The Brideshead Festival at Castle Howard

'Brideshead Revisted'
Anthony Andrews, Diana Quick and Jeremy Irons
Photo by ITV / Rex Features

'Brideshead Revisted' Anthony Andrews, Diana Quick and Jeremy Irons Photo by ITV / Rex Features - Credit: ITV / Rex Features

Castle Howard will be centre stage this summer celebrating the novel that shone a global spotlight on the stately home.

Brideshead Revisited was definitely the Downton Abbey of its day. A television sensation that shone a glorious spotlight on the stunning Castle Howard Estate, captivating viewers and enthralling visitors.

The much-loved and now legendary series and movie were based on Evelyn Waugh's novel, Brideshead Revisited. This year marks 75 years since the publication of the book and The Brideshead Festival will celebrate the ongoing appeal of the novel and its screen adaptations.

It will take place from June 26-28 at Castle Howard, Sir John Vanbrugh's baroque masterpiece that became synonymous with Brideshead when it was used as the location for the 1981 TV adaptation and subsequent feature film in 2008.

Published in 1945, Brideshead Revisited is arguably Waugh's most popular novel, having won legions of fans around the world in its 75 year history. The Festival will explore the place the book holds in the hearts of readers and viewers and the novel's themes of youth, sexuality, nostalgia, decadence, religion and class.

Speakers will evaluate Waugh's place in the cultural canon of 20th century literature and the relevance of the novel for today's audiences. Presenters will also look at the impact of the TV adaptation on the imagination of generations of viewers and the role literary adaptations play in today's cultural landscape. Members of the original cast and crew will join well known writers and novelists in the festival line-up. A host of other festival activities will pay homage to scenes and themes in Brideshead including a Teddy Bear's Picnic, a Wine Tasting at the Temple of the Four Winds and an immersive Brideshead Party. Bespoke Brideshead tours will offer a look behind the scenes of the iconic adaptations. Food and drink will be a particular feature with local producers and chefs providing Brideshead-inspired experiences.

For Victoria Barnsley who runs Castle Howard with her husband Nicholas Howard, the festival is an ambition fulfilled: 'It has long been an ambition of mine to celebrate Castle Howard's connection to Brideshead, and what better time to do it than its 75th anniversary.'

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