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Cheltenham Literature Festival
October 4, 2019, 8:00 AM – October 13, 2019, 5:00 PM
The Cheltenham Literature Festival is 70 this year – the longest running Literature Festival in the world, and the first ever. Set up by G.A.M. Wilkinson, the council’s Spa and Entertainments manager, this small but perfectly formed town in the heart of the rolling Cotswold countryside gave birth to an idea that has taken hold all over the world, to the enormous benefit and joy of readers and writers everywhere.
70 years! With some very rough back-of-the-envelope calculations that’s about 20,000 speakers, well over 10,000 events and around 700 days of literary festivities, and, of course, countless audience members young and old from all over the world. From a handful of events in the ornate Cheltenham Town Hall, the Festival has grown into a lively tented village in beautiful Montpellier Gardens, thronging with excited crowds and famous literary faces, but always with a quiet spot to sit and read …