2017 Line-up: Sir Chris Bonington, Jess Phillips MP, David Baddiel, Katie Fforde, Greg James, Vince Cable and Virginia McKenna among first events announced

After a record-breaking 10th year in 2016, the first of 150 events planned for this autumn’s Henley Literary Festival have been revealed, covering children’s, comedy, fiction, politics and more. The Festival, supported by Baillie Gifford, will take place at venues across the riverside town from 2nd-8th October 2017.

Sir Chris Bonington will make his first appearance at the Festival, discussing a six-decade mountaineering career that includes four Everest expeditions and numerous first ascents. Virginia McKenna will look back on her journey from starring in Carve Her Name With Pride and Ring of Bright Water to her wildlife campaigning, as charted in last year’s Channel 4 Born Free documentary.

From the world of politics, there is both campaigner and Labour MP Jess Phillips – whose Everywoman is already one of the most talked-about books of 2017 – and former Lib Dem MP Vince Cable, who returns after his 2015 sell-out with his first novel, a political thriller. Richard Ingrams, the former Private Eye and Oldie editor, looks at the justice campaigns of his old friend Ludovic Kennedy in Ludo And The Power Of The Book, released last month to acclaim from critics.

The children’s line-up includes comedian and writer David Baddiel, who received rave reviews for last week’s Channel 4 documentary The Trouble With Dad, and a family event with Radio 1 DJs Greg James and Chris Smith around their first book Kid Normal.

Novelists include: Katie Fforde, currently number one in the UK book charts; Samantha Shannon, a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic with her Bone Season series; and Imran Mahmood, a barrister whose You Don’t Know Me is one of the most anticipated debuts of the year.

Over 100 more events for adults and children will be announced over the
coming months, before tickets go on sale on July.

Friends membership – which offers priority booking and savings at festival
Partners year-round – is now open for 2017.


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