It’s fitting that Cliveden Literary Festival features a mix of writers, historians, politicians, and cultural figures. This is, after all, the country pile at the heart of one of Britain’s most infamous political scandals—the Profumo Affair. The 355-year-old estate once frequented by Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales, and Lord Astor, is now a hotel, and since 2017 it has hosted this annual weekend-long festival. Ian McEwan, a former guest speaker, hailed Cliveden as “probably the world’s best small literary festival.” This year’s lineup reads like a dinner party worth attending. It includes author Sebastian Faulks; retired U.S. Army General David Petraeus; novelist Lionel Shriver; journalist and Robert Maxwell biographer John Preston; and Barbara Amiel, wife of the disgraced newspaper publisher Conrad Black and author of a candid memoir that made headlines in 2020. —B.A.
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