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Chipping Campden Literature Festival will be best ever promises artistic director Vicky Bennett

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Described as “Cheltenham Literature Festival’s baby sister” Chipping Campden’s lit fest again punches above its weight when it comes to the town from 20th to 25th September.

As well as a host of top names from around the globe, there will be open mic poetry and a festival book group with thriller writer Stuart Tourton.

Artistic director Vicky Bennett promised: ‘2021 is our best programme ever. So many lockdown months of virtual events has resulted in authors vying to get a place on what is one of the first live book festivals in the country.

“Once again we are featuring writers that are at the top of their game. Our audiences increasingly come from further afield thus making our festival national and even international.’

Marina Warner (50982122)
Marina Warner (50982122)

Some of the author highlights are:

Sir Jonathan Bate presents his parallel lives of Keats and Scott Fitzgerald.

Dame Marina Warner, whose mother came from Naples and father was an English Colonel, tells the story of their extraordinary WWII marriage.

Sir Stanley Wells shines a new light on why Shakespeare wrote his sonnets.

Max Hastings (50982112)
Max Hastings (50982112)

Paula Byrne presents her latest biography The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym. Max Hastings relates his gripping account of a critical WWII sea battle Operation Pedastal.

Palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke and consultant forensic psychiatrist Gwen Adshead demonstrate the importance of compassion as they share their experiences of working in different areas of the NHS.

Richard Fortey recalls how his curiosity as a boy led to his career as a scientist. Top performance coach Owen Eastwood reveals how the Maori concept of belonging can build successful teams and in We Are Pilgrims Victoria Preston explores our primal urge towards journeys of purpose, wonder and self-discovery.

Jonathan Bate (50982110)
Jonathan Bate (50982110)

Paul Mason, Ian Dunt, Luke Harding, Sathnam Sanghera, Dan Hicks and Corinne Fowler between them cover the current rise of fascism, the need for liberalism, the influence of Putin’s Russia, the legacy of Empire and prevalence of racism.

Ian MacGregor’s Checkpoint Charlie marks the 60th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall. Our 2021 books have been listed for prizes, Sunday Times best sellers, and four a Radio 4 Book of the Week.

Book online www.campdenlitfest.co.uk. Tickets are £5, and free to full-time students.

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