Literary Festival Fringe
Chiddingstone Castle is thrilled to announce a series of live, in-person events taking place in the Castle gardens during July, August and September 2021, when book lovers can hear from leading authors in our ‘small but spectacular’ line up at this summer’s Literary Festival Fringe.
Tickets will be limited to meet social distancing requirements and all government COVID restrictions will be adhered to.
We are holding a number of author talks during the afternoon and early evening in Chiddingstone Castle’s grounds, in line with the current COVID guidelines. These will take place at the Castle’s Orangery; a stunning loggia set amidst sprawling lawns, pretty gardens and woodland, with drinks and a range of refreshments available, al fresco picnicking in the grounds and a chance to meet the authors during the book signings. Tickets will be limited to meet social distancing requirements.
Thursday 8th July 5-6pm
Anne Sebba - Ethel Rosenberg; A Cold War Tragedy
On 19th June 1953, Ethel Rosenberg became the first woman in the US to be executed for a
crime other than murder. In an illustrated talk, Anne Sebba lays bare the catastrophic failure
of humanity and justice which resulted in the ‘trial of the century’.
Thursday 8th July 7-8pm
Hugo Vickers and Simon Heffer - The Diaries of Henry ‘Chips’ Channon & Cecil
Beaton, chaired by James Lee with readings by actor Geoffrey Streatfeild
Hugo Vickers’ new book Malice in Wonderland reveals how he entered society photographer Cecil Beaton’s world of royalty, aristocrats and film stars, whilst Simon Heffer exposes a host of society icons under the gaze of Henry ‘Chips’ Channon in the 1920s and 30s. Each provides a vivid insiders’ view of the hidden world of these society legends, with revelations galore.
Thursday 22 July 5-6pm
Amanda Owen, the Yorkshire Shepherdess - Tales from the Farm
Amanda Owen rose to fame in Channel 5’s Our Yorkshire Farm, but her roots were in urban
Huddersfield. Discover what lured her into living the country life in Swaledale, and hear how
she combines life on the farm with raising nine children, filming and writing.
Thursday 22 July 7-8pm
Ben MacIntyre - Agent Sonya; Lover, Mother, Soldier, Spy
Hear bestselling author Ben MacIntyre on the remarkable true story of WW2’s most
extraordinary spy; how Ursula Kuczynski Burton combined rural motherhood with being a
spymaster, saboteur, bomb-maker and secret agent.
Thursday 19 August 5-6pm
Natalie Haynes - Pandora’s Jar; Women in the Greek Myths
A brilliant classicist as well as a stand-up comedian, Natalie Haynes takes the women of
Greek myths - who are sidelined, vilified, misunderstood or ignored - and puts them centre
stage, in a witty and entertaining talk.
Thursday 19 August 7-8pm
Martin Gayford - Spring Cannot be Cancelled; David Hockney in
Art critic Martin Gayford presents an illustrated talk based on Hockney’s latest paintings
(currently exhibiting at the Royal Academy) and a wealth of new conversations and
correspondence with Hockney, his long-time friend and collaborator.
Thursday 2 September 2-3pm
Sebastian Faulks with Cathy Rentzenbrink - Snow Country
Sebastian Faulks joins us on the very day his new novel is published. Sweeping across Europe as it recovers from one war and hides its face from the next, Snow Country is a landmark novel of exquisite yearnings, dreams of youth and the sanctity of hope. Cathy Rentzenbrink is a much loved interviewer at Chiddingstone and the author of Dear Reader. Her first novel Everyone is Still Alive is published in July.
Thursday 2 September 4-5pm
Deborah Moggach with Rowan Pelling – The Black Dress
Bestselling author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Deborah Moggach unveils her new,
beautifully observed, darkly funny, tender and surprising novel. The Black Dress is about life
changes and the unexpected twists and pleasures of being alone. Rowan Pelling is a Daily Telegraph columnist and editor of Perspective Magazine.
Don’t miss out on our previous podcasts. We are delighted that the series of talks from Chiddingstone Castle’s Virtual Literary Festival in 2020 were so popular, creating a wealth of interest and listeners during lockdown and COVID restrictions. The podcasts are still freely available below. Please also click through to the Sevenoaks Bookshop to purchase your favourites from the series.