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Welcome to Charleston Festival 2016


With a line-up that includes leading architects, scientists, novelists, politicians, scholars and poets, the 27th edition of Charleston Festival (20 - 30 May 2016) is peerless in the quality of its speakers. 2016 is a special year for Charleston, marking 100 years since Bloomsbury Group artists, Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, arrived to make Charleston their Sussex home creating an artistic and intellectual hub, which would later host distinguished literary figures John Maynard Keynes and Virginia Woolf. 


Soak up the unique Charleston atmosphere and seize the opportunity to get close up and personal with some remarkable speakers. Highlights include: 

· Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, discusses humanity’s precarious existence and its chance of surviving the 21st century with science-savvy novelist Ian McEwan

· A lecture by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, winner of The Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize

· Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent and John Lahr are guests of honour at the first-ever Charleston Festival Dinner, with a menu inspired by Jans Ondaatje Rolls’ The Bloomsbury Cookbook

View the full programme for Charleston Festival 2016 

Fittingly, as Charleston reflects on its own hundred-year history and looks forward to its future, so writers are increasingly looking to the past for inspiration. Melvyn Bragg attempts to glean answers to current societal questions in his study of the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt, while there are sobering contemporary parallels to be drawn in books by Caroline Moorhead and Thomas Harding, both of whom are fascinated by European communities’ nomadic histories in the face of adversity.