same location.

We thank all those who have given feedback we are very interested to hear your views.
We have some amazing plans for 2015 to make it even better than last year.

Sign up to our mailing list here to be kept informed of more announcements and do call by our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages for news, views and happenings as we work towards the next Festival.

We look forward to seeing you next June.

The Festival Team

BBC Radio 4’s Making History Calling All Festival Goers!

Radio 4 Making History: Historians’ Question Time


Calling all history buffs!

What makes a leader great?  What role should history play in shaping our identity?  What have the Romans ever done for us?  Where does history stop and journalism begin? 

Radio 4’s Making History will be running a special FREE event in the BBC Tent at the Chalke Valley History Festival.

At 6.45 pm on Saturday 29 June, Helen Castor will be in the chair for a historical Question Time.

If you have a question you’d like to put to a panel of historians including Dan Snow and Dan Jones, we’d love to hear from you!

Email making.history@bbc.co.uk to let us know your name, your question, and the number of people in your party.

And even if you don’t have a question, we’d love to see you there.  Email making.history@bbc.co.uk with your name and the number of places you’d like to reserve.

LATEST PROGRAMME IN THE BBC TENT

For the first time the BBC will have a tent at the festival. Hosting a range of debates, events, recordings and preview screenings, over the weekend 28 – 30June.   All sessions will be free and include:

The Story of the Jews – Simon Schama talks about his forthcoming series which spans over 4,000 years of history from the Ancient Israelites and the origins of the Hebrew Bible to the impact that Jewish people have had in creating the world we live in today.

Friday 28 June, 6.00 – 7.00pm

Preview Screening of King Alfred and the Anglo-Saxons – Michael Wood introduces the first episode of his new documentary series about how Alfred the Great and his successors made England by creating the roots of English law, towns, and literature, and even the beginnings of  the English parliament.
Friday 28 June 8.00 – 9.30pm

Shaping a Nation A Radio 3 Free Thinking debate on how history continues to shape our national identity. Anne McElvoy will be joined by TV Historian, Michael Wood among others. This debate will be recorded for broadcast on Radio 3.

Saturday 29 June 11.30am – 12.30pm

Presenting the Past: What makes a great history programme An expert panel debate how history is represented in the media and what makes history successful on TV. Contributors will include historian Amanda Vickery, Martin Davidson and Jane Ellison, commissioning editors from BBC television and radio. Chaired by Dominic Crossley-Holland, head of history production.

Saturday 29 June 1.30 – 2.30pm

HORRIBLE HISTORIES

Meet some of the key players behind the hugely successful Horrible Histories. Historical consultant for the series Greg Jenner and books illustrator Martin Brown share some of their favourite clips and reveal how they bring history to life though gory stories, funny facts and devilish drawings. Followed by Q&A. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Saturday 29 June 4.00 – 4.45pm

Historians’ Question Time Radio 4’s Helen Castor puts your questions to a panel of leading historians which includes Dan Snow and Dan Jones.  If you have a question you’d like to put to our panel please email making.history@bbc.co.uk.

Saturday 29 June, 6.45 – 7.45pm

The Ancient Guide to Modern Life Comedy from classicist Natalie Haynes. She reveals how Sophocles inspires murder mysteries; who the first real-life James Bond villain was; and what connects Oedipus to The Wire.

Saturday 29 June, 9.00 – 10.00pm

Sneak Preview of The Wipers Times Co-writers Ian Hislop and Nick Newman introduce excerpts from this film about the WWI newspaper published by soldiers satirising the horrors of the trenches. They are joined by producer David Parfitt of Trademark Films to talk about the highlights and challenges of turning this extraordinary story into a drama.

Sunday 30 June, 10.30 – 11.30am

Preview Screening of Cold War, Hot Jets with James Holland A sneak preview of an episode from his forthcoming series which explores the vital role the jet played in the Cold War. The film will be introduced by James Holland and will be followed by Q&A.

Sunday 30 June 12.30 – 2.00pm

Screening of D-Day: The Last Heroes
The second episode of this series, in which Dan Snow examines how two years of meticulous planning, espionage and the analysis of millions of three dimensional aerial photographs helped the Allied Forces gain a foothold in Northern France. With first-hand interviews it tells the powerful and heroic stories of those who risked their lives on the beaches of Normandy.

Sunday 30 June 3.45 – 4.45pm

Entrance to all sessions will be free.  Seats allocated on a first come first served basis.  For tickets please contact Chalke Valley History Festival ticket office.

 

 

CHALKE VALLEY HISTORY PRIZE SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED

Chalke Valley History Prize 2013
in Association with Penguin Books

Shortlist for the 2013 Chalke Valley History Prize

 

The judges of the Chalke Valley History Prize today announced their shortlist for the 2013 entries.  They are as follows:

11-14 Age Group
Shortlist
From the Furnace to the Broadside by Deborah Wood, 14
Finding Fate by Hannah Atkins, 13
Transition by Jojo Fenner, 12

Highly Commended
Russian Roulette by Daniel Payne, 14
The Atomic Misfortunes of Robert Bacher, by Alice de Abaitua, 11

15-18 Age Group
Shortlist
The Crusader’s Son by Archie Thomson, 17
Innocence of Kings by Amy Luxton, 17
Little Knife, Samuel Lane, 17

Highly Commended
The Musical Box by Alice Cattley, 16
The Soul of India by Joseph Massey, 18

The standard of entries this year has been extremely high, demonstrating not only a huge amount of historical knowledge, but also an impressive range of writing skills.  The judges have drawn up their shortlist based on a number of factors: knowledge, a sense of time and place, originality, the feasibility of the synopsis for the rest of the proposed novel, and, of course, writing skill.  The judges would like to congratulate all those who took part and especially those listed above.  It has been an extremely heartening process!

HISTORY PRIZE SHORTLIST TO BE ANNOUNCED ON JUNE 17th

SHORTLIST TO BE ANNOUNCED ON MONDAY 17th JUNE

The three shortlisted entries in both age groups, plus those with special commendations, will be announced on Monday 17th June.  Those listed will be invited, with their families, to the Chalke Valley History Prize Final on Sunday 30th June.

The shortlisted entries and special commendations will also be included in a booklet printed specially by Penguin Books.

Attending the Final will be all the Judges, including Joanna Lumley, Sebastian Faulks and Charlie Higson, as well as acclaimed actress, Haydn Gwynne, who, with Charlie Higson and Joanna Lumley, will be reading extracts from the shortlisted entries.  The final will also include a history writing masterclass with internationally bestselling authors, Sebastian Faulks and Conn Iggulden, in conversation with James Petrie, one of the judges.

Festival Co-Chair and one of the judges, James Holland, said, ‘The standard has once again been high with a number of outstanding entries.  Whittling it down to the last few is proving no easy task.  It’s all very encouraging, and it’s been great to see so many engaging with a broad range of historical subject matters too.’

The History Prize Final promises to be a fantastic and highly memorable occasion on an exciting and action-packed final day of this year’s Festival.   

BBC Adds Exciting New Programme to Festival

The Festival is proud to announce that the BBC will be bringing a tent and a host of talent in a series of radio and television events this June:

For the first time the BBC will have a tent at the festival. Hosting a range of debates, events, recordings and preview screenings, over the weekend 28 – 30June. Sessions will include:

Making History Question Time Radio 4’s Helen Castor puts your questions to a panel of leading historians which includes Dan Snow and Dan Jones.

Shaping a Nation – A Radio 3 Free Thinking debate on how history continues to shape our national identity. Anne McElvoy will be joined by TV Historian, Michael Wood among others. This debate will be recorded for broadcast on Radio 3.

Boris Johnson talks to Anne McElvoy about how history has influenced his political career. This event will be recorded for Free Thinking on Radio 3.

The Ancient Guide to Modern Life Comedy from classicist Natalie Haynes. She reveals how Sophocles inspires murder mysteries; who the first real-life James Bond villain was; and what connects Oedipus to The Wire.

Presenting the Past: What makes a great history programme An expert panel debate how history is represented in the media and what makes history successful on TV. Contributors will include historian Amanda Vickery, Martin Davidson and Jane Ellison, commissioning editors from BBC television and radio. Chaired by Dominic Crossley-Holland, head of history production.

Sneak Preview of The Wipers Times Co-writers Ian Hislop and Nick Newman introduce excerpts from this film about the WWI newspaper published by soldiers satirising the horrors of the trenches. They are joined by producer David Parfitt of Trademark Films to talk about the highlights and challenges of turning this extraordinary story into a drama.

Preview Screening of Cold War, Hot Jets with James Holland A sneak preview of an episode from this series which explores the vital role the jet played in the Cold War. The film will be introduced by James Holland and will be followed by Q&A.

Other sneak preview sessions of up-coming documentaries

Entrance to all sessions will be free.  Events for broadcast will be ticketed. Seats allocated on a first come first served basis.

The full programme will be available later this month.

2012 Festival Press Release

Chalke Valley History Festival launches plans for 2012

26th June – 1st July 

“It is splendid to be able to welcome to the booklover’s calendar a festival especially dedicated to history, to be held in one of the most enchanting areas of southern England.  Professional historians will be eager to tell their tales there, and those who love the past to comeand share them.”  Sir Max Hastings FRSL

The organizers of the Chalke Valley History Festival, a series of top-class literary events devoted entirely to history, have today announced their plans for 2012.  This year’s line-up will include not only the very best historians in the country, but also a host of exciting events, competitions and promotional activities.

Such was the success of the 2011 inaugural Festival, this year’s programme is going to be five times the size, with over 50 events being held in two tents, across four evenings and an entire weekend.  Staged in south-west Wiltshire, at the brand-new twenty-two acre site just outside Ebbesbourne Wake, near Salisbury, The Chalke Valley History Festival will also have two new official partners: The Daily Mail and Waterstones.

Co-Chair of the Festival James Heneage said: “Last year’s first Festival exceeded all our expectations, with 90% capacity at our events and extraordinarily positive feedback, which is why we have decided to expand considerably and with new elements too.”

The 2012 list of speakers includes a stellar line-up of household names, including: Sir Max Hastings, Antony Beevor, Ian Kershaw, Amanda Vickery, Jeremy Paxman, Michael Morpurgo, Ian and Victoria Hislop, Tom Holland, Dan Snow, Simon Jenkins, Alison Weir, and Michael Wood, and many, many more. The new programme of events, for both adults and children and which you can now find at www.cvhf.org.uk ,will have something for everyone.

One of the aims of the Festival is to put ‘history’ back on the map – to place it at the centre of British culture, to raise its profile in schools, and to make the new, younger generation of students coming through the educational system aware of its importance.  With this in mind, the proceeds of this year’s Festival will go the newly-formed Chalke Valley History Trust, set up to promote history and our understanding of the past.  The Festival also has the backing of the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove, who will not only be attending the Festival as a speaker but has also agreed to be a judge of the inaugural Chalke Valley History Prize, a new national historical writing competition for teenagers, details of which you can also find on the Festival website.  Michael Gove says: “The adventure that is history should be part of every child’s education and that is why this History Festival is such a great idea.”  Also judging the prize will be the bestselling author of War Horse and former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo.

Apart from literary talks, covering both fact and fiction, there will be plenty of other things for visitors to do at the Chalke Valley History Festival this year.  At the weekend there will be a chance for adults and children to interact with ‘living history’ displays and interpretations, and to attend a ‘History Catwalk’ where local talent will tell the story of fashion.  Plus, there will be the finals of ‘The Greatest Briton’ competition – when the British public will be asked to vote for their all-time favourite British person from history.  And on the Sunday, the Festival will stage an Intelligence Squared Debate when the topic ‘Has Religion Been a Force for Good in History?’ will be hotly discussed.

Co-Chair James Holland said: “I’m excited about the way we will be working with the very best living history groups around.  To see Juliet Barker talk about Agincourt, for example, and then afterwards to watch a longbow demonstration is a combination no-one else has thought of doing.”

The Chalke Valley History Festival takes place from 26th June to 1st July 2012.  For further information, please contact Alex Hippisley-Cox on 020 8488 3764/mobile 07921 127077 or email her at ahipcoxpr@btconnect.com

Both James Heneage and James Holland are available for interview.

Tickets will be available at www.cvhf.org.uk very soon!

You can follow all the news on Twitter at @CVHISTORYFEST