New Names Join Henley Literary Festival Line-up

KateHumbleStella Rimington, Alan Johnson, Kate Humble and Douglas Hurd confirmed for Henley Literary Festival event

The first female MI5 chief, a Springwatch star and two former Home Secretaries have all been newly announced for this autumn’s Henley Literary Festival.


Taking place, in association with Laithwaite’s Wine, at venues across the town from September 30th to 6th October, the latest additions join already confirmed authors including Dan Snow, Ann Widdecombe and Giles Coren. Many more will be added in the coming months.


Dame Stella Rimington will make a rare festival appearance following the publication of her latest Liz Carlyle spy novel The Geneva Trap, as well as reflecting on her long career at MI5 which culminated in her appointment as director general.


Springwatch presenter Kate Humble (pictured above) will discuss the recently published Humble by Nature: Life, lambs and a dog called Badger, which focuses on her move from a London first to a Welsh smallholding with four acres and then to a farm and 117 acres of land.


Douglas Hurd, recently back in the headlines paying tribute to Margaret Thatcher, turns his attentions to another iconic Prime Minister in the form of Benjamin Disraeli, the subject of his forthcoming biography. Fellow former Home Secretary Alan Johnson, a key figure of the Blair and Brown governments, will speak about his highly anticipated childhood memoir This Boy. With the festival taking place as political conference season comes to a close, both men are likely to be drawn on the current states of their respective parties.


Other events now confirmed include returns for two stars of last year’s festival: Captain David Blakeley, following up best-seller Pathfinder with Maverick One; and Henry Hitchings, whose Sorry! looks at the English and their manners.


The Friends of the Festival scheme for 2013 is now open, providing vital support to the festival and giving Friends priority booking and other benefits. More details are available at