The Isle of Wight Literary Festival 2016

The Isle of Wight Literary Festival 13th – 16th October 2016

Isle of Wight Lit Fest Poster

After another successful year in 2015 The Isle of Wight Literary Festival will be opening its doors once again between the 13th – 16th October 2016 for its fifth event. The festival, which will be based at Northwood House in Cowes, has this year been awarded charitable status and has undergone a logo change, as well as acquiring a new website.

The list of authors and speakers is ever growing, up to now the festival has announced:-

Michael Portillo


Michael Portillo, writer, broadcaster and former politician. He will be talking about ”Life: A Game of Two Halves”.

Michael Billington


Michael Billington, the doyen of British theatre critics, will be discussing his book “The 101 Greatest Plays” from antiquity to the present.

Alan Johnson


Alan Johnson, MP and former Home Secretary, will be talking about “The Long and Winding Road”, the third volume of his memoirs.

Gordon Carera


Gordon Corera, BBC Security Correspondent and author of “Intercept: The Secret History of Computers and Spies”, will be addressing the issue of cybersecurity and the story of the melding of technology and espionage from the Second World War to the internet age.

Andrew Lownie


Andrew Lownie, author of the hugely successful biography “Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess” Will be retelling the story of the spy, Guy Burgess, who betrayed his country to spy for the Soviet Union.

DJ Taylor


DJ Taylor, biographer, novelist and critic will be discussing his book “The Prose Factory: Literary Life in Britain since 1918

Daisy Dunn


Daisy Dunn, classicist, biographer and author of “Catullus’ Bedspread: The Life of Rome’s Most Erotic Poet” rediscovers the story of Gaius Valerius Catullus, Rome’s first “modern” poet, against the turbulent backdrop of the late Roman Republic.

Rosamund Lupton


Rosamund Lupton, best-selling author of “Sister” and “The Quality of Silence” will be talking about her books.


There will be events looking at European history, including Jonathan Fenby on his book “The History of Modern France”, Nicholas Jellicoe, grandson of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, on “Jutland: The Unfinished Battle” and General the Lord Dannatt on “Boots on the Ground: Britain and Her Army since 1945”.

As well as European history there will be a literary and artistic tour of Paris with long-term Paris resident John Baxter, author of “The Most Beautiful Walk in The World”, as well as learning about life in modern Denmark from Helen Russell, author of “The Year of Living Danishly”.


The full list of authors and the programme schedule is yet to be announced, along with the ticket prices. You can however buy a festival pass which will allow you to attend six non-premium events with a £40 weekend Festival Pass, or three non-premium events with a £20 day Festival Pass. The price of non-premium events is usually £8.50.

We will keep you up to date with the information as it comes in.

About the Venue

Northwood House

Northwood House, a magnificent Grade II listed late Georgian manor house set in a 20 acre park. It is the main venue and weekend box office for the Literary Festival.

It occupies a prime position above Cowes, the star listing is for the House’s incredible painted function rooms where the talks take place.

Purchased by George Ward in 1793 and extended and improved by his heir, George Henry Ward, the House has a varied and interesting past including hosting elaborate entertainments for royalty and Victorian history, serving as a convent and acting as a convalescent VAD hospital in the First World War.

The House and Park were gifted to Cowes Urban District in 1929. Today the estate is the responsibility of Northwood House Charitable Trust Company Limited.

Northwood House
Ward Avenue
Isle of Wight
PO31 8AZ


You can find out more about the festival at the links below.


The Isle of Wight Literary Festival is a charitable incorporated organisation—registered charity number 1164814.


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