A world of books

Althorp HouseAlthorp House
Althorp House
A stately home which was once home to one of the greatest private libraries of all Europe is hosting a literary festival.

The Althorp Literary Festival runs from Thursday June 30 to Saturday July 3. The past has seen a number of writers, actors, politicians and celebrities attend and this year is no different.

This year’s line-up will also serve up a number of interesting figures and intriguing talents, with Earl Spencer revealing that the theme for this year is “Originality”.

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Those appearing have been selected for their freshness and diversity and among the number of speakers will be Harry Parker with his moving debut novel Anatomy of a Soldier and Daisy Dunn, who will be bringing 1st Century Rome to life with her wit and sharp tongue.

David Lough who has been shortlisted for the Longman-History Today Book Prize 2016 for his book No More Champagne: Churchill and his Money – the previously untold story about Winston Churchill’s precarious finances also attends.

Newscaster turned writer John Suchet presents his latest historical work The Last Waltz, the intriguing story of the Strauss dynasty, and Earl Spencer has constructed a speech specially as a tribute to The Queen in her 90th birthday year.

Brian Blessed, just recently made an OBE for his services to the arts and charities, will be regaling the audience with stories from his recent memoir Absolute Pandemonium, Bill Bryson will be discussing his latest book, The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island, with Earl Spencer and the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, Justine Picardie, will be talking about her bestselling biography Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life.

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Earl Spencer launched The Althorp Literary Festival in 2003 and has seen it go on to become one of the most beloved of English summertime events.

There have been some 300 novelists, historians, comedians, actors, politicians, sportsmen and television personalities having featured at the festival since it began. Literary luminaries and people of note, including Sir Tom Stoppard, Helen Fielding, Julian Barnes, Boris Johnson, Michael Palin and Twiggy, have all made an appearance at Althorp

There will be three unique venues, including a marquee on the front lawns and the State Dining Room inside the house.

Book signings and complimentary fringe events will also be taking place across the four days.

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Ticket prices start from £10 for a ground pass, £17.50 for a single session or £49.50 for a day ticket. They are selling fast and people are urged to book in advance.

For more details and to book tickets visit www.spencerofalthorp.com.