Kate Williams history Bath Festivals

Hidden Historical Gems

Love history? We’ve got some excellent events taking place at this year’s Festival. Here are some of our office favourites:

History fans will lap up Jonathan Dimbleby on the 1942 British victory at El Alamein (March 1, 11.15am, £9), the battle that inspired Churchill’s most famous aphorism: “This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Presenter of BBC 2’s Restoration Home Kate Williams presents a lively meditation on Napoleon’s mistress Josephine (March 6, 2.45pm): “a searing story of sexual obsession, politics and surviving as a woman in a man’s world.”

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Lucy Lethbridge goes behind the myths of Downton Abbey to explore the real lives of servants through their diaries and letters (March 4, 1pm, £7.50), while Jessica Fellowes, niece of screenwriter Julian Fellowes, goes behind the scenes of the TV and cultural phenomenon, in discussion of her book The Chronicles of Downton Abbey (March 8, 11.15am).

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For an unusual and charming take on Virginia Woolf on the 85th anniversary of A Room of One’s Own, homeware designer Caroline Zoob looks at the garden Woolf most loved. One-time custodian of the garden at Monk’s House in Sussex, Zoob’s analysis gives a fascinating insight into Woolf’s life (March 3, 1pm, £7.50).

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