Welcome to the Boswell Book Festival 2021

Live events for the festival are now finished but you can watch until the end of June by registering at the Box Office below.

Festival Plus+ events: To hear Bill Paterson's Boswell readings, watch the Portraits as Biography events or see Dr Gordon Turnbull's full talk on the life of Boswell click here.

Main Festival Events

Children's Festival Events

Box Office for the 2021 Boswell Book Festival

Tickets for online events at this years Festival are free of charge, please register for them below.

You can register for more than one event at a time by adding them to your basket.

After completing registration, check your email! The booking confirmation contains links to all the events.

Festival events


Rather than charge for talks, we will rely on your generosity to help finance the Festival which is run by a charity.

Please donate as much as you can.

About the Boswell Book Festival

The world’s only festival of biography and memoir, normally set in the spectacular grounds of Dumfries House, draws an enthusiastic audience attracted by its unique theme.

Inspired by the great Ayrshire biographer James Boswell of Auchinleck, at the heart of the Festival is a programme of stories taken from the inspirational lives of people past and present - told through talks, drama, art and music.

Find out more

Children's Festival

Why is it so important to children to tell our stories?

Stories connect the past and present to the future and learning these stories is what can awaken future generations to their potential.

Through the Festival, the Boswell Trust engages with primary and secondary schools across Ayrshire and beyond.

Find out more

All events are free but please do give what you can to support the festival

Your support is especially needed at this time when the events we hold cannot generate the income on which we usually depend.

Any donation towards the cost of this festival, however small, would be hugely appreciated.


We are indebted to all who have supported the Boswell Book Festival over the past ten years in so many different ways. It is only with the help of so many loyal supporters that the Festival has achieved recognition as a cultural event of national importance.

Trust – award-winning non-fiction magazine from Baillie Gifford

Baillie Gifford are long-term supporters of the festival and dedicated supporters of UK literary events.

Trust is full of insightful articles about innovations that are transforming the way we live and work. Through features on pioneering companies and conversations with visionary authors, readers can find out first-hand about the sources of disruption in our fast-changing world. You can also access regular literary-related giveaways and exclusive author interviews.

Read Trust online