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THEME: America^ Top

Mon 24th June
20:45 - 21:45

14. ROBERT KENNEDY: WORKING FOR BOBBY

Speaker: Steven Isenberg

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In 1968, a year that saw America divided by the Vietnam War and shocked by the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Steve Isenberg, a twenty-seven year old political novice, joined the presidential campaign of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. He will recount his adventures on the campaign trail and reveal the highs and lows of a campaign that was innocent and idealistic, yet full of serious purpose and determination, but that was ultimately to end in tragedy.

£12.75 each

Wed 26th June
18:30 - 19:30

35. HUBRIS: THE ROAD TO DONALD TRUMP – POWER, POPULISM, NARCISSIM

Speaker: David Owen

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Recent world leaders have been depressives, alcoholics, narcissists, populists, affected by hubris syndrome, and driven by their religious beliefs. But Donald Trump, a world-class narcissist, presents a completely different set of issues. David Owen, who has pioneered the understanding of hubris in politics, will analyse the mental and physical condition of political leaders past and present and will place Trump in his historical, political, philosophical and medical context.

£13.75 each
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Fri 28th June
16:00 - 16:30

64. WE SHALL GO TO THE MOON: THE ADVENTURE OF APOLLO

Speaker: Stephen Wisdom

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The Moon landings of 50 years ago were man’s greatest exploration. Historian Stephen Wisdom will relate eleven little-known details about the journey of Apollo 11 that took humans to the surface of another world, FRIDAY THIRTIES: 30 minute talks on a fascinating range of subjects throughout Friday morning and afternoon. Buy tickets to individual talks or CLICK HERE TO BUY A COMBINED TICKET FOR ALL 9 TALKS FOR ONLY £29

£5.00 each

Fri 28th June
17:00 - 18:00

72. UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

Speaker: Nicholas Cole

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THE ROTHERMERE AMERICAN INSTITUTE LECTURE Generously supported by THE ROTHERMERE FOUNDATION

At times America’s complicated system of Federalism has seemed like a model of rational and democratic government —at others it has seemed like a recipe for obstruction and chaos.  Nicholas Cole will discuss the circumstances in which America’s government was created, the objectives of its founders, and whether the assumptions of the eighteenth century are fit for purpose in the modern world.

£11.50 each

Sat 29th June
13:30 - 14:30

85. VIETNAM: AN EPIC TRAGEDY 1945-1975

Speaker: Max Hastings

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In an acclaimed retelling of the Vietnam tragedy, Max Hastings will offer a balanced account of how and why the Vietnam War unfolded as it did, and a gripping description of what it was like to take part, based on the testimony of scores of participants - communist and anti-communist Vietnamese, Chinese railway engineers, Soviet missile crews, American soldiers, movie stars - whose experiences extended far beyond the battlefields.

£15.50 each
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Sat 29th June
13:30 - 14:30

87. CAPITALISM IN AMERICA: A HISTORY

Speaker: Adrian Wooldridge

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Adrian Wooldridge, otherwise known as Bagehot from the Economist, will describe America's evolution from a small patchwork of colonies to an unsurpassed engine of wealth and innovation. He will address the crucial debates, from the role of slavery in the antebellum Southern economy to the real impact of Roosevelt's New Deal and America's violent mood swings in its openness to global trade.

£13.50 each

THEME: Ancient History^ Top

Mon 24th June
15:30 - 16:30

6. MEMENTO MORI: WHAT THE ROMANS CAN TELL US ABOUT OLD AGE AND DEATH

Speaker: Peter Jones

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Romans inhabited a world where man, knowing nothing about hygiene let alone disease, had no defences against nature. Death was everywhere. In a revealing and entertaining guide to how the Romans confronted their own mortality, Peter Jones will show us that all the problems associated with old age and death that so transfix us today were already dealt with by our ancient ancestors two thousand years ago.

£10.75 each

Wed 26th June
17:00 - 18:00
 Child Friendly

34. THE ILIAD

Speaker: Tom Holland

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Tom Holland, classicist, historian and master storyteller, returns to the Ancient World with his unique, captivating and witty take on Homer’s tale of the Trojan War. A retelling of this most enduring of stories, this is for young and old, and all ages in between. Age 6+

£11.50 each

Wed 26th June
20:45 - 21:45

40. POMPEII

Speaker: Sophie Hay

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Buried under volcanic debris during the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, the violent and grim demise of the Roman city of Pompeii has long fascinated and haunted us. But what was life like in the ancient city? From the initial rediscovery of the ruins to the current excavations, Sophie Hay will reveal the vibrancy of daily life and unravel the stories of some of Pompeii’s lesser-known inhabitants.

£11.75 each

Thu 27th June
14:00 - 15:00

43. THE MAP OF KNOWLEDGE: HOW CLASSICAL IDEAS WERE LOST AND FOUND

Speaker: Violet Moller

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Violet Moller will trace the journey taken by the ideas of three of the greatest scientists of antiquity – Euclid, Galen and Ptolemy – through seven cities and over a thousand years. In tracing these fragile strands of knowledge, Moller will reveal the web of connections between the Islamic world and Christendom, connections that would both preserve and transform astronomy, mathematics and medicine from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

£10.75 each

Sat 29th June
10:00 - 11:00

81. TROY STORY

Speaker: Natalie Haynes

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Star of BBC Radio 4, Natalie Haynes will bring her unique combination of ancient history and stand-up comedy to the story of the Trojan War. The women whose lives the war affected largely remained in the shadows, from the Amazon warrior, Penthesilea, to the priestess who foresaw the war, Cassandra. These women will be returned to their rightful place: the middle of the story.

£13.50 each

THEME: Archaeology^ Top

Tue 25th June
15:30 - 16:30

21. HIDDEN HISTORIES: A SPOTTER’S GUIDE TO THE BRITISH LANDSCAPE

Speaker: Mary-Ann Ochota

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Generously supported by

From pathways, bridges and old houses, to hedges, churches, graveyards and field patterns left behind by medieval ploughmen, Mary-Ann Ochota will help decipher the story of our environment through the features we see around us and will arm the amateur explorer with the crucial information needed to ‘read’ the landscape and spot the human activities that have shaped our green and pleasant land.

£10.75 each

Tue 25th June
15:30 - 16:30

22. SALISBURY CATHEDRAL: THE MAKING OF A MEDIEVAL MASTERPIECE

Speaker: Tim Tatton-Brown

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Generously sponsored by

800 years ago this spring, work started on the new Salisbury Cathedral. Tim Tatton-Brown will describe how one of Britain’s greatest cathedrals was built, from digging the foundations in 1219 to the completion of Britain’s tallest spire. Drawing on history, geology and his expertise in architecture, he will show the wider context of the building, situating its development against the background of English politics of successive ages.

£10.75 each

Wed 26th June
20:45 - 21:45

40. POMPEII

Speaker: Sophie Hay

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Generously supported by

Buried under volcanic debris during the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, the violent and grim demise of the Roman city of Pompeii has long fascinated and haunted us. But what was life like in the ancient city? From the initial rediscovery of the ruins to the current excavations, Sophie Hay will reveal the vibrancy of daily life and unravel the stories of some of Pompeii’s lesser-known inhabitants.

£11.75 each

Sat 29th June
16:30 - 17:30

91. THE STORY OF THE BRITISH ISLES IN 100 PLACES

Speaker: Neil Oliver

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Beginning with footprints made in the sand by humankind’s earliest ancestors, Neil Oliver will take us on a personal tour of the places that have witnessed the unfolding of our history and that make our islands so special. From windswept headlands to battlefields, ancient trees to magnificent cathedrals, each of his destinations is a place where, somehow, the spirit of the past seems to linger.

£14.50 each
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Sun 30th June
18:00 - 19:00

116. ALONG THE LINE: A LIFE IN ARCHAEOLOGY

Speaker: Phil Harding

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Phil Harding is one of Britain’s best-loved and known archaeologists – a stalwart of the hugely successful Time Team and a man with a long and celebrated career. Here he will review his own archaeological path and place it within developments as archaeology has become an accepted profession in its own right. Discover the collections at Salisbury Museum, ranging from archaeology to fine art and costume.

£13.50 each

THEME: Art History^ Top

Tue 25th June
15:30 - 16:30

22. SALISBURY CATHEDRAL: THE MAKING OF A MEDIEVAL MASTERPIECE

Speaker: Tim Tatton-Brown

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Generously sponsored by

800 years ago this spring, work started on the new Salisbury Cathedral. Tim Tatton-Brown will describe how one of Britain’s greatest cathedrals was built, from digging the foundations in 1219 to the completion of Britain’s tallest spire. Drawing on history, geology and his expertise in architecture, he will show the wider context of the building, situating its development against the background of English politics of successive ages.

£10.75 each

Thu 27th June
17:00 - 18:00

49. HOW JOHN RUSKIN SHAPES OUR WORLD

Speaker: Andrew Hill

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Generously supported by

John Ruskin was the best-known and most controversial intellectual of the Victorian Age. He was an art critic, a social activist, an early environmentalist; he was also a painter, writer, and a determined tastemaker in the fields of architecture and design. In the bicentenary of his birth, Andrew Hill will discuss how Ruskin’s radical ideas are still relevant to today.

£11.50 each

Fri 28th June
09:30 - 13:00

65. FASHIONING THE TUDORS: DRESS AND DISPLAY IN THE 16th CENTURY COURT

Speaker: Tracy Borman

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Tracy Borman will curate a morning of talks and demonstrations covering the discovery of a replica of one of Elizabeth I’s dresses, the jewellery worn by Henry VIII's six wives, a discussion about mobilising the Tudor Court for such spectacular events as the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and a demonstration of dressing for court. 9.30 Fashioning the Tudors - Introduction Tracy Borman 9.35-10.15 Elizabeth I's Dress Eleri Lynn 10.15-10.55 Dressing for Court Mark Wallis 10.55 Coffee 11.25-12.05 Jewellery of the Six Wives Nicola Tallis 12.05-12.45 Portable Palaces: Tudor Royal Tents and The Field of Cloth of Gold Charles Farris 12.45 Wrap and questions Tracy Borman  

£40.00 each

Fri 28th June
14:00 - 15:00

66. A NEW WAY OF SEEING: THE HISTORY OF ART

Speaker: Kelly Grovier

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Generously sponsored by

Cultural critic Kelly Grovier will question whether greatness can be attributed to a single indispensable detail, such as a spectral sixth finger that ghosts Mona Lisa's hand and the unfinished pearl in Vermeer’s most famous painting. He will comb the most revered paintings and sculptures in art history for overlooked details that, once spotted and explored, alter forever the way that we see and connect with these milestones of creativity.

£10.75 each

Fri 28th June
14:30 - 15:00

62. ART OF THE MOON

Speaker: Charlie Barton

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Generously sponsored by

Artist Charlie Barton explores the significance of the Moon since the dawn of man, from pagan worship to the first lunar landing and beyond, through the prism of art. FRIDAY THIRTIES: 30 minute talks on a fascinating range of subjects throughout Friday morning and afternoon. Buy tickets to individual talks or CLICK HERE TO BUY A COMBINED TICKET FOR ALL 9 TALKS FOR ONLY £29

£5.00 each

Fri 28th June
15:30 - 16:30

68. OUR UNINVITED GUESTS: THE SECRET LIVES OF BRITAIN’S COUNTRY HOUSES 1939-45

Speaker: Julie Summers

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Generously supported by DOUGLAS & MIDGE CONNELL

At the beginning of the Second World War the government requisitioned thousands of houses to provide accommodation for the armed forces, secret services and government offices as well as vulnerable children, the sick and the elderly. Julie Summers will give a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in some of Britain’s greatest country houses that were occupied by people whose needs were at odds with their opulent surroundings.

£10.75 each

Fri 28th June
18:30 - 19:30

73. LIONS OF THE NORTH: THE PERCYS AND ALNWICK CASTLE

Speaker: Ralph Northumberland

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THE HISTORIC HOUSES LECTURE

Generously sponsored by

The 12th Duke of Northumberland is uniquely placed to provide a fascinating account of the Percy family and Alnwick Castle over a thousand years of British history. Generations of the Percy dynasty played vital parts in great historical events, from the Norman Conquest to the two World Wars, while the castle, once battered by marauding armies, is now a major tourist attraction.

Join today at historichouses.org for free access to over 300 lived-in historic homes and gardens. Hundreds of homes, thousands of stories.

£14.75 each

Sat 29th June
19:30 - 20:30

97. FAKE OR FORTUNE?

Speaker: Philip Mould

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Generously supported by

Philip Mould’s programme Fake or Fortune? has become the most successful arts show on television, regularly attracting audiences of 5 million in the UK. He returns to the Festival with tales of exciting discoveries enabled by cutting-edge developments in the technology and science used to investigate the provenance of artworks. He will reveal some behind-the-scenes stories from a programme that annually receives 1,500 proposals for lost masterpieces from the public.  

£14.50 each

THEME: British History^ Top

Mon 24th June
14:00 - 15:00

3. PATRIOT OR TRAITOR: THE LIFE OF SIR WALTER RALEGH

Speaker: Anna Beer

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Generously supported by DOUGLAS & MIDGE CONNELL

On 29th October 1618 one of the most charismatic and controversial figures in English history was executed. Sir Walter Ralegh was an adventurer, poet and hero of Queen Elizabeth I. How could a man once considered favourite find himself consigned to the Tower? Anna Beer will uncover the truth about this problematic national hero who in his own lifetime polarised opinion, and whose legacy remains profoundly controversial.

£10.75 each

Mon 24th June
15:30 - 16:30

5. BRITAIN: THE THREAD OF HISTORY – AN INTRODUCTION

Speaker: Ali Ansari

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Generously supported by ANONYMOUS DONOR

The amazing Ali Ansari will introduce the five-year project we are launching this year with an overview of the past 413 years of our islands’ history, exploring many of the themes and narrative twists that have led the United Kingdom to become the country it is. Insightful and thought-provoking, it will begin to explain why we are the cultural and ethnic mixture we are today.

£10.75 each

Mon 24th June
15:30 - 16:30

7. THE SONG OF SIMON DE MONTFORT

Speaker: Sophie Thérèse Ambler

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Generously sponsored by

Sophie Thérèse Ambler will offer a bold reassessment of one of British history’s most misunderstood figures – the extraordinary Simon de Montfort; heir to a great warrior, devoted husband and father, fearless crusader knight and charismatic leader. It is the story of a man whose passion for good governance was so fierce that he overthrew his king and seized the reins of power in medieval England.

£10.75 each

Mon 24th June
17:00 - 18:00

9. JAMES VI AND I: RELIGION AND STATE – BRITAIN: THE THREAD OF HISTORY 1

Speaker: Clare Jackson

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Generously supported by

In this first Thread of History lecture, Clare Jackson will discuss the reign of the double king, James VI of Scotland and I of England, Wales and Ireland. A time of literature and learning, as well as one of peace, James nonetheless ruled a disjointed British Isles that saw the beginnings of growing unrest and religious divisions. A little understood reign, it was a vital period in which the foundations of future strife were set. History Today is Britain’s leading serious history magazine. Get 3 issues for just £5 with this special Chalke Valley History Festival offer.

£11.50 each

Mon 24th June
18:30 - 19:30

12. SARUM: OLD AND NEW

Speaker: Tom Holland

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Generously supported by

All the world now knows that the spire of Salisbury Cathedral is 123 metres high. To everyone who loves England’s most beautiful city, the chemical attack of last year felt like a violation. South Wiltshire, though, has long stood at the heart of turbulent and violent affairs. Acclaimed historian Tom Holland will explore what it actually means to describe Salisbury as ‘historic’.

£12.75 each

Tue 25th June
14:00 - 15:00

17. CHARLES 1 – BRITAIN: THE THREAD OF HISTORY 2

Speaker: Leanda de Lisle

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Generously supported by DOUGLAS & MIDGE CONNELL

In this second Thread of History lecture, Leanda de Lisle will talk about the tumultuous reign of Charles I. From the king’s early clashes with Parliament to growing mistrust over his religious policies and his notions of absolute monarchy, Leanda de Lisle will cast light on Charles’s character and chart the descent towards a catastrophic civil war.

£10.75 each

Tue 25th June
15:30 - 16:30

22. SALISBURY CATHEDRAL: THE MAKING OF A MEDIEVAL MASTERPIECE

Speaker: Tim Tatton-Brown

...more details

Generously sponsored by

800 years ago this spring, work started on the new Salisbury Cathedral. Tim Tatton-Brown will describe how one of Britain’s greatest cathedrals was built, from digging the foundations in 1219 to the completion of Britain’s tallest spire. Drawing on history, geology and his expertise in architecture, he will show the wider context of the building, situating its development against the background of English politics of successive ages.

£10.75 each

Tue 25th June
17:00 - 18:00

24. THE PATIENT ASSASSIN: A TRUE TALE OF MASSACRE, REVENGE AND THE RAJ

Speaker: Anita Anand

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Generously sponsored by

On April 13th 1919, the British Indian Army opened fire on a crowd attending an unauthorised public meeting in Amritsar. Over 1,000 unarmed Indians were killed. Among the survivors was a young man who made a vow of vengeance that would ultimately prove successful. Prompted by her own family connections to the Amritsar massacre, Anita Anand will tell the remarkable story of one Indian’s twenty-year quest for revenge.

£11.50 each

Tue 25th June
18:30 - 19:30

26. WHY THE ANGLO-SAXONS MATTER

Speaker: Michael Wood

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Generously sponsored by

Acclaimed historian and broadcaster Michael Wood will tell fascinating tales from our early history: Augustine of Canterbury and the coming of Christianity, Theodore of Tarsus, the golden age of Northumbria, the Lady of the Mercians, Alfred, Athelstan, and the Norman Conquest; stories of men and women, kings and peasants, of the beginning of English literature and art, and the origins of England.

£13.75 each

Tue 25th June
18:30 - 19:30

27. THE ONCE AND FUTURE FARM: THE LONG VIEW

Speakers: Minette Batters, Graham Harvey, Alex Langlands

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Generously sponsored by

Today farmers face unprecedented changes, exacerbated by Britain’s uncertain relationship with Europe. In this highly topical event, our experts will discuss how farming has survived revolutions and reformations from the end of the 19th century to the present, and what can be done to ensure our mutual future prosperity. Chair: James Holland

£12.75 each

Tue 25th June
18:30 - 19:30

28. IN THE EYE OF THE STORM: GEORGE V AND THE GREAT WAR

Speaker: Alexandra Churchill

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George V was an unknown entity at the outbreak of war in 1914. By the end of the decade he had become the most visible and accessible sovereign in British history, establishing a blueprint for the modern monarchy that is still followed today. Alexandra Churchill will challenge assumptions about his capability as a king by examining George V’s war work and legacy.   Chalke Valley History Festival is delighted to support Combat Stress, the UK's leading charity for Veterans' mental health. For a century the charity has been helping former servicemen and women deal with issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression. Today it provides specialist treatment and support for veterans from every service and conflict to give them hope and a future.

£12.75 each

Tue 25th June
20:45 - 21:45

29. ENGLISH SONGS: MUSIC FROM SEVEN CENTURIES OF THE ENGLISH RADICAL TRADITION

Speakers: Steve Knightley, Michael Wood

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The English tradition of popular song has had a massive influence on world music, not least in folk and blues. In the run up to the anniversary of Peterloo, this event, introduced by Michael Wood, will include songs from the Peasants' Revolt and the Civil War, newly discovered songs from Peterloo, right up to today, performed by the legendary folk singer Steve Knightley. Steve Knightley is part of the phenomenally successful SHOW OF HANDS duo: more than two decades on the road. 25 album releases. 2 Honorary Doctorates, 3 BBC Folk Awards, 4 Royal Albert Hall sell-outs. Tours in 14 countries from America to Australia.

£10.00 each

Wed 26th June
17:00 - 18:00

32. HENRY VIII AND THE MEN WHO MADE HIM

Speaker: Tracy Borman

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Generously sponsored by

Henry VIII is well known for his tumultuous relationships with women, but his relationships with the men who surrounded him reveal much about his beliefs, behaviour and character. Tracy Borman will provide a new perspective by analysing Henry through the men in his life. His cruelty and ruthlessness are infamous, but his fierce loyalty towards those he trusted indicates that he was never the one-dimensional monster of popular belief.

£12.50 each

Wed 26th June
18:30 - 19:30

37. THIS IS SHAKESPEARE

Speaker: Emma Smith

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Generously supported by THE STEPHENSON JAMES TRUST

Shakespeare, a genius and prophet whose timeless works encapsulate the human condition like no others. A writer whose vision, originality and literary mastery were second to none. Professor Emma Smith will debunk these common perceptions of the Bard and will instead introduce an intellectually, theatrically and ethically exciting writer who treated topics such as individual agency, privacy, politics and celebrity in surprisingly modern ways.

£12.75 each

Wed 26th June
20:45 - 21:45

38. RIVAL QUEENS: THE BETRAYAL OF MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS

Speaker: Kate Williams

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Generously supported by

At the end of the Tudor era, there were two women on two thrones. Yet this was a man’s world and many believed that no woman should govern. In the struggle to retain power, they became one another’s closest confidantes. Bestselling author and broadcaster Kate Williams will offer an electrifying new perspective on Elizabeth and Mary, their tumultuous relationship, and the struggle that would end in Mary’s betrayal.

£12.75 each

Thu 27th June
14:00 - 15:00

41. ADAM SMITH: WHAT HE THOUGHT AND WHY IT MATTERS

Speaker: Jesse Norman

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Generously sponsored by

Adam Smith is now widely regarded as ‘the father of modern economics’ but the implications of his ideas remain fiercely contested. Against the turbulent backdrop of the Scottish Enlightenment, Jesse Norman MP will trace his influence over the past two centuries, and address crucial issues of inequality and exploitation, explaining why he remains central to any attempt to defend, reform or renew the market system.

£10.75 each

Thu 27th June
15:30 - 16:30

45. THE WOMAN WHO SAVED THE CHILDREN: EGLANTINE JEBB, FOUNDER OF SAVE THE CHILDREN

Speaker: Clare Mulley

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Generously supported by

Eglantyne Jebb not only helped save millions of lives, she also permanently changed the way the world treats children. Clare Mulley will bring to life this brilliant, charismatic, and passionate woman, whose work took her between drawing rooms and war zones, defying convention and breaking the law, until she won support from everyone from Welsh coal miners to the British aristocracy, and from the Pope to the Communist regime in Moscow.

£10.75 each

Thu 27th June
17:00 - 18:00

49. HOW JOHN RUSKIN SHAPES OUR WORLD

Speaker: Andrew Hill

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Generously supported by

John Ruskin was the best-known and most controversial intellectual of the Victorian Age. He was an art critic, a social activist, an early environmentalist; he was also a painter, writer, and a determined tastemaker in the fields of architecture and design. In the bicentenary of his birth, Andrew Hill will discuss how Ruskin’s radical ideas are still relevant to today.

£11.50 each

Thu 27th June
18:30 - 19:30

50. THE LAST CAVALIER: PRINCE RUPERT OF THE RHINE

Speaker: Charles Spencer

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Generously sponsored by

Prince Rupert was one of the most glamorous figures in history: prince, soldier, pirate, artist and adventurer – his life was packed with adventure. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of his birth, we are absolutely delighted that Charles Spencer is putting together a talk especially for Chalke Valley History Festival 2019. Described as ‘half man, half devil’ by the parliamentarians, Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Charles I’s nephew and commander of the Royalist forces in exile, was truly a man of two halves. Although nicknamed Prince Robber and renowned as a brutal general, dashing cavalier and Royalist pirate, Charles Spencer will reveal the hidden side of Prince Rupert. He was a scientist, classical scholar and respected statesman too: a true renaissance prince.

£14.75 each

Fri 28th June
09:30 - 10:00

56. THE TUDOR ARMS RACE

Speaker: Dave Allan

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Generously sponsored by

Between the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 and the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, the art of warfare changed from Medieval to modern. Experimental archaeologist Dave Allen will explore the weapons used throughout this period. FRIDAY THIRTIES: 30 minute talks on a fascinating range of subjects throughout Friday morning and afternoon. Buy tickets to individual talks or CLICK HERE TO BUY A COMBINED TICKET FOR ALL 9 TALKS FOR ONLY £29  

£5.00 each

Fri 28th June
09:30 - 13:00

65. FASHIONING THE TUDORS: DRESS AND DISPLAY IN THE 16th CENTURY COURT

Speaker: Tracy Borman

...more details

Tracy Borman will curate a morning of talks and demonstrations covering the discovery of a replica of one of Elizabeth I’s dresses, the jewellery worn by Henry VIII's six wives, a discussion about mobilising the Tudor Court for such spectacular events as the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and a demonstration of dressing for court. 9.30 Fashioning the Tudors - Introduction Tracy Borman 9.35-10.15 Elizabeth I's Dress Eleri Lynn 10.15-10.55 Dressing for Court Mark Wallis 10.55 Coffee 11.25-12.05 Jewellery of the Six Wives Nicola Tallis 12.05-12.45 Portable Palaces: Tudor Royal Tents and The Field of Cloth of Gold Charles Farris 12.45 Wrap and questions Tracy Borman  

£40.00 each

Fri 28th June
10:15 - 10:45

57. WATERLOO UNCOVERED

Speaker: Mark Evans

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Generously sponsored by

The Waterloo Uncovered team has had exclusive archaeological access to the battlefield of Waterloo. They will explain their latest discoveries and how this pioneering work is dramatically helping to further our understanding of the battle. FRIDAY THIRTIES: 30 minute talks on a fascinating range of subjects throughout Friday morning and afternoon. Buy tickets to individual talks or CLICK HERE TO BUY A COMBINED TICKET FOR ALL 9 TALKS FOR ONLY £29

£5.00 each

Fri 28th June
11:00 - 11:30

58. WAR PHOTOGRAPHY: FROM THE CRIMEA TO WWII

Speaker: Alex Burnham

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Generously sponsored by

Using practical demonstrations and vivid visuals, Alex Burnham will explain the dramatic development of war photography from the pioneers of the Crimean War all the way through to the vital role it played in World War II. FRIDAY THIRTIES: 30 minute talks on a fascinating range of subjects throughout Friday morning and afternoon. Buy tickets to individual talks or CLICK HERE TO BUY A COMBINED TICKET FOR ALL 9 TALKS FOR ONLY £29

£5.00 each

Fri 28th June
11:45 - 12:15

59. TUDOR DYEING: FROM SHEEP TO CLOTH

Speaker: Georgina Ratcliffe

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Generously sponsored by

From the process of dyeing to the weave, Lindsey and George Ratcliffe will demonstrate how Tudors would have prepared wool from fleece and turned it into a range of clothing. FRIDAY THIRTIES: 30 minute talks on a fascinating range of subjects throughout Friday morning and afternoon. Buy tickets to individual talks or CLICK HERE TO BUY A COMBINED TICKET FOR ALL 9 TALKS FOR ONLY £29

£5.00 each

Fri 28th June
12:30 - 13:00

60. HERO OF THE RIVER PLATE: HENRY HARWOOD

Speaker: Peter Hore

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Generously sponsored by

Admiral Harwood’s victory at the Battle of the River Plate in 1939 was, said Churchill, ‘a flash of light and colour, a great action which will long be told in song and story’. Peter Hore will reveal more about Henry Harwood’s success. FRIDAY THIRTIES: 30 minute talks on a fascinating range of subjects throughout Friday morning and afternoon. Buy tickets to individual talks or CLICK HERE TO BUY A COMBINED TICKET FOR ALL 9 TALKS FOR ONLY £29

£5.00 each

Fri 28th June
13:45 - 14:15

61. TEDDER: ARCHITECT OF ALLIED AIR POWER

Speakers: Paul Beaver, Edward Stringer

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Generously sponsored by

Paul Beaver and Air Marshal Ed Stringer will discuss the brilliant but sometimes controversial wartime career of Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, who rose to become first head of Allied Air Forces in the Mediterranean and then Deputy Supreme Allied Commander from before D-Day until the end of the war. FRIDAY THIRTIES: 30 minute talks on a fascinating range of subjects throughout Friday morning and afternoon. Buy tickets to individual talks or CLICK HERE TO BUY A COMBINED TICKET FOR ALL 9 TALKS FOR ONLY £29

£5.00 each

Fri 28th June
15:30 - 16:30

68. OUR UNINVITED GUESTS: THE SECRET LIVES OF BRITAIN’S COUNTRY HOUSES 1939-45

Speaker: Julie Summers

...more details

Generously supported by DOUGLAS & MIDGE CONNELL

At the beginning of the Second World War the government requisitioned thousands of houses to provide accommodation for the armed forces, secret services and government offices as well as vulnerable children, the sick and the elderly. Julie Summers will give a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in some of Britain’s greatest country houses that were occupied by people whose needs were at odds with their opulent surroundings.

£10.75 each

Fri 28th June
17:00 - 18:00

71. VICTORIA: QUEEN, MATRIARCH, EMPRESS

Speaker: Jane Ridley

...more details

Generously supported by

Queen Victoria inherited the throne aged 18 and, in an unprecedented reign of 63 years, she oversaw intense industrial, cultural, political, scientific and military change within the United Kingdom, and great imperial expansion outside it. In the bicentenary of her birth, Professor Jane Ridley will overturn the established picture of the dour old lady to create a fresh and engaging portrait of this redoubtable monarch.

£11.50 each

Fri 28th June
18:30 - 19:30

73. LIONS OF THE NORTH: THE PERCYS AND ALNWICK CASTLE

Speaker: Ralph Northumberland

...more details

THE HISTORIC HOUSES LECTURE

Generously sponsored by

The 12th Duke of Northumberland is uniquely placed to provide a fascinating account of the Percy family and Alnwick Castle over a thousand years of British history. Generations of the Percy dynasty played vital parts in great historical events, from the Norman Conquest to the two World Wars, while the castle, once battered by marauding armies, is now a major tourist attraction.

Join today at historichouses.org for free access to over 300 lived-in historic homes and gardens. Hundreds of homes, thousands of stories.

£14.75 each

Fri 28th June
18:30 - 19:30

75. OUR BOYS: THE STORY OF A FALKLANDS PARATROOPER

Speaker: Helen Parr

...more details

Generously sponsored by

Helen Parr will bring to life the human experiences of the paratroopers who fought in the Falklands, and examine the long aftermath of that short and symbolic war. She will look at the social and cultural history of a regiment with an aggressive reputation, while intertwining the personal story of her uncle who was killed during the conflict.

£12.75 each

Fri 28th June
20:45 - 21:45

78. THE SPANISH ARMADA

Speaker: Sam Willis

...more details

In 1585 Spain was the most powerful empire in the known world. As tensions between Protestant England and Catholic Spain grew, Spain decided to invade England and so launched the Spanish Armada. Sam Willis will give a thrilling account that will explain how the English managed to overthrow the Spanish invasion; who the key figures were and the tactics, triumphs and failures on both sides.

£12.50 each

Sat 29th June
10:00 - 11:00

79. NORMANDY ’44

Speaker: James Holland

...more details

In this 75th anniversary year of D-Day and the Battle for Normandy, James Holland will present a very fresh and original overview of the campaign from its planning to its inception, dispelling a number of deeply held myths and casting new light on this most brutal fight for the liberation of Europe.

£14.50 each

Sat 29th June
10:00 - 11:00

80. AGENT JACK: THE TRUE STORY OF MI5’S SECRET NAZI HUNTER

Speaker: Robert Hutton

...more details

Generously sponsored by

In June 1940 Britain was Europe's final bastion of freedom - and Hitler's next target. But not everyone feared a Nazi invasion: in factories, offices and suburban homes people were determined to hasten it. Robert Hutton will expose the astonishing story of the MI5 agent at the heart of Operation Fifth Column, the covert wartime operation to flush out Nazi sympathisers on British soil.

£13.50 each

Sat 29th June
11:30 - 12:30
 Child Friendly

84. YOUNG CHURCHILL

Speaker: Charlie Higson

...more details

Generously sponsored by

When we think of Winston Churchill we think of the gruff wartime leader with the bulldog features, cigar and hat. It’s hard to imagine he was ever young. But in this talk for all ages, best-selling author and comedian, Charlie Higson will vividly bring the young Winston to life, from when he joined the army aged 20 until he first entered parliament five years later, having fought on three continents and begun his writing career as a war correspondent.

£13.50 each


Child (under 15)
Price £12 each

Sat 29th June
15:00 - 16:00

90. THE KING AND THE CATHOLICS: THE FIGHT FOR RIGHTS 1829

Speakers: Antonia Fraser, James Stourton

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Generously sponsored by

The Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829 was hailed as a ‘bloodless revolution’ and was the culmination of a process that started with the violent anti-Catholic Gordon riots in 1780. In conversation with James Stourton, Antonia Fraser will bring colour and humour to the vivid cast of characters who were integral to the gripping story of how Catholics in Britain won back their rights after two hundred years of official discrimination.

£13.50 each
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Sat 29th June
16:30 - 17:30

91. THE STORY OF THE BRITISH ISLES IN 100 PLACES

Speaker: Neil Oliver

...more details

Generously sponsored by

Beginning with footprints made in the sand by humankind’s earliest ancestors, Neil Oliver will take us on a personal tour of the places that have witnessed the unfolding of our history and that make our islands so special. From windswept headlands to battlefields, ancient trees to magnificent cathedrals, each of his destinations is a place where, somehow, the spirit of the past seems to linger.

£14.50 each
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Sat 29th June
16:30 - 17:30

92. APPEASING HITLER: CHAMBERLAIN, CHURCHILL AND THE ROAD TO WAR

Speaker: Tim Bouverie

...more details

Generously sponsored by

On 30th September 1938, Neville Chamberlain stepped off an aeroplane and announced that his visit to Hitler had averted the greatest crisis in recent memory. He declared it was ‘peace for our time’, but within a year Britain was at war with Germany. Tim Bouverie will give a compelling reappraisal of the immense drama of those disastrous years of indecision, failed diplomacy and parliamentary infighting that enabled Nazi domination of Europe. Bouverie's book reached number 4 in the Sunday Times best-seller list in the first week of publication.

£13.50 each
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Sat 29th June
18:00 - 19:00

94. THE SPY AND THE TRAITOR: THE GREATEST ESPIONAGE STORY OF THE COLD WAR

Speaker: Ben Macintyre

...more details

Generously sponsored by

One evening in July 1985, a man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in Moscow, holding a carrier bag from Safeway, the British supermarket. An ordinary looking Soviet citizen, this man was in fact the greatest secret agent of the Cold War and his bag was a secret signal. Ben Macintyre will reveal an extraordinary tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever.

£14.50 each
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Sat 29th June
18:00 - 19:00

96. THE BLACK DEATH

Speakers: Chloe Fox, Minette Walters

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Generously sponsored by

In June 1348 the Black Death first entered England through the port of Melcombe in Dorset. Minette Walters, master of crime fiction, has spent the best part of a decade working on a sweeping, utterly gripping historical drama inspired by the plague’s arrival just four miles from her home. Here she will discuss with Chloe Fox the challenges of historical research and her exciting findings.

£13.50 each
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Sun 30th June
10:00 - 11:00

102. THE SAS IN FRANCE 1944 – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: Gavin Mortimer

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Generously sponsored by

Gavin Mortimer, who has written wartime histories of the SAS, SBS and LRDG, will describe the clandestine role of the SAS in the invasion of France. The regiment was in action from 6th June 1944 until early October, ambushing convoys, derailing trains and gathering intelligence. What the SAS accomplished was impressive but their achievements came at a high price with the deaths of dozens of their soldiers.

£13.50 each

Sun 30th June
11:30 - 12:30

104. 1944 AT HIGHCLERE CASTLE – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: Fiona Carnarvon

...more details

Generously supported by THE COBHAM FAMILY

In 1944 Highclere Castle was a home for children evacuees; General Patton arrived for lunch in June; whilst two P-38 planes crashed just above the Castle whilst practising for D-Day. The Land Girls and retired estate workers were on the farm and in the kitchen gardens - Dig for Victory was part of the survival plan. Fiona Carnarvon will paint a fascinating portrait of an estate at war.

£13.50 each

Sun 30th June
13:30 - 14:30

106. CHURCHILL: WALKING WITH DESTINY – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: Andrew Roberts

...more details

THE CHURCHILL LECTURE Generously sponsored by

When we seek an example of a great leader with unalloyed courage, the person who comes to mind is Winston Churchill: the iconic, visionary war leader, who stood firmly for his beliefs when everyone doubted him. But how did young Winston become Churchill? What gave him the strength to take on the superior force of Nazi Germany when so many others had caved in? Andrew Roberts will present the definitive Winston Churchill, from birth to lasting legacy.

£14.50 each

Sun 30th June
15:00 - 16:00

109. D-DAY: COULD THE GERMANS HAVE WON? D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: Peter Caddick-Adams

...more details

Generously supported by

The Allied invasion of Europe involved years of painstaking preparation and mind-boggling logistics, including orchestrating the largest flotilla of ships ever assembled. In addition to covering the Allies’ build-up to the invasion, Peter Caddick-Adams will examine the German preparations: the formidable Atlantikwall and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's plans to make Europe impregnable. This talk will reveal precisely what lay in wait for the Allies.

£14.50 each

Sun 30th June
16:30 - 17:30

113. BIG WEEK: THE BATTLE OF THE SKIES FOR D-DAY – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: James Holland

...more details

James Holland will discuss the crises that struck both the Luftwaffe and the Allied strategic air forces in the autumn of 1943 and the build-up to Big Week, the vital - and massive - air battle that raged over Germany in the third week of February 1943, a clash that had a direct impact on D-Day and the land campaign that followed.   Chalke Valley History Festival is delighted to support Tickets for Troops which provides free tickets to members of the Armed Forces for a variety of sporting, musical and cultural events. The service provided by this charity offers serving personnel and those medically discharged from the forces since 2001, the well-deserved opportunity to enjoy an event of their choice with their friends and families.

£13.50 each

Sun 30th June
16:30 - 17:30

114. SOE: THE RESISTANCE AND THE BATTLE FOR NORMANDY – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: Adrian Weale

...more details

When Operation Overlord was launched with the Normandy landings on 6th June 1944, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) had organised and armed around 100,000 French men and women who were ready to fight under General Koenig and the Free French Forces of the Interior. Former military intelligence officer, historian Adrian Weale will assess their impact. Was their sacrifice – and that of their fellow countrymen – worth it? The Royal Signals Museum is bringing to CVHF an exciting range of fun, interactive STEM activities for school groups and families to demonstrate Interactive Communication, Interception and Electronic Warfare. Discover the art of the secret agent with Flags and Lamps, Codes and Code Breaking, OWL Spy Training, Radio maze and Cyber Security Challenge.  

£13.50 each

Sun 30th June
18:00 - 19:00

115. THE VICTORIANS: TWELVE TITANS WHO FORGED BRITAIN

Speaker: Jacob Rees-Mogg

...more details

Generously supported by THE CRESCENT TRUST

Many associate the Victorian era with austere social attitudes and filthy factories. Jacob Rees-Mogg will discuss with Tim Bouverie a very different picture of the age, one of bright ambition, bold self-belief and determined industriousness. Whether through Peel’s commitment to building free trade, Palmerston’s deft diplomacy in international affairs, or Brunel’s incredible engineering feats, the Victorians transformed the nation and established Britain as a preeminent global force.

£15.50 each

Sun 30th June
18:00 - 19:00

117. MONTY’S MEN – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: John Buckley

...more details

Following Britain’s military commanders and troops across the battlefields of Europe, from D-Day to VE-Day, from the Normandy beaches to Arnhem and the Rhine, and, ultimately, to the Baltic, the amazing Professor John Buckley will offer a radical reappraisal of Great Britain’s fighting forces during World War Two, challenging the common belief that the British Army was no match for the vaunted Nazi war machine. Chalke Valley History Festival is delighted to support WALKING WITH THE WOUNDED.  The charity supports those who have served in the Armed Forces and their families, empowering them to regain their independence, thrive and contribute in our communities. https://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk

£13.50 each

THEME: Children's Talks^ Top

Wed 26th June
17:00 - 18:00
 Child Friendly

34. THE ILIAD

Speaker: Tom Holland

...more details

Generously sponsored by

Tom Holland, classicist, historian and master storyteller, returns to the Ancient World with his unique, captivating and witty take on Homer’s tale of the Trojan War. A retelling of this most enduring of stories, this is for young and old, and all ages in between. Age 6+

£11.50 each

Sat 29th June
11:30 - 12:30
 Child Friendly

84. YOUNG CHURCHILL

Speaker: Charlie Higson

...more details

Generously sponsored by

When we think of Winston Churchill we think of the gruff wartime leader with the bulldog features, cigar and hat. It’s hard to imagine he was ever young. But in this talk for all ages, best-selling author and comedian, Charlie Higson will vividly bring the young Winston to life, from when he joined the army aged 20 until he first entered parliament five years later, having fought on three continents and begun his writing career as a war correspondent.

£13.50 each


Child (under 15)
Price £12 each

Sun 30th June
15:00 - 16:00
 Child Friendly

110. THE SILK ROADS FOR CHILDREN

Speaker: Peter Frankopan

...more details

Generously sponsored by

From the ancient laws of the Babylonians, to terrifying huns, the rise of Europe, two world wars and politics today, Peter Frankopan will move through time and history sewing together the threads from different peoples, empires and continents into a phenomenal history of the globe. For children and adults, this extraordinary story about how the east married the west has a remarkable voyage at its heart – the journey along the Silk Roads. Age 9 to Adult

£13.50 each


Child (under 15)
Price £12 each

THEME: Exploration^ Top

Mon 24th June
14:00 - 15:00

4. CAPTAIN OATES: SOLDIER AND EXPLORER

Speaker: Patrick Cordingley

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Generously supported by

Captain Oates lived life in obscurity but died a national hero, immortalised by his last words, ‘I am just going outside and may be some time’. Patrick Cordingley will tell the story of his life, which culminated in Scott’s tragic 1911-1913 Antarctic Expedition. Struggling for survival after reaching the South Pole, Oates attempted to save his comrades by walking into a blizzard to meet his death.

£10.75 each

Sat 29th June
15:00 - 16:00

88. THE VIKING AGE OF EXPLORATION

Speaker: Dan Snow

...more details

Dan Snow will tell the story of the Viking expansion across the North Atlantic to the New World. What does the archeology tell us? How did they navigate across the vast expanse of ocean and why did they use reindeer droppings as a preservative? Dan has followed the Vikings from Estonia to Newfoundland for a recent programme for BBC1 and will share what he learnt about their remarkable story.

£15.50 each

Sun 30th June
16:30 - 17:30

112. THE GREAT EXPLORERS

Speaker: Robin Hanbury-Tenison

...more details

Generously supported by THE HILLARY CHARITABLE TRUST

What inspires explorers to push back the boundaries of the world? Why do they risk their lives in unforgiving conditions far from home? How do they survive at the limits of human endurance? Who are the great pioneers of land, sea and space? Robin Hanbury-Tenison will chart the great expeditions of the most outstanding men and women who discovered our world, from da Gama to Gagarin.

£14.50 each

THEME: Farming & Landscape^ Top

Mon 24th June
17:00 - 18:00

10. CHALK DOWNLAND

Speaker: Allen Chalk

...more details

Generously sponsored by

In 1947 the Ministry of Information made a film called ‘Chalk Downland’. Today, local young filmmaker, William Walters, has made a 21st century version. In this very special event, we will screen both short films and James Holland will interview Broad Chalke resident, Allen Chalk, who started working at Chalk Pyt Farm in 1947 and is still there today, more than seventy years later.

£11.50 each

Tue 25th June
14:00 - 15:00

18. THE ARCHERS, FARMING AND THE END OF AGRARIANISM

Speaker: Graham Harvey

...more details

Generously supported by

The popularity of The Archers in its early days surprised everyone, not least the BBC. In those grey years of austerity after the war many people dreamt of an escape to a small farm in the country. But the programme was quietly backing a government agenda to modernise farming. Graham Harvey, the programme’s former agricultural advisor, will question whether The Archers is destroying the very world it portrayed.

£10.75 each

Tue 25th June
15:30 - 16:30

21. HIDDEN HISTORIES: A SPOTTER’S GUIDE TO THE BRITISH LANDSCAPE

Speaker: Mary-Ann Ochota

...more details

Generously supported by

From pathways, bridges and old houses, to hedges, churches, graveyards and field patterns left behind by medieval ploughmen, Mary-Ann Ochota will help decipher the story of our environment through the features we see around us and will arm the amateur explorer with the crucial information needed to ‘read’ the landscape and spot the human activities that have shaped our green and pleasant land.

£10.75 each

Tue 25th June
18:30 - 19:30

27. THE ONCE AND FUTURE FARM: THE LONG VIEW

Speakers: Minette Batters, Graham Harvey, Alex Langlands

...more details

Generously sponsored by

Today farmers face unprecedented changes, exacerbated by Britain’s uncertain relationship with Europe. In this highly topical event, our experts will discuss how farming has survived revolutions and reformations from the end of the 19th century to the present, and what can be done to ensure our mutual future prosperity. Chair: James Holland

£12.75 each

THEME: Financial History^ Top

Mon 24th June
14:00 - 15:00

2. WAR AND GOLD: A FIVE-HUNDRED-YEAR HISTORY OF EMPIRES, ADVENTURES AND DEBT

Speaker: Kwasi Kwarteng

...more details

Generously supported by

In the sixteenth century, Spanish conquistadors discovered the New World. The vast quantities of gold and silver would make their country rich, yet the new wealth supported multiple wars, ultimately leading to the economic ruin of their empire. Kwasi Kwarteng will examine the role that money has played in the destabilisation of societies and will place the powerful relationship between war and gold at the centre of global history.

£10.75 each

Sat 29th June
13:30 - 14:30

87. CAPITALISM IN AMERICA: A HISTORY

Speaker: Adrian Wooldridge

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Generously supported by

Adrian Wooldridge, otherwise known as Bagehot from the Economist, will describe America's evolution from a small patchwork of colonies to an unsurpassed engine of wealth and innovation. He will address the crucial debates, from the role of slavery in the antebellum Southern economy to the real impact of Roosevelt's New Deal and America's violent mood swings in its openness to global trade.

£13.50 each

THEME: Literary History^ Top

Tue 25th June
14:00 - 15:00

19. EPIC CONTINENT: ADVENTURES IN THE GREAT STORIES OF EUROPE

Speaker: Nicholas Jubber

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Award-winning travel writer Nicholas Jubber journeyed across Europe exploring it's epic poems, from the Odyssey to Beowulf, the Song of Roland to the Nibelungenlied. In these tales soaked in blood and fire, Nicholas Jubber will reveal how fantasy realms of gods and emperors, dragons and water-maidens, knights and princesses shaped our world: their deep impact on European identity, and their resonance in our turbulent times.

£10.75 each

Wed 26th June
17:00 - 18:00
 Child Friendly

34. THE ILIAD

Speaker: Tom Holland

...more details

Generously sponsored by

Tom Holland, classicist, historian and master storyteller, returns to the Ancient World with his unique, captivating and witty take on Homer’s tale of the Trojan War. A retelling of this most enduring of stories, this is for young and old, and all ages in between. Age 6+

£11.50 each

Wed 26th June
18:30 - 19:30

37. THIS IS SHAKESPEARE

Speaker: Emma Smith

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Generously supported by THE STEPHENSON JAMES TRUST

Shakespeare, a genius and prophet whose timeless works encapsulate the human condition like no others. A writer whose vision, originality and literary mastery were second to none. Professor Emma Smith will debunk these common perceptions of the Bard and will instead introduce an intellectually, theatrically and ethically exciting writer who treated topics such as individual agency, privacy, politics and celebrity in surprisingly modern ways.

£12.75 each

Thu 27th June
15:30 - 16:30

44. ROBERT GRAVES: FROM GREAT WAR POET TO GOOD-BYE TO ALL THAT

Speaker: Jean Moorcroft Wilson

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Robert Graves as war poet and the poems he suppressed in an effort to put the war behind him have been largely neglected – until now. Jean Moorcroft Wilson will trace not only Graves’s compelling life, but also the development of his poetry during the First World War, his thinking about the conflict and his talents as a master prose writer and author of the revealing memoir Good-bye to All That. This year at the History Festival for Schools ESU trainers will be conducting a series of short "Discover Your Voice” workshops. These half hour workshops are intended as an introduction for the full day workshops which the ESU offers to schools. The purpose of the highly enjoyable "Discover your Voice" programme is to develop students' public speaking and general communication skills. Details of the ESU’s complete range of programmes can be found at esu.org

£10.75 each

Thu 27th June
17:00 - 18:00

49. HOW JOHN RUSKIN SHAPES OUR WORLD

Speaker: Andrew Hill

...more details

Generously supported by

John Ruskin was the best-known and most controversial intellectual of the Victorian Age. He was an art critic, a social activist, an early environmentalist; he was also a painter, writer, and a determined tastemaker in the fields of architecture and design. In the bicentenary of his birth, Andrew Hill will discuss how Ruskin’s radical ideas are still relevant to today.

£11.50 each

THEME: Miscellaneous^ Top

Tue 25th June
20:45 - 21:45

29. ENGLISH SONGS: MUSIC FROM SEVEN CENTURIES OF THE ENGLISH RADICAL TRADITION

Speakers: Steve Knightley, Michael Wood

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The English tradition of popular song has had a massive influence on world music, not least in folk and blues. In the run up to the anniversary of Peterloo, this event, introduced by Michael Wood, will include songs from the Peasants' Revolt and the Civil War, newly discovered songs from Peterloo, right up to today, performed by the legendary folk singer Steve Knightley. Steve Knightley is part of the phenomenally successful SHOW OF HANDS duo: more than two decades on the road. 25 album releases. 2 Honorary Doctorates, 3 BBC Folk Awards, 4 Royal Albert Hall sell-outs. Tours in 14 countries from America to Australia.

£10.00 each

Thu 27th June
15:30 - 16:30

46. FIGHTING SPIRIT

Speaker: Tim Leighton

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Tim Leighton will examine the fluctuating attitudes of the British armed forces to alcohol and other drug use by serving personnel and veterans from WWI to the present day, in both war and peace. The positive and negative effects on operational capability and morale will be examined together with the services’ historical and contemporary response to the psychological casualties of substance abuse. Chalke Valley History Festival is delighted to support WALKING WITH THE WOUNDED, a charity which supports those who have served in the Armed Forces and their families, empowering them to regain their independence, thrive and contribute in our communities. https://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk

£10.75 each

Thu 27th June
20:45 - 21:45

53. I OBJECT: SATIRE AND SUBVERSION, A HIDDEN HISTORY OF DISSENT

Speakers: Ian Hislop, Guy Walters

...more details

Generously sponsored by

Today dissent is relatively easy and commonplace. Our voices can be heard in protest, shared across social media and told through satire. But dissent is not a new phenomenon. Ian Hislop will discuss with Guy Walters objects that ordinary people have created, adapted and used to mock and attack the status quo in societies as varied as Egypt in the 11th century BC, 16th century England and 20th century Afghanistan.

£15.75 each
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Fri 28th June
20:45 - 21:45

76. HISTRIONICS QUIZ SHOW

Speakers: Harry Enfield, Natalie Haynes, Charlie Higson, John Sessions, Dan Snow

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Our annual comedy history panel show returns this year with our host, Charlie Higson, back in the chair and stellar teams of historians and comedians. Irreverent and outrageous, it is the history show that delves deep into the past and winkles out the famous, the infamous, the forgotten and the, frankly, fatuous moments from history.

£16.50 each

Sat 29th June
19:30 - 20:30

99. HISTORIES OF THE UNEXPECTED

Speakers: James Daybell, Sam Willis

...more details

Generously supported by

How is the history of the beard connected to the Crimean War? What links zebras to the Second World War? How is the history of bubbles all about the French Revolution? Sam Willis and James Daybell will take us on a journey of discovery that tackles some of the greatest historical themes - from the Tudors to the Second World War, from the Roman Empire to the Victorians - but via entirely unexpected subjects.

£13.50 each

THEME: Philosophy^ Top

Thu 27th June
17:00 - 18:00

47. THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY

Speaker: A.C. Grayling

...more details

Generously supported by THE CRESCENT TRUST

The story of philosophy is an epic tale: from classical antiquity to the present, it is the unending quest for an understanding of reality, truth and value by some of the most creative minds in the world. Professor Anthony Grayling will give a comprehensive account of the great adventure of philosophy, mainly in the Western tradition but with overviews of the rich Indian, Chinese and Arabic-Persian traditions also.

£12.50 each

Sun 30th June
11:30 - 12:30

105. SOCRATES IN LOVE: THE MAKING OF A PHILOSOPHER

Speaker: Armand D'Angour

...more details

Generously supported by DOWNING HISTORIANS

Socrates was the philosopher who gave birth to the European tradition of philosophical thought. Yet his trial and death are better known than his life story. Professor Armand D’Angour will explore Socrates’ early years revealing what - and who - inspired him to become a philosopher. What emerges is the figure of Socrates as a heroic warrior, an athletic wrestler and passionate lover, and an explosive discovery that places a woman at the origins of Western philosophy.

£13.50 each

THEME: Politics & International Relations^ Top

Mon 24th June
17:00 - 18:00

8. WAR AND THE DEATH OF NEWS: FROM BATTLEFIELD TO NEWSROOM

Speaker: Martin Bell

...more details

Generously sponsored by

From Vietnam to Iraq, Martin Bell has seen how war has changed over the last fifty years; neither fought nor reported as it used to be. As modern news increasingly seeks to entertain first and inform second, the man in the white suit will provide a moving account of all he has witnessed throughout his career and will issue an impassioned call to put the substance back into reporting.

£12.75 each

Mon 24th June
18:30 - 19:30

11. THE SQUARE AND THE TOWER: NETWORKS, HIERARCHIES AND THE STRUGGLE FOR GLOBAL POWER

Speaker: Niall Ferguson

...more details

Generously supported by THE ROTHERMERE FOUNDATION

Most history is hierarchical: it's about emperors, presidents, prime ministers and field marshals. It's about states, armies and corporations, trade unions and workers' parties. But what if we are missing the informal, less well-documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change? Niall Ferguson will argue that hierarchies rule, but networks innovate. And it is through networks that revolutionary ideas can contagiously spread.

£13.75 each

Mon 24th June
20:45 - 21:45

14. ROBERT KENNEDY: WORKING FOR BOBBY

Speaker: Steven Isenberg

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In 1968, a year that saw America divided by the Vietnam War and shocked by the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Steve Isenberg, a twenty-seven year old political novice, joined the presidential campaign of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. He will recount his adventures on the campaign trail and reveal the highs and lows of a campaign that was innocent and idealistic, yet full of serious purpose and determination, but that was ultimately to end in tragedy.

£12.75 each

Tue 25th June
15:30 - 16:30

20. EMPIRES OF THE MIND: THE COLONIAL PAST AND THE POLITICS OF THE PRESENT

Speaker: Robert Gildea

...more details

Generously supported by

Even after the rush of decolonisation in the 1960s, the strings of economic and military power too often remained in the hands of the former colonial powers. Award-winning historian Professor Robert Gildea will argue that terror attacks in London, the recent Windrush scandal and Brexit can be much better understood when we realise that Empire is still with us, in the mind if not in reality.

£10.75 each

Wed 26th June
18:30 - 19:30

35. HUBRIS: THE ROAD TO DONALD TRUMP – POWER, POPULISM, NARCISSIM

Speaker: David Owen

...more details

Generously sponsored by

Recent world leaders have been depressives, alcoholics, narcissists, populists, affected by hubris syndrome, and driven by their religious beliefs. But Donald Trump, a world-class narcissist, presents a completely different set of issues. David Owen, who has pioneered the understanding of hubris in politics, will analyse the mental and physical condition of political leaders past and present and will place Trump in his historical, political, philosophical and medical context.

£13.75 each
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Wed 26th June
18:30 - 19:30

36. NO TURNING BACK: LIFE, LOSS, AND HOPE IN WARTIME SYRIA

Speaker: Rania Abouzeid

...more details

CVHF DIRECTORS' LECTURE

Generously sponsored by

Award-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid will present reportage of unprecedented scope. From the first rumblings of dissent in 2011, she will show the unravelling of a nation: peaceful protests collapsing into violence, families shattered, and religious conviction sharpened by rage to a radical point. She will reveal how Syrians found new ways to resist as the cruelty of the dictatorial regime – and the rising threat of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State – tore their homeland apart.

£12.75 each

Thu 27th June
14:00 - 15:00

41. ADAM SMITH: WHAT HE THOUGHT AND WHY IT MATTERS

Speaker: Jesse Norman

...more details

Generously sponsored by

Adam Smith is now widely regarded as ‘the father of modern economics’ but the implications of his ideas remain fiercely contested. Against the turbulent backdrop of the Scottish Enlightenment, Jesse Norman MP will trace his influence over the past two centuries, and address crucial issues of inequality and exploitation, explaining why he remains central to any attempt to defend, reform or renew the market system.

£10.75 each

Sat 29th June
13:30 - 14:30

86. HOW TO REMAIN SANE IN THE AGE OF POPULISM

Speaker: Elif Shafak

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Generously sponsored by

In recent years, a wave of populism has swept the world, fuelled by fear, anger and resentment. International award-winning author and TED Global speaker Elif Shafak will ask how we remain sane in the age of populism. Should we retreat into tribes of our own; should we create new tribes, or should we, and can we, find a way beyond tribalism?

£13.50 each

Sat 29th June
15:00 - 16:00

89. IRAN, ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY: THE POLITICS OF MANAGING CHANGE

Speaker: Ali Ansari

...more details

Generously supported by KEITH & KATRINA CRAIG

The surprise election of Hasan Rouhani in 2013 has refocused attention on the dynamics between Islam and democracy in Iran after the hiatus of the Ahmadinejad presidency. The brilliant Professor Ali Ansari will give a compelling account of the politics of reform and shine a clear light on the pressures and pitfalls Iran faces in politics and international relations.

£13.50 each

Sat 29th June
19:30 - 20:30

98. START AGAIN: HOW TO FIX OUR BROKEN POLITICS

Speaker: Philip Collins

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Generously supported by

Britain today is divided by generation, education, place and attitude. In this time of tumult, when Britain is wrestling with the question of what sort of nation it wishes to be, its politics is stuck. Drawing on lessons from history, Philip Collins will propose new answers to today’s most urgent questions: questions of education, work, health, housing, security, nationhood, and of how we can achieve a better future.

£13.50 each

Sun 30th June
11:30 - 12:30

103. TWISTING THE VOTE: RUSSIA AND THE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL ELECTION RIGGING

Speakers: Michael Crick, Joyce Hakmeh, Shaun Walker, Calder Walton

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Generously supported by

Russian interference in foreign elections has been headline news since the US presidential elections in 2016, however this is not a new phenomenon and Russia is not alone in its efforts to influence the results of another country’s elections. Calder Walton, from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Joyce Hakmeh of Chatham House and Shaun Walker, the Guardian’s central and eastern Europe correspondent will shed light on international election rigging, past and present, chaired by Michael Crick.

£14.50 each

Sun 30th June
13:30 - 14:30

108. SULTAN OF SWING: THE LIFE OF DAVID BUTLER

Speakers: David Butler, Michael Crick

...more details

Generously supported by

Having first been summoned by Winston Churchill for polling advice when he was only twenty-five, David Butler got to know most of Britain's senior post-war politicians and has acted as a highly influential voice behind the scenes. In 1945 he was the first to turn British constituency results into percentages, and thereby founded the science of psephology. Later he invented the BBC's popular Swingometer, which is still used today. Since then, Butler, now aged 94, has shown everyone not just how to analyse elections, but how to make sense of our democracy. It is a great honour for Chalke Valley History Festival that Sir David Butler will discuss remarkable life as the greatest analyst of British elections with award-winning TV correspondent Michael Crick. This promises to be both fascinating and timely.

£13.50 each

THEME: Science^ Top

Mon 24th June
20:45 - 21:45

15. THE BOOK OF HUMANS: THE STORY OF HOW WE BECAME US

Speaker: Adam Rutherford

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In this myth-busting history of life on Earth, acclaimed science writer and broadcaster Adam Rutherford will explore how many of the things once considered to be exclusively human are not: we are not the only species that communicates, that makes tools, that utilises fire, or that has sex for pleasure. But does that mean we are not unique?

£11.75 each

Thu 27th June
18:30 - 19:30

51. MAKE, THINK, IMAGINE: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FUTURE

Speaker: John Browne

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Engineer and businessman Lord Browne will give an impassioned defence of progress and innovation. Drawing on history, his own experiences, and conversations with many of today’s great innovators, he will argue that civilisation is founded on engineering revolution and that the same spark that ignites each advance can be used to counter its negative consequences.

£12.75 each

THEME: Second World War^ Top

Mon 24th June
09:30 - 13:15

1. D-DAY 75 MORNING

Speakers: Paul Beaver, John Buckley, Peter Caddick-Adams, Joe Cattini, James Holland, Richard Llewellyn, Paul Stoddart, Laurie Weeden, Paul Woodadge

...more details

To mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we are holding a special morning of events on the subject. To look at the battle beyond D-Day and the role of air power in the Allied victory, we have gathered an exclusive panel of experts and veterans for what will be a highly informative and memorable morning. 9.30am TYPHOONS AND THE EFFECT OF AIR POWER Paul Beaver, John Buckley, Paul Stoddart 10.15am D-DAY VETERANS Laurie Weeden Glider Pilot Joe Cattini RASC Driver Richard Llewellyn Navigating Officer's Assistant, HMS Ajax 11am  Coffee 11.20am BEYOND D-DAY: WALKING THE GROUND Paul Woodadge 12.05pm THE NORMANDY TRENCH A tour of the WWII Trench 12.30pm MONTY: THE MARMITE FIELD MARSHAL Peter Caddick-Adams, James Holland    

£55.00 each

Tue 25th June
17:00 - 18:00

23. FIGHTING WITH THE FRENCH RESISTANCE: JOHN JAMMES

Speaker: John Jammes

...more details

Generously supported by ANONYMOUS DONOR

Jean (aka John) Jammes was a schoolboy in 1944 when, that summer, he joined the Resistance group led by his father in the countryside near Loches in Touraine. Involved in a number of sabotage actions, he also helped capture three German soldiers and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. In this very special event he will talk to Peter Caddick-Adams about his own part in the Liberation of France.

£12.75 each

Wed 26th June
17:00 - 18:00

33. THE KREMLIN LETTERS: STALIN’S WARTIME CORRESPONDENCE WITH CHURCHILL AND ROOSEVELT

Speaker: David Reynolds

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Generously supported by THE CRESCENT TRUST

Having studied more than six hundred written communications that Joseph Stalin exchanged with Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, David Reynolds is superbly placed to offer vivid insights into the political negotiation, diplomatic manoeuvring and human story behind World War II’s Allied triumvirate. Professor Reynolds will provide a novel perspective on how the “Big Three” forged and maintained an effective alliance, while also exposing its fractious limits.

£12.50 each

Fri 28th June
12:00 - 13:00

118. DUNKIRK VETERAN: JOHN HAMILTON

Speaker: John Hamilton

...more details

In conversation with Major General Andrew Cumming

We are incredibly fortunate to welcome the remarkable 101-year-old John Hamilton, who will discuss his extraordinarily varied military career with Major General Andrew Cumming. Over the course of 25 years, John was evacuated from Dunkirk, worked as a instructor at the Recce Corps Training Centre in Catterick, took the German surrender in Norway, commanded the A Squadron of the King’s Dragoon Guards in Libya and served with the Arab Legion in Jordan as a major. Not to be missed!

£10.75 each

Fri 28th June
12:30 - 13:00

60. HERO OF THE RIVER PLATE: HENRY HARWOOD

Speaker: Peter Hore

...more details

Generously sponsored by

Admiral Harwood’s victory at the Battle of the River Plate in 1939 was, said Churchill, ‘a flash of light and colour, a great action which will long be told in song and story’. Peter Hore will reveal more about Henry Harwood’s success. FRIDAY THIRTIES: 30 minute talks on a fascinating range of subjects throughout Friday morning and afternoon. Buy tickets to individual talks or CLICK HERE TO BUY A COMBINED TICKET FOR ALL 9 TALKS FOR ONLY £29

£5.00 each

Fri 28th June
13:45 - 14:15

61. TEDDER: ARCHITECT OF ALLIED AIR POWER

Speakers: Paul Beaver, Edward Stringer

...more details

Generously sponsored by

Paul Beaver and Air Marshal Ed Stringer will discuss the brilliant but sometimes controversial wartime career of Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, who rose to become first head of Allied Air Forces in the Mediterranean and then Deputy Supreme Allied Commander from before D-Day until the end of the war. FRIDAY THIRTIES: 30 minute talks on a fascinating range of subjects throughout Friday morning and afternoon. Buy tickets to individual talks or CLICK HERE TO BUY A COMBINED TICKET FOR ALL 9 TALKS FOR ONLY £29

£5.00 each

Fri 28th June
15:30 - 16:30

68. OUR UNINVITED GUESTS: THE SECRET LIVES OF BRITAIN’S COUNTRY HOUSES 1939-45

Speaker: Julie Summers

...more details

Generously supported by DOUGLAS & MIDGE CONNELL

At the beginning of the Second World War the government requisitioned thousands of houses to provide accommodation for the armed forces, secret services and government offices as well as vulnerable children, the sick and the elderly. Julie Summers will give a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in some of Britain’s greatest country houses that were occupied by people whose needs were at odds with their opulent surroundings.

£10.75 each

Fri 28th June
18:30 - 19:30

74.THE LOST BOYS: A FAMILY RIPPED APART BY WAR

Speakers: Catherine Bailey, William Sieghart

...more details

Generously supported by

When the Nazis arrested Fey von Hassell and took her two sons away, she began a terrifying journey into some of the darkest corners of occupied Europe and to the limits of human endurance. Catherine Bailey will discuss with William Sieghart the extraordinary true story of a family ripped apart by persecution and war; a heart-breaking tale of loss, betrayal, fortitude and one woman's determination to survive for the sake of her family.

£12.75 each

Sat 29th June
10:00 - 11:00

79. NORMANDY ’44

Speaker: James Holland

...more details

In this 75th anniversary year of D-Day and the Battle for Normandy, James Holland will present a very fresh and original overview of the campaign from its planning to its inception, dispelling a number of deeply held myths and casting new light on this most brutal fight for the liberation of Europe.

£14.50 each

Sat 29th June
10:00 - 11:00

80. AGENT JACK: THE TRUE STORY OF MI5’S SECRET NAZI HUNTER

Speaker: Robert Hutton

...more details

Generously sponsored by

In June 1940 Britain was Europe's final bastion of freedom - and Hitler's next target. But not everyone feared a Nazi invasion: in factories, offices and suburban homes people were determined to hasten it. Robert Hutton will expose the astonishing story of the MI5 agent at the heart of Operation Fifth Column, the covert wartime operation to flush out Nazi sympathisers on British soil.

£13.50 each

Sat 29th June
11:30 - 12:30

82. THE CUT OUT GIRL: A STORY OF WAR AND FAMILY, LOST AND FOUND

Speakers: Lien de Jong, Bart van Es

...more details

Generously supported by WILLIAM & GIGI SALOMON

Lien de Jong last saw her parents when, aged 8, she was collected at the door by a stranger and taken to a family far away to be hidden from the Nazis. She never saw her parents or a single member of her family again. Lien de Jong is flying from Holland especially to discuss her struggle as a young girl to survive Nazi persecution and the powerful love, and challenges of foster families with Bart van Es, a grandson of her foster parents, and the most recent overall Costa Prize winner.

£14.50 each

Sat 29th June
16:30 - 17:30

92. APPEASING HITLER: CHAMBERLAIN, CHURCHILL AND THE ROAD TO WAR

Speaker: Tim Bouverie

...more details

Generously sponsored by

On 30th September 1938, Neville Chamberlain stepped off an aeroplane and announced that his visit to Hitler had averted the greatest crisis in recent memory. He declared it was ‘peace for our time’, but within a year Britain was at war with Germany. Tim Bouverie will give a compelling reappraisal of the immense drama of those disastrous years of indecision, failed diplomacy and parliamentary infighting that enabled Nazi domination of Europe. Bouverie's book reached number 4 in the Sunday Times best-seller list in the first week of publication.

£13.50 each
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Sun 30th June
10:00 - 11:00

100. NORMANDY VETERAN: STUART WATSON – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: Stuart Watson

...more details

Major-General Stuart Watson was the signal officer for the 13th/18th Royal Hussars on D-Day. In preparation for the planned invasion of Europe, in 1943 his regiment was equipped with Sherman Duplex-Drive (DD) amphibious tanks, one of the specialised assault vehicles known collectively as Hobart’s Funnies. In conversation with Allan Mallinson, Major-General Watson will discuss this unique vehicle and its role in the regiment’s epic 5000-yard swim to Sword Beach on D-Day and the desperate fight to gain a bridgehead. This promises to be an unmissable event. Chalke Valley History Festival is delighted to support The Soldiers' Charity which gives a lifetime of support to soldiers and veterans from the British Army, and their immediate families, when they are in need. Grants are given to individuals through their Regiments and Corps and support a wide range of specialist charities that sustain the British Army ‘family’, both at home and around the world.

£14.50 each

Sun 30th June
10:00 - 11:00

102. THE SAS IN FRANCE 1944 – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: Gavin Mortimer

...more details

Generously sponsored by

Gavin Mortimer, who has written wartime histories of the SAS, SBS and LRDG, will describe the clandestine role of the SAS in the invasion of France. The regiment was in action from 6th June 1944 until early October, ambushing convoys, derailing trains and gathering intelligence. What the SAS accomplished was impressive but their achievements came at a high price with the deaths of dozens of their soldiers.

£13.50 each

Sun 30th June
11:30 - 12:30

104. 1944 AT HIGHCLERE CASTLE – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: Fiona Carnarvon

...more details

Generously supported by THE COBHAM FAMILY

In 1944 Highclere Castle was a home for children evacuees; General Patton arrived for lunch in June; whilst two P-38 planes crashed just above the Castle whilst practising for D-Day. The Land Girls and retired estate workers were on the farm and in the kitchen gardens - Dig for Victory was part of the survival plan. Fiona Carnarvon will paint a fascinating portrait of an estate at war.

£13.50 each

Sun 30th June
13:30 - 14:30

106. CHURCHILL: WALKING WITH DESTINY – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: Andrew Roberts

...more details

THE CHURCHILL LECTURE Generously sponsored by

When we seek an example of a great leader with unalloyed courage, the person who comes to mind is Winston Churchill: the iconic, visionary war leader, who stood firmly for his beliefs when everyone doubted him. But how did young Winston become Churchill? What gave him the strength to take on the superior force of Nazi Germany when so many others had caved in? Andrew Roberts will present the definitive Winston Churchill, from birth to lasting legacy.

£14.50 each

Sun 30th June
13:30 - 14:30

107. A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE AMERICAN SPY WHO HELPED WIN WORLD WAR II

Speaker: Sonia Purnell

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Generously sponsored by

In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: “She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.” The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill’s “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.” She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and, despite her prosthetic leg, helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it. Virginia Hall established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, she refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerilla campaign, liberating swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day.

Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall – an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spycraft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity. A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman’s fierce persistence helped win the war.

£13.50 each

Sun 30th June
15:00 - 16:00

109. D-DAY: COULD THE GERMANS HAVE WON? D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: Peter Caddick-Adams

...more details

Generously supported by

The Allied invasion of Europe involved years of painstaking preparation and mind-boggling logistics, including orchestrating the largest flotilla of ships ever assembled. In addition to covering the Allies’ build-up to the invasion, Peter Caddick-Adams will examine the German preparations: the formidable Atlantikwall and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's plans to make Europe impregnable. This talk will reveal precisely what lay in wait for the Allies.

£14.50 each

Sun 30th June
16:30 - 17:30

113. BIG WEEK: THE BATTLE OF THE SKIES FOR D-DAY – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: James Holland

...more details

James Holland will discuss the crises that struck both the Luftwaffe and the Allied strategic air forces in the autumn of 1943 and the build-up to Big Week, the vital - and massive - air battle that raged over Germany in the third week of February 1943, a clash that had a direct impact on D-Day and the land campaign that followed.   Chalke Valley History Festival is delighted to support Tickets for Troops which provides free tickets to members of the Armed Forces for a variety of sporting, musical and cultural events. The service provided by this charity offers serving personnel and those medically discharged from the forces since 2001, the well-deserved opportunity to enjoy an event of their choice with their friends and families.

£13.50 each

Sun 30th June
16:30 - 17:30

114. SOE: THE RESISTANCE AND THE BATTLE FOR NORMANDY – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: Adrian Weale

...more details

When Operation Overlord was launched with the Normandy landings on 6th June 1944, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) had organised and armed around 100,000 French men and women who were ready to fight under General Koenig and the Free French Forces of the Interior. Former military intelligence officer, historian Adrian Weale will assess their impact. Was their sacrifice – and that of their fellow countrymen – worth it? The Royal Signals Museum is bringing to CVHF an exciting range of fun, interactive STEM activities for school groups and families to demonstrate Interactive Communication, Interception and Electronic Warfare. Discover the art of the secret agent with Flags and Lamps, Codes and Code Breaking, OWL Spy Training, Radio maze and Cyber Security Challenge.  

£13.50 each

Sun 30th June
18:00 - 19:00

117. MONTY’S MEN – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: John Buckley

...more details

Following Britain’s military commanders and troops across the battlefields of Europe, from D-Day to VE-Day, from the Normandy beaches to Arnhem and the Rhine, and, ultimately, to the Baltic, the amazing Professor John Buckley will offer a radical reappraisal of Great Britain’s fighting forces during World War Two, challenging the common belief that the British Army was no match for the vaunted Nazi war machine. Chalke Valley History Festival is delighted to support WALKING WITH THE WOUNDED.  The charity supports those who have served in the Armed Forces and their families, empowering them to regain their independence, thrive and contribute in our communities. https://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk

£13.50 each

THEME: Thread of British History^ Top

Mon 24th June
15:30 - 16:30

5. BRITAIN: THE THREAD OF HISTORY – AN INTRODUCTION

Speaker: Ali Ansari

...more details

Generously supported by ANONYMOUS DONOR

The amazing Ali Ansari will introduce the five-year project we are launching this year with an overview of the past 413 years of our islands’ history, exploring many of the themes and narrative twists that have led the United Kingdom to become the country it is. Insightful and thought-provoking, it will begin to explain why we are the cultural and ethnic mixture we are today.

£10.75 each

Mon 24th June
17:00 - 18:00

9. JAMES VI AND I: RELIGION AND STATE – BRITAIN: THE THREAD OF HISTORY 1

Speaker: Clare Jackson

...more details

Generously supported by

In this first Thread of History lecture, Clare Jackson will discuss the reign of the double king, James VI of Scotland and I of England, Wales and Ireland. A time of literature and learning, as well as one of peace, James nonetheless ruled a disjointed British Isles that saw the beginnings of growing unrest and religious divisions. A little understood reign, it was a vital period in which the foundations of future strife were set. History Today is Britain’s leading serious history magazine. Get 3 issues for just £5 with this special Chalke Valley History Festival offer.

£11.50 each

Tue 25th June
14:00 - 15:00

17. CHARLES 1 – BRITAIN: THE THREAD OF HISTORY 2

Speaker: Leanda de Lisle

...more details

Generously supported by DOUGLAS & MIDGE CONNELL

In this second Thread of History lecture, Leanda de Lisle will talk about the tumultuous reign of Charles I. From the king’s early clashes with Parliament to growing mistrust over his religious policies and his notions of absolute monarchy, Leanda de Lisle will cast light on Charles’s character and chart the descent towards a catastrophic civil war.

£10.75 each

Thu 27th June
14:00 - 15:00

42. THE WAR OF THE THREE KINGDOMS – BRITAIN: THE THREAD OF HISTORY 3

Speaker: John Adamson

...more details

In our third Thread of History talk, John Adamson takes up Britain’s story with an account of the War of the Three Kingdoms that wracked the country in the mid -17th century and brought civil war to England, Scotland and Ireland. One of the leading authorities on the subject, John Adamson will bring fresh perspectives to this terrible moment in British history.

£10.75 each

Thu 27th June
20:45 - 21:45

55. FREE MEN, LEVELLERS AND JOHN LILBURNE – BRITAIN: THE THREAD OF HISTORY 4

Speaker: Ted Vallance

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In our fourth Thread of History talk, the brilliant Professor Ted Vallance will discuss the new notions of common rights, free speech and religious toleration that emerged during the Civil War and English Revolution. He will also assess the influence of John Lilburne and other Levellers and consider the enduring effect they had on the political development of Britain.

£11.75 each

Fri 28th June
14:00 - 15:00

67. REGICIDE AND REPUBLIC – BRITAIN: THE THREAD OF HISTORY 5

Speaker: Clare Jackson

...more details

Generously supported by

In this fifth Thread of History talk, Clare Jackson will revisit one of the most extraordinary watershed moments in British history: the public execution of King Charles I in 1649. While regicide was followed by the creation of a republican Commonwealth and Cromwellian Protectorates, the inhabitants of the British Isles saw their 'worlds turned upside down' during eleven tumultuous years, before the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.

£10.75 each

Fri 28th June
15:30 - 16:30

69. THE AGE OF CROMWELL – BRITAIN: THE THREAD OF HISTORY 6

Speaker: Micheál Ó Siochrú

...more details

Generously sponsored by

In our sixth Thread of History talk, Professor Micheál Ó Siochrú will discuss the wider impact of the Age of Cromwell and the Republic beyond England, looking at the invasion and conquest of Scotland and the violent oppression of Ireland. Cromwell’s legacy on that island is still felt to this day and vividly underlines the vital importance of studying the past.

£10.75 each

Sun 30th June
15:00 - 16:00

111. THE RESTORATION – BRITAIN: THE THREAD OF HISTORY 7

Speaker: Kate Loveman

...more details

Generously sponsored by

In our final Thread of History talk for this year, Kate Loveman will discuss the Restoration of the monarchy and the return of Charles II. Bringing with him a very different kind of kingship, Charles’s reign saw significant changes in attitudes towards sex, morals, and religion, while the nation contended with major disasters and a return to international war.

£13.50 each

THEME: Veterans^ Top

Tue 25th June
17:00 - 18:00

23. FIGHTING WITH THE FRENCH RESISTANCE: JOHN JAMMES

Speaker: John Jammes

...more details

Generously supported by ANONYMOUS DONOR

Jean (aka John) Jammes was a schoolboy in 1944 when, that summer, he joined the Resistance group led by his father in the countryside near Loches in Touraine. Involved in a number of sabotage actions, he also helped capture three German soldiers and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. In this very special event he will talk to Peter Caddick-Adams about his own part in the Liberation of France.

£12.75 each

Fri 28th June
12:00 - 13:00

118. DUNKIRK VETERAN: JOHN HAMILTON

Speaker: John Hamilton

...more details

In conversation with Major General Andrew Cumming

We are incredibly fortunate to welcome the remarkable 101-year-old John Hamilton, who will discuss his extraordinarily varied military career with Major General Andrew Cumming. Over the course of 25 years, John was evacuated from Dunkirk, worked as a instructor at the Recce Corps Training Centre in Catterick, took the German surrender in Norway, commanded the A Squadron of the King’s Dragoon Guards in Libya and served with the Arab Legion in Jordan as a major. Not to be missed!

£10.75 each

Sat 29th June
11:30 - 12:30

82. THE CUT OUT GIRL: A STORY OF WAR AND FAMILY, LOST AND FOUND

Speakers: Lien de Jong, Bart van Es

...more details

Generously supported by WILLIAM & GIGI SALOMON

Lien de Jong last saw her parents when, aged 8, she was collected at the door by a stranger and taken to a family far away to be hidden from the Nazis. She never saw her parents or a single member of her family again. Lien de Jong is flying from Holland especially to discuss her struggle as a young girl to survive Nazi persecution and the powerful love, and challenges of foster families with Bart van Es, a grandson of her foster parents, and the most recent overall Costa Prize winner.

£14.50 each

Sun 30th June
10:00 - 11:00

100. NORMANDY VETERAN: STUART WATSON – D-Day Sunday Talk

Speaker: Stuart Watson

...more details

Major-General Stuart Watson was the signal officer for the 13th/18th Royal Hussars on D-Day. In preparation for the planned invasion of Europe, in 1943 his regiment was equipped with Sherman Duplex-Drive (DD) amphibious tanks, one of the specialised assault vehicles known collectively as Hobart’s Funnies. In conversation with Allan Mallinson, Major-General Watson will discuss this unique vehicle and its role in the regiment’s epic 5000-yard swim to Sword Beach on D-Day and the desperate fight to gain a bridgehead. This promises to be an unmissable event. Chalke Valley History Festival is delighted to support The Soldiers' Charity which gives a lifetime of support to soldiers and veterans from the British Army, and their immediate families, when they are in need. Grants are given to individuals through their Regiments and Corps and support a wide range of specialist charities that sustain the British Army ‘family’, both at home and around the world.

£14.50 each

Sun 30th June
13:30 - 14:30

108. SULTAN OF SWING: THE LIFE OF DAVID BUTLER

Speakers: David Butler, Michael Crick

...more details

Generously supported by

Having first been summoned by Winston Churchill for polling advice when he was only twenty-five, David Butler got to know most of Britain's senior post-war politicians and has acted as a highly influential voice behind the scenes. In 1945 he was the first to turn British constituency results into percentages, and thereby founded the science of psephology. Later he invented the BBC's popular Swingometer, which is still used today. Since then, Butler, now aged 94, has shown everyone not just how to analyse elections, but how to make sense of our democracy. It is a great honour for Chalke Valley History Festival that Sir David Butler will discuss remarkable life as the greatest analyst of British elections with award-winning TV correspondent Michael Crick. This promises to be both fascinating and timely.

£13.50 each

THEME: World History^ Top

Mon 24th June
14:00 - 15:00

2. WAR AND GOLD: A FIVE-HUNDRED-YEAR HISTORY OF EMPIRES, ADVENTURES AND DEBT

Speaker: Kwasi Kwarteng

...more details

Generously supported by

In the sixteenth century, Spanish conquistadors discovered the New World. The vast quantities of gold and silver would make their country rich, yet the new wealth supported multiple wars, ultimately leading to the economic ruin of their empire. Kwasi Kwarteng will examine the role that money has played in the destabilisation of societies and will place the powerful relationship between war and gold at the centre of global history.

£10.75 each

Mon 24th June
18:30 - 19:30

13. 1821: THE GREEK WAR OF INDEPENDENCE

Speaker: James Heneage

...more details

It began as a spark in the Peloponnese and grew to suck in the Great Powers. It was an eleven year adventure full of heroism and unspeakable savagery with a glittering, international cast that included Byron, Delacroix and hundreds of young philhellenes who went out to fight and die. It ended with the last naval battle fought under sail and changed Europe forever.

£12.75 each

Mon 24th June
20:45 - 21:45

14. ROBERT KENNEDY: WORKING FOR BOBBY

Speaker: Steven Isenberg

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In 1968, a year that saw America divided by the Vietnam War and shocked by the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Steve Isenberg, a twenty-seven year old political novice, joined the presidential campaign of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. He will recount his adventures on the campaign trail and reveal the highs and lows of a campaign that was innocent and idealistic, yet full of serious purpose and determination, but that was ultimately to end in tragedy.

£12.75 each

Mon 24th June
20:45 - 21:45

15. THE BOOK OF HUMANS: THE STORY OF HOW WE BECAME US

Speaker: Adam Rutherford

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In this myth-busting history of life on Earth, acclaimed science writer and broadcaster Adam Rutherford will explore how many of the things once considered to be exclusively human are not: we are not the only species that communicates, that makes tools, that utilises fire, or that has sex for pleasure. But does that mean we are not unique?

£11.75 each

Mon 24th June
20:45 - 21:45

16. SHE-MERCHANTS, BUCCANEERS AND GENTLEWOMEN

Speaker: Katie Hickman

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Generously sponsored by

In stark contrast to the languid memsahibs of popular imagination, the women who went to India were tough adventurers, their voyages extraordinarily daring leaps into the unknown. India was the British 'wild east', and many women succeeded in building a new, and often independent, life for themselves. Best-selling author Katie Hickman will challenge our views of this period in this exciting landmark history.

£11.75 each

Tue 25th June
14:00 - 15:00

19. EPIC CONTINENT: ADVENTURES IN THE GREAT STORIES OF EUROPE

Speaker: Nicholas Jubber

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Award-winning travel writer Nicholas Jubber journeyed across Europe exploring it's epic poems, from the Odyssey to Beowulf, the Song of Roland to the Nibelungenlied. In these tales soaked in blood and fire, Nicholas Jubber will reveal how fantasy realms of gods and emperors, dragons and water-maidens, knights and princesses shaped our world: their deep impact on European identity, and their resonance in our turbulent times.

£10.75 each

Tue 25th June
15:30 - 16:30

20. EMPIRES OF THE MIND: THE COLONIAL PAST AND THE POLITICS OF THE PRESENT

Speaker: Robert Gildea

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Even after the rush of decolonisation in the 1960s, the strings of economic and military power too often remained in the hands of the former colonial powers. Award-winning historian Professor Robert Gildea will argue that terror attacks in London, the recent Windrush scandal and Brexit can be much better understood when we realise that Empire is still with us, in the mind if not in reality.

£10.75 each

Tue 25th June
17:00 - 18:00

24. THE PATIENT ASSASSIN: A TRUE TALE OF MASSACRE, REVENGE AND THE RAJ

Speaker: Anita Anand

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On April 13th 1919, the British Indian Army opened fire on a crowd attending an unauthorised public meeting in Amritsar. Over 1,000 unarmed Indians were killed. Among the survivors was a young man who made a vow of vengeance that would ultimately prove successful. Prompted by her own family connections to the Amritsar massacre, Anita Anand will tell the remarkable story of one Indian’s twenty-year quest for revenge.

£11.50 each

Tue 25th June
17:00 - 18:00

25. TIPPU TIP: IVORY, SLAVERY AND DISCOVERY IN THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA

Speaker: Stuart Laing

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Generously supported by THE CRESCENT TRUST

The turbulent world of the ‘Scramble for Africa’ in the late 19th century will be the stage for Stuart Laing’s talk on the colourful life of Tippu Tip, a Zanzibari Arab ivory trader, who assisted Livingstone, Stanley and other explorers, and was engaged as a provincial Governor in the Congo by King Leopold. He will give a graphic account of an energetic, resourceful, ruthless but humorous operator.

£11.50 each

Tue 25th June
20:45 - 21:45

30. THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF THE SULTAN SALADIN

Speaker: Jonathan Phillips

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Generously supported by

Few of history’s heroes can rival Saladin in his enduring attraction. In the Muslim world he is revered for reclaiming Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187. In the West he is famed for his chivalric virtue, despite fighting off the armies of the Third Crusade. Professor Jonathan Phillips will bring alive this extraordinary man’s legacy, offering a unique prism through which to view the complex world of holy war and the centuries-long struggle for Jerusalem. History Today is Britain’s leading serious history magazine. Get 3 issues for just £5 with this special Chalke Valley History Festival offer.

£11.75 each

Tue 25th June
20:45 - 21:45

31. LOTHARINGIA: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF EUROPE’S LOST COUNTRY

Speaker: Simon Winder

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In 843 AD the territory of Emperor Charlemagne was divided between his three surviving grandsons. One inherited the area now known as France, another Germany and the third received the piece in between: Lotharingia, a huge swath of land that stretched from the mouth of the Rhine to the Alps. Simon Winder will recount how the dynamic between these three great zones has dictated much of our subsequent fate. Chalke Valley History Festival is delighted to support the Salisbury Hospice Charity which jointly funds palliative care services with the NHS. Through its activities it has funded the building of the Hospice and several subsequent extensions and refurbishments. It is committed to raising £1.5 million each year to maintain and develop the services. In some cases it is the sole funder of a service or activity.

£11.75 each

Wed 26th June
17:00 - 18:00

33. THE KREMLIN LETTERS: STALIN’S WARTIME CORRESPONDENCE WITH CHURCHILL AND ROOSEVELT

Speaker: David Reynolds

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Generously supported by THE CRESCENT TRUST

Having studied more than six hundred written communications that Joseph Stalin exchanged with Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, David Reynolds is superbly placed to offer vivid insights into the political negotiation, diplomatic manoeuvring and human story behind World War II’s Allied triumvirate. Professor Reynolds will provide a novel perspective on how the “Big Three” forged and maintained an effective alliance, while also exposing its fractious limits.

£12.50 each

Wed 26th June
18:30 - 19:30

36. NO TURNING BACK: LIFE, LOSS, AND HOPE IN WARTIME SYRIA

Speaker: Rania Abouzeid

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CVHF DIRECTORS' LECTURE

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Award-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid will present reportage of unprecedented scope. From the first rumblings of dissent in 2011, she will show the unravelling of a nation: peaceful protests collapsing into violence, families shattered, and religious conviction sharpened by rage to a radical point. She will reveal how Syrians found new ways to resist as the cruelty of the dictatorial regime – and the rising threat of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State – tore their homeland apart.

£12.75 each

Wed 26th June
20:45 - 21:45

39. COLONIALISM: ENGLAND, FRANCE AND ITS LONG LEGACY

Speaker: Olivette Otele

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Generously supported by ANDREW AND BELINDA SCOTT CHARITABLE TRUST

From the 16th century the race for gold took Spain, Portugal and the Dutch Republic to West Africa then to the Americas. England and France’s attempts to commandeer the African trade resulted in a complex relationship where diplomacy, partnerships, piracy and privateering were intertwined. Olivette Otele will trace European anxiety about its colonial past by looking at the legacies of this earlier era.

£11.75 each

Thu 27th June
14:00 - 15:00

43. THE MAP OF KNOWLEDGE: HOW CLASSICAL IDEAS WERE LOST AND FOUND

Speaker: Violet Moller

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Violet Moller will trace the journey taken by the ideas of three of the greatest scientists of antiquity – Euclid, Galen and Ptolemy – through seven cities and over a thousand years. In tracing these fragile strands of knowledge, Moller will reveal the web of connections between the Islamic world and Christendom, connections that would both preserve and transform astronomy, mathematics and medicine from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

£10.75 each

Thu 27th June
17:00 - 18:00

48. THE TWENTIETH CENTURY IN GREECE

Speakers: Trevor Dolby, Victoria Hislop

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The twentieth century was a particularly turbulent time in Greek history. The German occupation in World War II, the subsequent civil war and the military dictatorship created deep rifts in society, divided families and left a legacy that is still felt to this day. International best-selling author Victoria Hislop will shed light on the complexity of Greece’s traumatic past as she discusses, with Trevor Dolby, the history that informs her latest novel.

£11.50 each

Thu 27th June
18:30 - 19:30

52. THE BRITISH IN INDIA: THREE CENTURIES OF AMBITION AND EXPERIENCE

Speaker: David Gilmour

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Distinguished historian David Gilmour will trace the lives of hitherto unknown British men and women in India. They include soldiers, officials, businessmen, doctors and missionaries, planters and engineers, together with children, wives and sisters. He will describe their work and their extraordinarily varied interactions with the native populations, painting a highly original portrait of three centuries of British-Indian history.

£12.75 each

Thu 27th June
20:45 - 21:45

54. AROUND THE WORLD IN 1847: A CHRONICLE OF GENIUS, GENEROSITY AND SAVAGERY

Speaker: Turtle Bunbury

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Best-selling author, historian and TV presenter Turtle Bunbury will take a fast-paced look at the world as it was 170 years ago. Featuring an exceptional cast of characters from those who explored the world’s oceans to show stopping entertainers, his talk will also encompass the intrepid pioneers who crossed the prairies of the Americas, the genius of Liszt and Mendelssohn, the Irish soldiers who fought for Mexico and the tale of a dinosaur-loving Dorset girl.

£11.75 each

Fri 28th June
15:15 - 15:45

63. THE BYZANTINE WORLD WAR

Speaker: Nick Holmes

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The Crusades shook the world. But why did they happen? Nick Holmes will show their origins in a new light, as part of a world war that stretched from Asia to Normandy with Byzantium at the centre, fighting for survival. FRIDAY THIRTIES: 30 minute talks on a fascinating range of subjects throughout Friday morning and afternoon. Buy tickets to individual talks or CLICK HERE TO BUY A COMBINED TICKET FOR ALL 9 TALKS FOR ONLY £29

£5.00 each

Fri 28th June
16:00 - 16:30

64. WE SHALL GO TO THE MOON: THE ADVENTURE OF APOLLO

Speaker: Stephen Wisdom

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The Moon landings of 50 years ago were man’s greatest exploration. Historian Stephen Wisdom will relate eleven little-known details about the journey of Apollo 11 that took humans to the surface of another world, FRIDAY THIRTIES: 30 minute talks on a fascinating range of subjects throughout Friday morning and afternoon. Buy tickets to individual talks or CLICK HERE TO BUY A COMBINED TICKET FOR ALL 9 TALKS FOR ONLY £29

£5.00 each

Fri 28th June
17:00 - 18:00

70. ROLLER-COASTER: EUROPE 1950-2017

Speaker: Ian Kershaw

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In 1950 Europe was reawakening from the worst war in history, and the inhumanity of that past would cast a deep shadow over the continent for decades to come. Sir Ian Kershaw will explore the successes and setbacks, the advances and disappointments that have led from one era of insecurity to another. The result is a grand panorama of Europe over the last seventy years.

£12.50 each

Fri 28th June
18:30 - 19:30

75. OUR BOYS: THE STORY OF A FALKLANDS PARATROOPER

Speaker: Helen Parr

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Helen Parr will bring to life the human experiences of the paratroopers who fought in the Falklands, and examine the long aftermath of that short and symbolic war. She will look at the social and cultural history of a regiment with an aggressive reputation, while intertwining the personal story of her uncle who was killed during the conflict.

£12.75 each

Fri 28th June
20:45 - 21:45

78. THE SPANISH ARMADA

Speaker: Sam Willis

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In 1585 Spain was the most powerful empire in the known world. As tensions between Protestant England and Catholic Spain grew, Spain decided to invade England and so launched the Spanish Armada. Sam Willis will give a thrilling account that will explain how the English managed to overthrow the Spanish invasion; who the key figures were and the tactics, triumphs and failures on both sides.

£12.50 each

Fri 28th June
20:45 - 21:45

77. NAPOLEON: THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH

Speaker: Adam Zamoyski

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‘What a novel my life has been!’ exclaimed Napoleon – but he wrote much of it himself. A masterful and shameless manipulator of myths, he created a narrative that still inspires passionate and conflicting responses. Was he a god-like genius, Romantic avatar, megalomaniac monster or just a nasty little dictator? Adam Zamoyski will argue that he was none of these and will present a more human, more understandable and far more interesting Napoleon.

£12.50 each

Sat 29th June
11:30 - 12:30

83. THE COLOUR OF TIME: A NEW HISTORY OF THE WORLD 1850-1975

Speakers: Marina Amaral, Dan Jones

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Dan Jones will introduce the incredible work of the Brazilian artist Marina Amaral, who uses digital techniques, underpinned by meticulous research, to colourise historical black and white photographs. Her stunning images span world history and transform the monochrome of early photographs into the vibrant hues of real life. Marina Amaral and Dan Jones will anchor each image in its context, offering a unique perspective on the past.

£13.50 each

Sat 29th June
13:30 - 14:30

85. VIETNAM: AN EPIC TRAGEDY 1945-1975

Speaker: Max Hastings

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In an acclaimed retelling of the Vietnam tragedy, Max Hastings will offer a balanced account of how and why the Vietnam War unfolded as it did, and a gripping description of what it was like to take part, based on the testimony of scores of participants - communist and anti-communist Vietnamese, Chinese railway engineers, Soviet missile crews, American soldiers, movie stars - whose experiences extended far beyond the battlefields.

£15.50 each
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Sat 29th June
15:00 - 16:00

88. THE VIKING AGE OF EXPLORATION

Speaker: Dan Snow

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Dan Snow will tell the story of the Viking expansion across the North Atlantic to the New World. What does the archeology tell us? How did they navigate across the vast expanse of ocean and why did they use reindeer droppings as a preservative? Dan has followed the Vikings from Estonia to Newfoundland for a recent programme for BBC1 and will share what he learnt about their remarkable story.

£15.50 each

Sat 29th June
15:00 - 16:00

89. IRAN, ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY: THE POLITICS OF MANAGING CHANGE

Speaker: Ali Ansari

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Generously supported by KEITH & KATRINA CRAIG

The surprise election of Hasan Rouhani in 2013 has refocused attention on the dynamics between Islam and democracy in Iran after the hiatus of the Ahmadinejad presidency. The brilliant Professor Ali Ansari will give a compelling account of the politics of reform and shine a clear light on the pressures and pitfalls Iran faces in politics and international relations.

£13.50 each

Sat 29th June
16:30 - 17:30

92. APPEASING HITLER: CHAMBERLAIN, CHURCHILL AND THE ROAD TO WAR

Speaker: Tim Bouverie

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On 30th September 1938, Neville Chamberlain stepped off an aeroplane and announced that his visit to Hitler had averted the greatest crisis in recent memory. He declared it was ‘peace for our time’, but within a year Britain was at war with Germany. Tim Bouverie will give a compelling reappraisal of the immense drama of those disastrous years of indecision, failed diplomacy and parliamentary infighting that enabled Nazi domination of Europe. Bouverie's book reached number 4 in the Sunday Times best-seller list in the first week of publication.

£13.50 each
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Sat 29th June
16:30 - 17:30

93. THE GOLDEN THREAD: HOW FABRIC CHANGED HISTORY

Speaker: Kassia St Clair

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From 30,000-year-old threads found in a Georgian cave to the linen wrappings of Tutankhamun’s mummy; from the lace ruffs that infuriated the puritans to the Indian calicoes and chintzes that powered the Industrial Revolution, Kassia St Clair will reveal how the continual reinvention of cloth weaves a fascinating story of human ingenuity. The Royal Literary Fund is a benevolent fund for professional published authors; it is funded exclusively by bequests and donations from writers and others who wish to help writers.

£13.50 each
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Sat 29th June
18:00 - 19:00

94. THE SPY AND THE TRAITOR: THE GREATEST ESPIONAGE STORY OF THE COLD WAR

Speaker: Ben Macintyre

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Generously sponsored by

One evening in July 1985, a man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in Moscow, holding a carrier bag from Safeway, the British supermarket. An ordinary looking Soviet citizen, this man was in fact the greatest secret agent of the Cold War and his bag was a secret signal. Ben Macintyre will reveal an extraordinary tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever.

£14.50 each
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Sat 29th June
18:00 - 19:00

95. RORKE’S DRIFT AND THE BATTLE OF ISANDLWANA

Speaker: Douglas Rattray

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The Battle of Isandlwana in 1879 was one of the most devastating defeats suffered by Britain at the hands of local inhabitants. Douglas Rattray will explain the battle from both sides, highlighting the courage of the desperate British soldiers and the gallantry of the proud Zulu warriors. Our Eurocentric understanding of this titanic clash has, for years, been that of a British blunder but was it, in fact, a great Zulu victory?

£13.50 each

Sun 30th June
10:00 - 11:00

101. BRITAIN AND EUROPE: A SHORT HISTORY

Speaker: Jeremy Black

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Much specious history is presented to justify the closeness or distance of Britain’s political, cultural and economic links with Europe, but how like or unlike other European countries has Britain truly been? Professor Jeremy Black will dissect our multi-faceted relationship with ‘the Continent’, in a trenchant analysis of Britain in Europe.

£13.50 each

Sun 30th June
11:30 - 12:30

103. TWISTING THE VOTE: RUSSIA AND THE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL ELECTION RIGGING

Speakers: Michael Crick, Joyce Hakmeh, Shaun Walker, Calder Walton

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Russian interference in foreign elections has been headline news since the US presidential elections in 2016, however this is not a new phenomenon and Russia is not alone in its efforts to influence the results of another country’s elections. Calder Walton, from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Joyce Hakmeh of Chatham House and Shaun Walker, the Guardian’s central and eastern Europe correspondent will shed light on international election rigging, past and present, chaired by Michael Crick.

£14.50 each

Sun 30th June
15:00 - 16:00
 Child Friendly

110. THE SILK ROADS FOR CHILDREN

Speaker: Peter Frankopan

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From the ancient laws of the Babylonians, to terrifying huns, the rise of Europe, two world wars and politics today, Peter Frankopan will move through time and history sewing together the threads from different peoples, empires and continents into a phenomenal history of the globe. For children and adults, this extraordinary story about how the east married the west has a remarkable voyage at its heart – the journey along the Silk Roads. Age 9 to Adult

£13.50 each


Child (under 15)
Price £12 each

Sun 30th June
16:30 - 17:30

112. THE GREAT EXPLORERS

Speaker: Robin Hanbury-Tenison

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Generously supported by THE HILLARY CHARITABLE TRUST

What inspires explorers to push back the boundaries of the world? Why do they risk their lives in unforgiving conditions far from home? How do they survive at the limits of human endurance? Who are the great pioneers of land, sea and space? Robin Hanbury-Tenison will chart the great expeditions of the most outstanding men and women who discovered our world, from da Gama to Gagarin.

£14.50 each