The Aldeburgh Literary Festival

The Aldeburgh Literary Festival was started in 2002 by the John and Mary James of The Aldeburgh Bookshop.  It has featured an extraordinary variety of talks, from the local to the global, the serious to the hilarious, the scientific to the philosophical.  The Festival is proud to be located in Aldeburgh at the Jubilee Hall and we are delighted that our audience fills the streets of Aldeburgh with visitors and conversation in a winter weekend.  The intimate atmosphere makes it very special.  We are also proud that this is a completely independent Literary Festival receiving no grants or sponsorship. 

The 15th Aldeburgh Literary Festival took place from Thursday 3rd to Sunday 6th March 2016.

The 14th Aldeburgh Literary Festival: read all about it here.

Charles Moore reviewing the Festival in 2009 in The Times wrote

[The Festival] draws strongly on local talent and has no outside backing, but is national in its scope ... It is also very small. All the talks take place in the Jubilee Hall, a few yards from the sea. It fits only about 200 people. Entry to each talk costs only £11. There is constant local irritation that tickets are so oversubscribed, but it does mean that everyone present really wants to be there. There is a charm in the almost village-hall feel of the place, and an excitement at encountering high quality in such surroundings. I think Aldeburgh must be to literature what Glyndebourne, in its early days, was to opera. The result is that real conversation takes place between the speakers and the audience, and among the audience. Conversation is what civilisation needs and what people crave, but often lack ... The Aldeburgh air allowed them to think out loud, and discuss ideas as they should be discussed, but so rarely are – not to "win", but to elucidate.  Link to full article here.

Charles Allen wrote that he and his wife had 'been to many literary festivals but I can honestly say that Aldeburgh's combination of bracing sea air, intimacy and intellectual sharpness puts it at the very top of our list.'

The Aldeburgh Literary Festival is proud to have had two Nobel Prize Winners, two Chancellors of the Exchequer, one Pulitzer Prize Winner, amongst many, many other distinguished speakers.  A full list follows:

 Tariq Ali  -  Charles Allen  -  Anne Applebaum -  Karen Armstrong  -  Frances Ashcroft  - Helena Attlee - Catherine Bailey  -  Paul Bailey  -  Beryl Bainbridge -  Julian Barnes     -  Andrew Barrow  -  Sally Beauman  -  Anthea Bell - Tony Benn  - Alan Bennett  -   Xandra Bingley  -  Dr Paul Binski  - Terence Blacker  -  Ronald Blythe  -  Rosie Boycott  - William Boyd  -  Eleanor Bron  -  Craig Brown  -  James Buchan  -  Humphrey Burton  -  A.S. Byatt  -  Liz Calder  -  Carmen Callil  -  Jon Canter  -  Humphrey Carpenter  -  Justin Cartwright  -  Dr John Casey   -  Helen Castor  -  Mary Chamberlain  -  Kate Charlton Jones  -  Charles Clover  -  Artemis Cooper - John Crace - Adam Crick  -  Helen Cross  -  General Lord Dannatt  -  Alistair Darling  -  Richard Dawkins  -  Mary Dejevsky  -  Roddy Doyle  -  Margaret Drabble  -  Kate Drayton  -  Eamon Duffy  -  Sarah Dunant  -  Emma Duncan  -  Laurence Edwards  -  Bill Emmott  -  Professor Edzard Ernst  -  Hermione Eyre  -  Harry Eyres  -  Graham Farmelo - Sebastian Faulks  -  Susannah Fiennes  -  William Fiennes  -  Aminatta Forna  -  Professor Richard Fortey  -  Garth Fowden  -  Julia Fox  -  Clare Francis  -  Lady Antonia Fraser  -  Michael Frayn  -  Esther Freud  -  Patrick Gale  -  Jane Gardam  -  Frank Gardner  -  Sue Gee  -  Nicci Gerrard and Sean French  -  Anthony Gottlieb  -  Derrick Greaves  -  Lavinia Greenlaw  -  John Guy  -  Sheila Hale  -  Robin Hanbury Tenison  -  Tim Harford  -  Alexandra Harris  -  Victoria Hart  -  Max Hastings - Selina Hastings  -  Denis and Edna Healey  -  Paul Heiney  -  Peter Hennessy  -  Derek Hewitson  -  Katie Hickman  -  Rosemary Hill  -  Ian Hislop  -  Victoria Hislop  -  Henry Hitchings  -  Simon Hoggart  -  Tom Holland  -  Richard Holmes  -  Michael Holroyd  -  Anthony Horowitz  -  Elizabeth Jane Howard  -  Kathryn Hughes  -  Lucy Hughes-Hallett  -  John Humphrys  -  Tristram Hunt  -  Paul Heiney  -  P. D. James  -  Anatole Kaletsky  -  Sam Kiley  -  John Lahr - Lucinda Lambton  -  Mark Lawson  -  Nigel Lawson  -  Dame Hermione Lee  -  Doris Lessing  -  John Lloyd  -  David Lodge  -  Edward Lucas  -  Richard Mabey  -  Diarmaid MacCulloch - Helen Macdonald - Ben Macintyre  -  Patrick Marnham  -  Justin Marozzi  -  Adam Mars Jones  -  Hugh Massingberd  -  Christopher Matthew  -  Eamonn McCabe  -  John McCarthy  -  Alexander McCall Smith  -  Ian McEwan  -  Professor Mark Miodownik  -  Julian Mitchell  -  Deborah Moggach  -  Charles Moore  -  Caroline Moorehead  -  Nicholas Mosley  -  Kate Mosse - Ferdinand Mount  -  Professor John Mullan  -  Julie Myerson  -  Dr Sam Newton  -  William Nicholson  - Adam Nicolson - Irene Noel-Baker  -  Frances Osborne  -  Justin Partyka  -  Adam Phillips  -  Harold Pinter  -  Dr Alan Powers  -  John Preston  -  David Profumo  -  Libby Purves  -  Professor David Reynolds  -  Professor Jane Ridley  -  Dr Matt Ridley  -  Dr Eugene Rogan  -  Barnaby Rogerson  -  General Sir Michael Rose  -  Brough Scott  -  Will Self  -  Miranda Seymour  -  Peter Shaffer  -  Nicholas Shakespeare  -  Lionel Shriver  -  Nicola Shulman  -  William Sieghart  -  Posy Simmonds  -  Dr Simon Singh  -  Professor  -  Frances Spalding  -  Francis Spufford  -  Hilary Spurling  -  Rory Stuart  -  Colin Sydenham  -  Gillian Tett  -  Hugh Thomas  -  Colin Thubron - Pascal Khoo Thwe  -  Sandy Toksvig  -  Claire Tomalin  -  Boyd Tonkin  -  Rose Tremain  -  Joanna Trollope  -  Jenny Uglow  -  Salley Vickers  -  John Walsh  -  Frances Welch  -  Francis Wheen  -  A.N. Wilson  -  Simon Winder - Joan Winterkorn  -  James Woodall

 

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