As literary festivals go, it doesn’t get much more glamorous than Cliveden, set in the eponymous country estate which has played a pivotal role in British history. Since it was built for the second Duke of Buckingham’s mistress in 1666, Cliveden has been a magnet for writers, with guests including everyone from Alexander Pope to Tennyson. It’s also steeped in politics, sex and espionage, notorious for providing the location for the scandalous Profumo affair back in the ‘60s. So, what better home for a celebration of storytelling?
Each year, Cliveden Literary Festival draws in a whole host of leading authors and thinkers, and the 2022 line-up is no exception. Highlights will include Scottish novelist William Boyd (Any Human Heart) discussing his illustrious career with journalist Sam Leith, plus British actor Brian Cox telling writer Monica Ali about his becoming Logan Roy in Succession. Festival goers will also have the chance to hear British Vogue editor Edward Enninful in conversation with historian and writer Catherine Ostler, who has been Editor of Tatler and ES Magazine.
Cliveden provides a platform for notable figures to discuss some of the biggest issues of our time. Peter Frankopan, Aindrea Emelife, Ben Okri, Simon Sebag Montefiore and Catherine Ostler will explore the meaning of world history, looking at what the future might hold. Elsewhere, Ukrainian historians and authors, Serhii Plokhy and Olesya Khromeychuk, and Polish MEP Radek Sikorski, will share their insights into Ukraine’s place in European history with CNN Chief International Correspondent, Clarissa Ward. And a panel of Russian experts, Mark Galeotti, Mikhail Zygar and Jonathan Haslam, will examine the fatal powerplays within Putin’s court.
Another key point of discussion will be the future of the British Monarchy, with a talk hosted by three royal experts: Tina Brown, Robert Hardman and Camilla Tomine. The many waves of feminism will also be explored by Louise Perry (who wrote The Case Against the Sexual Revolution: A New Guide to Sex in the 21st Century), barrister Joanne Cash and journalist Inaya Folarin Iman.
Tempted? Tickets are available now – and it’s always a sell-out, so get yours secured quickly. Cliveden is easily accessible from London, and for those who fancy making a weekend out of it festival-goers can claim a discounted rate at the hotel (which is, of course, totally luxurious, check out our review here). There are also plenty of food and drink offerings to enjoy, from street food trucks and champagne bars to a set lunch in the majestic dining room.
Cliveden Literary Festival runs from 15 – 16 October 2022. Day tickets are available from £110. clivedenliteraryfestival.org