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Cliveden Literary Festival

Berkshire

Type:Participatory Event

Cliveden Estate, Taplow, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 0JF

Tel: +44 (0) 7880 934 145

Cliveden Literary Festival

About

Cliveden is the magnificent English country house with a unique and extraordinary history of politics and intrigue, aristocracy and espionage, sex and scandal. Time and again, Cliveden itself has become a character in the story of these isles. Ever since 1666, the house has also been known for its literary salon, helping to inspire writers from Alexander Pope and George Bernard Shaw, Jonathan Swift and Lord Tennyson to Sir Winston Churchill. The Cliveden Literary Festival will evoke the spirit of the great writers and potentates who stayed here and continue the tradition of the house as a sanctuary for lovers of literature.

The festival’s themes – politics and scandal; the influence of brilliant women; history in the movies and on TV; art and architecture; espionage, and the shadow of war – reflect Cliveden’s own story as a political and literary salon, a status it has kept into the 21st century.

It has been the centre of British political, royal and literary life since it was built and expanded by its influential chatelaines, from the scheming Elizabeth Villiers to the glittering society hostess, Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland, who provoked a constitutional crisis during the reign of Queen Victoria;   from the beautiful  courtesan Anna Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury and the muse to Alexander Pope,  to Britain’s first female MP and arch-appeaser Nancy Astor, who hosted famous guests from Asquith to Gandhi.  In the 1960’s Cliveden became notorious as the setting for the Profumo Affair, the  sex-and-espionage scandal that brought down a government and changed Britain forever.

Cliveden is now a sumptuous hotel and has its own literary festival where its tradition of power, art, letters and luxury continue to thrive. 

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Map & Directions

Opening Times

Cliveden Literary Festival (28 Sept 2019 - 29 Sept 2019)

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