A princess and a peer

Princess Michael of Kent. (S)
Princess Michael of Kent. (S)

A princess and a peer are among a line-up of legendary writers set to appear at Harrogate History Festival this autumn.

Princess Michael of Kent and Melvyn Bragg, Lord Bragg of Wigton, have been announced as special guests this week by organisers Harrogate International The third Gemma Rowland, Literature Festivals Manager said: “Harrogate’s literary Festivals are an essential part of the publishing calendar and the History Festival is no exception.

Melvyn Bragg. (S)

Melvyn Bragg. (S)

“Now in our third year, we have gathered some of the most exciting names in historical writing, both fiction and non-fiction, for old and young alike.

“From Michael Morpurgo to Kate Mosse, Neil Oliver to Melvyn Bragg and Princess Michael of Kent, we have something for everyone, and all united in a passion for history in all its forms.”

Harrogate History Festival, run in association with the Historical Writers’ Association (HWA), also welcomes giant of the genre, Ken Follett who has global sales of 150 million copies of his epic books; his latest is Edge of Eternity, an international number one bestseller.

Other guests include former children’s laureate and War Horse author Michael Morpurgo, Scottish historian and broadcaster Neil Oliver, Thomas Cromwell biographer Tracy Borman who will reveal ‘The Real Wolf Hall’ and Languedoc trilogy novelist Kate Mosse in conversation with the festival’s programming chairman, novelist and HWA chairman Manda Scott.

The festival sees readers and writers meet to discuss their joint passion for history from fact through to fiction.

Panels include a royal debate about King John with experts Stephen Church, Toby Clements and Dan Jones exploring the truth behind the myths surrounding the Magna Carta in Bad King, Great Charter.

Writers Damien Lewis, Roger Moorhouse and Victor Sebestyen will battle it out in Not Just Bullets and Bombs in a lively panel discussing the legacy of the Second World War chaired by Robert Goddard.

And in 600 Years of Beating the French the anniversaries of victory at Agincourt and Waterloo will be marked.

War can offer a form of liberation to women; authors explore the lives of those who showed courage in extremis in The Lengths They Will Go To.

Other well-loved names to appear are Andrew Taylor, Emma Darwin, Elizabeth Buchan and many more.

Readers will be in the thick of it when they vote in My Era’s Better than Yours.

Period writers will attempt to convince the Romans, Tudors, Vikings or Ancient Greeks are the best eras for time travellers to return to in a Tardis.

The festival will open with the HWA Debut Crown for New Historical Fiction and the Harrogate History Festival’s Outstanding Contribution to Historical Fiction will also be presented, in a ceremony hosted by acclaimed broadcaster Mark Lawson.

The Harrogate History Festival takes place at the Old Swan Hotel from October 22-25.

For individual tickets, day passes and weekend passes visit

http://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/history/ or call the Box Office on 01423 562303.