Strong literary flavour to festival

Kate Adie
Kate Adie
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Organisers of Buxton Festival have announced a list of big-name writers and public figures to underline their ambitions of staging one of the country’s leading literary events.

As well having a reputation for top opera and music, the festival will have a strong literary flavour between July 11 and 27,

Talks include former Cabinet Minister Jonathan Aitken remembering Margaret Thatcher, agony aunt Irma Kurtz on 40 years of the world’s problems and Peter Snow looking back at Britain’s attack on the White House 200 years ago.

Margaret Drabble presents her latest novel, pottery designer Emma Bridgewater looks back on her childhood influences and Gyles Brandreth will share the 7 Secrets of Happiness.

On the centenary of the start of World War I, Kate Adie looks at the role of women on the home front, Shirley Williams talks about her mother, Testament of Youth author Vera Brittain, Miranda Seymour examines the relationship between Britain and Germany, while Max Hastings charts the reasons Europe went to war in 1914.

It’s also the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth, and John Goodby looks back on the poet’s life.

Alex Danchev presents the letters of Paul Cézanne and Hermione Lee looks back at the life and work of author Penelope Fitzgerald. Philippa Langley & Michael Jones talk about their involvement in the hunt for Richard III’s resting-place, while Antonia Fraser returns to one of her most celebrated biographical subjects, Mary, Queen of Scots.

Food writer Claudia Roden talks about 25 years of her book The Food of Italy, while Jans Ondaatje Rolls examines the links between food and the Bloomsbury set.

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