Speakers 2017

We covered a broad swathe of history in both talks and discussions and were delighted to welcome 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.

We covered 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 ran 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 tackled the thorny issue of nationalism in this country.

The origins of the terms ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ were revealed by Philippe Sands and the great Don McCullin was in conversation with Max Hastings. We are welcomed Miroslaw Obstarczyk, one of the curators of Auschwitz, and also Katrin Himmler (great-niece), as well as Second World War veterans with amazing stories.

Dan Snow joined us all week and sent out daily TV highlights from the festival. We were thrilled that one of the country’s most revered gardeners, Monty Don, spoke.

Andrew Marr made his Festival debut, while politicians George Osborne, David Owen, Malcolm Rifkind, Paddy Ashdown, and Chris Patten spoke on a wide range of historical topics.