Note: The Festival has two programmes of talks that run in parallel: at the Vinson and Ondaatje Lecture Theatres. Festival-goers may choose talks from either programme.


Coffee is available in the Vinson Building from 09:00

Vinson Lecture Theatre Programme

George V

JANE RIDLEY discusses the quietly revolutionary reign of George V, and examines his relationship with Queen Mary.

From Persecution to Power

PETER HEATHER explains how a cult founded by a Jewish prophet in Roman Palestine rose to become the dominant belief sytem of the western world and beyond.

Lunch 13:00-14:00

Europe’s Royal House

Martyn Rady explains the rise and fall of the Habsburgs, empire builders for whom the world was not enough.

Royal Censorship

ANDREW LOWNIE reveals the scandalous lives of Edward VIII and Lord Mountbatten and argues that there is more to know if only the files could be opened.

Ondaatje Lecture Theatre, Radcliffe Centre, Programme

Art of England

FRANCES SPALDING explores the works and lives of English artists between the wars and finds a distinctive and revelatory engament with the nation. 

Colour and Creativity

JAMES FOX takes us on a tour of the history of colour, from the Bronze Age to Yves Klein, via Titian and Turner.

Lunch 13:00-14:00

Children of the Conquest

ELEANOR PARKER asks what happened to the Anglo-Saxon children growing up after the Norman Conquest of 1066?

A Warlike People?

PETER H. WILSON looks back over 500 years of the miitary history of the German-speaking peoples and finds a mass of contradictions.