2021 Boswell Book Festival Events
Andrew Marr - Boswell the Man
When young and impressionable and growing up in Scotland, Andrew Marr was given a copy of Boswell's 1762 London Journal by his mother. Boswell fast became one of Marr's literary heroes and indeed was chosen by him for his BBC tv series Great Scots: The Writers who Shaped a Nation.
Celebrate our eighteenth-century Opening Evening with Katie Rooney of Corney & Barrow, Ayr. Limited to 25 people. If you can’t join the Zoom live talk, why not tune in and listen along.
William Zachs - Beethoven, Burns and the Folksong
This virtual tour narrated by William Zachs tells the story of an unlikely collaboration between Robert Burns and Ludwig van Beethoven. How did Beethoven come to love all things Scottish?
Simon Heffer & Hugo Vickers
The celebrated historian and journalist Simon Heffer is the editor of the unexpurgated diaries of society figure and politician, Henry 'Chips' Channon.
Letters from Prison
My Father's Letters with Sigrid Rausing and Georgia Thomson. Poignant letters of love and loss that stand as a testament to 16 men imprisoned during Stalin's Great Terror.
Kapka Kassabova & Rory Stewart
Two travel writers with Scottish roots discuss the use of diaries in their art. Discover how Kassabova and Stewart craft their outstanding talents as writers, which transcend genre, to summon up the beauty, tragedy and humanity of foreign lands.
Alberto Angela – Cleopatra
One of Italy's most revered cultural figures, paleontologist, naturalist, journalist, author, and popular television host - Angela's tv documentary Meraviglie attracts over six million viewers per episode
Alex Renton & Geoff Palmer in conversation with James Knox
Two personal stories - a descendant of slave owners and a descendant of enslaved people discuss how their actions help us to address Scotland's colonial and slavery past.
Charlie Gilmour & Mohsin Zaidi
Two highly acclaimed coming of age memoirs from young men who hail from very different backgrounds, have been on different sides of the law but have in common childhoods moulded by parental behaviour and an understanding today of the power of love
Amanda Owen & Gavin Francis
Two writers from very different spheres of life, but both rooted in their own communities and both having created influential platforms through their writings based on their vocations.
From Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation to Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, Lady Glenconner is a unique witness to royal history.
She has kept us laughing during lockdown - but who is Janey Godley? Renowned for her 2020 sketches on the First Minister's daily coronavirus updates - her hilarious Nicola Sturgeon voice-overs winning 'Best Online Content' at the Scottish Comedy Awards
Hella Pick was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1929. A Kindertransport evacuee at the age of eleven - number 4672 - with her mother who followed her to Britain three months later, she experienced the struggles of life as a Jewish refugee.
I'm a feminist but ... one time I went on a women's rights march, and I popped into a department store to use the loo, and I got distracted trying out face cream. And when I came out the march was gone.
Helen Lewis & Chris Bryant
Two groups of people making history but airbrushed from the history books as inconvenient truths.
Fredrik Logevall with James Naughtie
The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall, inspired by a gap in our historical knowledge, has spent much of the last decade combing through material unseen or unused by previous biographers taking us as close as we have ever been to the real John F. Kennedy.
The BBC Sport commentator Andrew Cotter who was brought up in Troon became an internet sensation after videos of his dogs Olive and Mabel went viral during the Covid-19 shutdown.
Professor Jane Ridley: How to Do Biography
If you are thinking about writing biography (or not?) about a famous person, or a member of your family, then this masterclass is for you. (Event limited to 30 people)
Melanie Reid: Do You Have a Story to Tell?
Memoir is one of the most popular and widely read forms of literature generating serious sales. It is endlessly inventive, ranging from covering a whole life to focussing on a moment in a life. (Event limited to 30 people)