With a programme of 17 inspiring events, Gloucester History Festival Spring Weekend returns from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 April 2024, bringing a host of fascinating historians, authors, broadcasters and more to the city.
Following the sell-out success of 2023, the Spring Weekend is once again being held at the atmospheric Blackfriars Priory — with the festival's flagship Blackfriars Talks taking place across the entire weekend and book signings at the Waterstones festival bookshop after each event, too.
Spearheaded by the vibrant and engaging Dr Janina Ramirez and supported by patrons David Olusoga and Michael Wood, some of the most exciting names featuring on the programme for the three-day festival include BBC international editor, Jeremy Bowen, taking audiences on a gripping journey through the modern Middle East; acclaimed historian and filmmaker, Michael Wood, exploring the life of China's greatest poet; and historian Nicola Tallis looking at the fascinating relationship between Mary I and her half sister Elizabeth I on Friday 12.
On Saturday 13, bestselling author, Peter Frankopan, explores how our changing climate has shaped civilisations across time; award-winning historian Suzannah Lipscomb and fellow of Jesus College Oxford, Susan Doran, are recording an episode of hit podcast 'Not Just the Tudors' live at the festival; prize-winning author of Empireworld, Sathnam Sanghera, traces the legacies of the British Empire across the globe; multi-award-winning comedian and local favourite, Dom Joly, takes a humorous look at conspiracy theories; while Dr Janina Ramirez is joined by Call The Midwife star Stephen McGann and Tudor expert Estelle Paranque to tell the untold stories of some of history's most compelling women, from Joan of Arc to Anne Boleyn.
Rounding off the weekend on Sunday 14, the woman who discovered King Richard III's remains in a car park in Leicester, Philippa Langley, shares the groundbreaking evidence she has discovered about history's greatest cold case, the Princes in the Tower; the BBC reporter who witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, Victor Sebestyen, discusses the future of Ukraine with Ukrainian Institute director, Olesya Khromeychuk and Gloucester MP Richard Graham; and leading Civil War historian and broadcaster, Mark Turnbull, charts the 24 years of Charles I's reign and presents new insights into the man behind the monarch.
Also back for 2024 is Gloucester History Festival's series of King's Talks, in partnership with The King's School Gloucester, with events taking place across the whole year at the school's Ivor Gurney Hall, starting in March 2024.