We will be covering a broad swathe of history in both talks and discussions and are delighted to be welcoming some of the finest historical talent in the country – from eminent professors to household names, old friends of the Festival and plenty of new faces too. We are covering the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, the centenary of the Russian Revolution as well as the Battle of Passchendaele, and even the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. We are running another series of Long View panels bringing expertise and historical insight to contemporary issues: the threat from Russia, isolated Britain, and the challenge to liberal democracy, while our annual debate will tackle the thorny issue of nationalism in this country.
The origins of the terms ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ will be revealed by Philippe Sands and the great Don McCullin will be in conversation with Max Hastings. We are welcoming Jacques Altmann, a French holocaust survivor, Miroslaw Obstarczyk, one of the curators of Auschwitz, and also Niklas Frank, Hitler’s godson, as well as Second World War veterans with amazing stories to tell.
Dan Snow will be joining us all week and will be sending out daily TV highlights from the festival. We are also thrilled that one of the country’s most revered gardeners, Monty Don, will be speaking this year. Andrew Marr will be making his Festival debut, while politicians Ken Clarke, David Owen, Malcolm Rifkind, Harriet Harman, Paddy Ashdown, and Chris Patten will be speaking on a wide range of historical topics.