1. Overview

    Baillie Gifford is proud to be a Principal Partner of Cheltenham Literature Festival.

  2. Programme

    Featuring a truly diverse programme of events, The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival will take place in Montpelier Gardens and the Cheltenham Town Hall from 5-14 October.

    This year, the festival is looking far beyond our fractious and divided neighbours in Europe to the East, a fascinating region which is changing rapidly and rising in global influence. The East Meets West strand of this year’s programme features a host of writers, experts and cultural commentators who all bring unique and stimulating discussions with authors including Francis Fukuyama, Jieun Baek, Xiaolu Guo, Masatsugu Ono, Madeleine Thien and Sayaka Murata.

    With the influence of guest curators Sebastian Faulks, Scarlett Curtis, Tristram Hunt, Peter Frankopan, David Karashima and Junko Takekawa, the programme brings some of the best writers and thinkers from across the globe to Cheltenham.

    With free entry to the Festival Village, you can enjoy pop-up events and performances, a wide selection of eateries, the Waterstone’s bookshop and an opportunity to meet some of the sponsors.

    For more information about the Festival visit the event website.

    a group of people that are standing in the grass at Cheltenham Literature Festival
    For book lovers everywhere, Cheltenham Literature Festival is the only place to be this autumn.
  3. Ticket Giveaway

    As part of our sponsorship, we are offering Trust subscribers the opportunity to obtain free tickets to the events outlined below. If you would like to request a pair of complimentary tickets to one of our sponsored events, all you have to do is complete our ticket registration form before 4pm on Monday 17 September. Tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Successful applicants will be contacted by email before Friday 21 September. If you do not receive a confirmation email by this date you have been unsuccessful on this occasion. All unsuccessful applicants will be on a reserve list for returned tickets.

    The Ticket Giveaway is now closed. 

    Robert Peston
    Robert Peston

    Friday 5 October, 6:45pm

    The hugely popular broadcaster presents WTF, his entertaining account of the people’s revolt against politics-as-usual.  Arguing with characteristic clarity, he looks at the mess facing liberal democracy and issues a passionate call to action.

    Image: Alan Davidson



    Jieun Baek
    The Korean Peninsula: Peace at Last?

    Saturday 6 October, 10:30am

    For decades the Korean peninsula has lived in the shadow of unresolved conflict and an escalating nuclear threat from the hostile and paranoid regime in the North. Following the extraordinary Trump/Kim summit in Singapore, can the international community relax and look forward to peaceful coexistence with a born-again North Korea? Chatham House Director Robin Niblett brings Jieun Baek, author of North Korea’s Hidden Revolution, author and Korea watcher Paul French and Korea specialist Hazel Smith of SOAS to the table to debate the possible outcomes.

    Roseann Lake
    Global China

    Saturday 13 October, 10:00am

    From the poverty and isolation of the Mao era, China has grown with astonishing rapidity to become the second largest economy in the world. Under President Xi China seeks to become a global leader and a new superpower. How will China exercise its influence? Our Guest Curator Peter Frankopan (The New Silk Roads) brings Brussels-based analyst Theresa Fallon, historian Thomas Mullaney (The Chinese Typewriter), author and journalist Roseann Lake (Leftover in China) and the economist George Magnus (Red Flags) together to share their insights.

    Image: Maya Reid

    Francis Fukuyama
    Francis Fukuyama: Identity

    Saturday 13 October, 7:00pm

    The demands of identity define world politics today. But unless we forge a universal understanding of human dignity, we doom ourselves to continual conflict. The distinguished political scientist joins the BBC’s Justin Webb to discuss how identity politics is now entrenched on both sides of the political spectrum and how the rise of nationalist, authoritarian political outsiders threatens to destabilise the entire international order.

    Abbas Amanat
    The Missing Superpowers

    Sunday 14 October, 10:15am

    Why does the West so consistently underestimate and misunderstand some of the world’s most powerful and influential countries? The answer lies in the past, prompting us to examine how different regions, cultures and peoples were connected. Classicist Caroline Vout (Classical Art), historians Abbas Amanat (Iran: A Modern History) and Sujit Sivasunduram (Islanded), and art historian Craig Clunas speak with Guest Curator Peter Frankopan (The New Silk Roads) about how the familiar histories we focus on not only reveal half the picture, but actually distort it.