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Former Beirut hostage Terry Waite among author line-up at Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival

By Angela Cole

Former Beirut hostage and envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Terry Waite, will be among the authors lined up for a literary festival's second year.

Thirty years after his release from five years as a hostage in Beirut, Terry, who also launched the KM Group's Year of Reading campaign earlier this year, will be among the high-profile authors and speakers at the Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival.

It is the second year the festival has been held and will this year be sponsored by Brooks Macdonald, with 22 authors appearing over three days.

Terry Waite will headline the Chiddingstone Literary Festival
Terry Waite will headline the Chiddingstone Literary Festival

Terry will be talking about his life then and now, and his thoughts on the current situation in the Middle East during the festival, which runs over the first May bank holiday weekend, from Sunday, April 30 to Tuesday, May 2.

Joining him in the line up will be biographers Artemis Cooper and Adam Sisman, discussing the life and writings of travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor, Radio 4 presenter of Saturday Live, Rev Richard Coles will give a reflective account of life as a parish priest and broadcaster.

Chiddingstone Castle will hold its second literary festival this year
Chiddingstone Castle will hold its second literary festival this year

Grief psychotherapist and author of Grief Works, Julia Samuel and Imogen Lycett Green, will be talking with Guardian journalist Decca Aitkenhead and presenter of BBC's Coast, Nicholas Crane, will present his new book on the making of the British landscape.

Alison Weir will launch her novel about Anne Boleyn at the Chiddingstone Literary Festival
Alison Weir will launch her novel about Anne Boleyn at the Chiddingstone Literary Festival

On Sunday, April 30, Alison Weir will launch Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession while on Bank Holiday Monday, May 1, Conn Iggulden will give an exclusive preview of hie new novel, I, Dunstan: Seven Kings and the Birth of England and will be in conversation with Angus Donald, author of The Outlaw Chronicles, a series about Robin Hood who lives in Tonbridge.

Author Conn Iggulden will launch his new book at Chiddingstone
Author Conn Iggulden will launch his new book at Chiddingstone

For children, there are appearances from prize-winning authors Piers Torday and Lauren St John, local author Christopher Lloyd and a performance of The Ugly Duckling by theatre company Pericles. There will also be storytelling shows from the Really Big Pants Theatre Company and Sock Puppet Theatre.

Events take place over three days with a special schools programme on Tuesday, May 2.

There will also be vintage food vans, a bar and organic coffee trikes, along with the castle’s own courtyard tea rooms.

Tickets are £12 and £5 for children including entry to the castle. To book visit chiddingstonecastle.org.uk/literary-festival/

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