‘The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.’

Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey spoke his famous words in August 1914 as Britain entered into war with Germany – a war that unravelled a life’s work of peacekeeping in Europe. In 2014 Sir Edward’s great-great-nephew unearthed a private record of King George V urging war upon Grey, deeming it ‘absolutely essential’ in order to prevent Germany from realising its ambitions. Thomas Otte (Statesman of Europe) and Heather Jones (For King and Country) join Allan Mallinson (1914: Fight the Good Fight) to present a fresh understanding of the descent into war, and to explore how the characters and interests of these two key players influenced their decisions and actions both before and during the conflict.

Books available to accompany this event

Click the book cover below to buy now

from our Waterstones Cheltenham Literature Festival bookshop.

Every purchase supports Cheltenham Festivals.

Statesman of Europe: A Life of Sir Edward Grey For King and Country: The British Monarchy & The First World War
1914: Fight the Good Fight: Britain, the Army and the Coming of the First World War


The Inkpot

One of our smaller on-site venues, in the heart of Cheltenham, GL50 1UW

Seating Plan

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