Thursday, 24 May 2018 Contact us

Fantastic opening weekend with much more to come

Paxman and McEwan head Sheldonian programme

Jeremy PaxmanThe opening weekend of this year’s FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival was a huge success with many speakers talking to sell-out audiences and the new marquee proving a big attraction – and there is plenty more to come.

Thursday’s Sheldonian events are headlined by Jeremy Paxman, pictured left, on Great Britain’s Great War, and by highly acclaimed novelist and Booker winner Ian McEwan, who also receives the prestigious Bodley Medal.

A packed Thursday programme in the Sheldonian also features BBC radio and television news presenter Edward Stourton, and world-renowned pianist Alfred Brendel.

Margaret DrabbleProlific novelist Alexander McCall Smith and novelist and arts broadcaster Melvyn Bragg both feature in the Sheldonian on Friday. The day’s programme is topped by a special tribute event to Nelson Mandela with one of his colleagues Ahmed Kathrada.

Elsewhere on Friday, novelist Margaret Drabble, pictured right, talks at Christ Church Hall about the life and works of Jules Verne, and bestselling author of Chocolat Joanne Harris talks about her new adult fantasy novel on the rise and fall of the Norse gods, The Gospel of Loki. 

Pamuk heads weekend programme

Orhan PamukNobel-Prize-winning Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk and 2013 Booker winner Eleanor Catton are two of the biggest draws at the final weekend of the festival.

Pamuk, pictured left, gives the Chancellor’s lecture at the end of Saturday, which also sees Sheldonian appearances by Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, BBC Europe correspondent Gavin Hewitt, philosopher A C Grayling, children’s author Lauren St John and Born Free actress and wildlife campaigner Virginia McKenna.

Catton talks about her Booker-winning novel The Luminaries at the Sheldonian on Sunday, which also sees an appearance by children’s authors Lauren Child and Michael Morpurgo. Morpurgo’s The Mozart Question Concert will bring a fitting climax to the festival before what looks likely to be a sell-out Sheldonian audience.

Tickets are still available for most events but are selling fast. Festival-goers are advised to book online before setting out to avoid disappointment or queues. You can also book at the festival box office in the marquee or by telephoning 0870 343 1001.

FT Weekend Title partner University of Oxford HSBC Global banking partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Worcester College Worcester College: Festival college partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner BBC World Service International radio partner BBC Four Television Broadcast media partner British Academy HM Government of Gibraltar Festival green room sponsor Gibunco Group Sponsor of Gibraltar Lecture Galileo Foundation Italian Cultural Institute Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller Ian and Carol Sellars allmanhall Jane and Roderick Gibbs Lady Hatch Emily Rose and James Marrow George Warren Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design Marshall Maserati Festival courtesy cars The Macdonald Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Eynsham Hall Royds Withy King Lawyers to the festival Intesa Sanpaolo Said Business School Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies New College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College Corpus Christi College The Queen’s College The Queen's College St John’s College St John's College Jesus College Hertford College Exeter College Exeter College St Hilda’s College Keble College Keble College Oxford University Press Princeton University Press Oxford Brookes University Oxford Cultural Collective K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography Ashmolean Museum Floris of London University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office The Oxford Times Regional media partner BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Macdonald Bear Hotel Mary and Cecil Quillen The Oxford Artisan Distillery Conference Oxford Critchleys Liaison Financial Services The Litmus Partnership British Humanist Association The Sheldonian Theatre Felicity Bryan Associates The Royal Society of Literature Oxford University Museum of Natural History The Story Museum Oxford City Council City Audio Visual OX magazine

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival 2018 partners & sponsors

FT Weekend Title partner University of Oxford HSBC Global banking partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Worcester College Worcester College: Festival college partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner BBC World Service International radio partner BBC Four Television Broadcast media partner British Academy HM Government of Gibraltar Festival green room sponsor Gibunco Group Sponsor of Gibraltar Lecture Galileo Foundation Italian Cultural Institute Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller Ian and Carol Sellars allmanhall Jane and Roderick Gibbs Lady Hatch Emily Rose and James Marrow George Warren Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design Marshall Maserati Festival courtesy cars The Macdonald Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Eynsham Hall Royds Withy King Lawyers to the festival Intesa Sanpaolo Said Business School Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies New College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College Corpus Christi College The Queen’s College The Queen's College St John’s College St John's College Jesus College Hertford College Exeter College Exeter College St Hilda’s College Keble College Keble College Oxford University Press Princeton University Press Oxford Brookes University Oxford Cultural Collective K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography Ashmolean Museum Floris of London University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office The Oxford Times Regional media partner BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Macdonald Bear Hotel Mary and Cecil Quillen The Oxford Artisan Distillery Conference Oxford Critchleys Liaison Financial Services The Litmus Partnership British Humanist Association The Sheldonian Theatre Felicity Bryan Associates The Royal Society of Literature Oxford University Museum of Natural History The Story Museum Oxford City Council City Audio Visual OX magazine