FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival 2019

For nine days the world-famous university city will play host to the Oxford Literary Festival, which along with its title partner FT Weekend will be presenting a wealth of speakers and events on a wealth of subjects, from archaeology to wildlife, and everything in between.

For 2019 All About History and History of War are proud to be supporting several speaker events across the festival, including renowned historians such as Adam Zamoyski, Dr Anna Beer, Dr Simon Targett and hosts of the Histories Of The Unexpected podcast Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell.

Journalist and author Tim Bouverie will be discussing his new book Appeasing Hitler on Friday 5 April. Elsewhere in their talk The King’s War, Peter Conradi and Mark Logue will be discussing the later career of Mark’s grandfather and speech therapist to George VI, Lionel Logue.

Of course, there are more than just the shining stars of the history world over the packed lineup, which also includes philosophers, novelists, comedians and broadcasters. Cultural historian and broadcaster Dr Janina Ramirez will be discussing her first foray into children’s historical fiction, with her new book Riddle Of The Runes. Chief curator of the Royal Historic Palaces Lucy Worsley will be revealing how she approached her third novel Lady Mary, which recounts Henry VIII’s traumatic first divorce through the eyes of his first daughter, the young princess Mary.


Take a look below for a small selection of the quality talks on offer at the
FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival 2019 or Click Here to book tickets now


Appeasing Hitler: Chamberlain, Churchill & the Road to War
Tim Bouverie Friday, 5 April, 10-11am                                                                                                

Journalist and historian Tim Bouverie explains the disastrous years of indecision, failed diplomacy and parliamentary infighting in Britain that allowed Nazi domination of Europe and determined the continent’s fate. Bouverie used archival research and previously unseen sources to tell the story from the rise of Hitler to British retreat at the beaches of Dunkirk.

He explains how Hitler enjoyed surprising support among the ruling class in Britain and even among the Royal Family and how the nation’s ministers, aristocrats and amateur diplomats failed to stand up to the German dictator. Bouverie studied history at Christ Church, Oxford. He has worked as a political journalist for Channel 4 News and regularly reviews history and politics books for national newspapers and magazines.

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Napoleon: The Man Behind the Myth
Adam Zamoyski Saturday, 6 April, 10-11am

Historian and writer Adam Zamoyski strips away the self-serving legend crafted by Napoleon himself to uncover the real man behind the myths. Zamoyski says there is a more human, more understandable and far more interesting Napoleon beneath all the prejudice and myth

He explains how a boy from Corsica came to achieve what he did, placing him firmly in the context of his age. Zamoyski says Napoleon’s social, physical and sexual insecurities turned his struggle for survival into a quest for acceptance through the pursuit of power, leading ultimately to his final defeat.

Zamoyski has written more than a dozen books on key figures and aspects of European history including 1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March On Moscow and Rites Of Peace: The Fall Of Napoleon And The Congress Of Vienna.

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Patriot or Traitor: The Life & Death of Sir Walter Ralegh
Anna Beer Sunday, 7 April, 4-5pm

Historian and biographer Dr Anna Beer explains how Elizabeth I’s favourite and trusted adventurer Sir Walter Ralegh ended up being imprisoned in the Tower by her successor and sent, 400 years ago, to the scaffold.

Ralegh was an adventurer, poet and writer. He was one of the few permitted to enter The Privy Chamber of Elizabeth I, and the monarch depended on him at home and abroad in times of peace and war. Beer explains how Ralegh polarised opinion in England and why his legacy remains highly controversial even today.

Beer is a cultural historian and visiting fellow of the University of Oxford. She has also written biographies of Milton and Lady Bess Ralegh and is author of Sounds And Sweet Airs: The Forgotten Women Of Classical Music.

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The King’s War
Peter Conradi & Mark Logue Monday 1 April, 2-3pm

Journalist Peter Conradi and filmmaker Mark Logue, authors of the bestselling book The King’s Speech, explain how George VI’s speech therapist Lionel Logue continued to play an important role in the life of the monarch.

The King’s Speech showed how George VI’s speech to the nation at the outbreak of war in 1939 was the result of years of hard work with his speech therapist. The book was turned into a multi-Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth. Conradi and Logue, grandson of Lionel Logue, draw on information from the Logue archive and contemporary reports to show how the two men and their families faced up to the challenges of WWII. 


Conradi is Sunday Times foreign editor. His books include Hitler’s Piano Player: The Rise And Fall Of Ernst Hanfstaengl and Who Lost Russia? How The World Entered A New Cold War. Logue is a filmmaker and the custodian of the Logue Archive.

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New World Inc: How England’s Merchants Founded America and Launched the British Empire
Dr Simon Targett Tuesday 2 April, 2-3pm

Writer and historian Dr Simon Targett tells the story of the English merchant adventurers who headed to the New World and transformed England from a relatively insignificant kingdom into a world power.

Targett describes how a group of merchants formed what was arguably the world’s first joint stock company before setting out to find new markets and trading partners.

He draws on portraits of life in London and across the Atlantic to show how this group used the latest innovations, a hunger for profit and an appetite for risk to transform England’s fortunes.

Targett is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a senior editor on the Financial Times and as global editor-in chief of The Boston Consulting Group.

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