History book fest to feature Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Noted novelist Alice Hoffman to close third annual Lewes event
July 24, 2019

The Third Annual History Book Festival will feature Rick Atkinson, a Pulitzer Prize author, as the keynote speaker and, for the first time, a closing address will be delivered, by highly acclaimed novelist Alice Hoffman. The festival also will offer discussions with a variety of distinguished authors of historical nonfiction and fiction for readers of all ages, taking place at expanded venues throughout Lewes.

The 2019 festival - showcasing more than 20 bestselling or new and promising authors selected to appeal to both casual history buffs and serious historians - is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, Sept. 27-29. All events except for the keynote and closing speakers are free.

Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson will deliver the keynote address Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., at Bethel United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 129 West Fourth St. in Lewes. He will discuss his new book, “The British Are Coming,” and take questions from the audience. The opening presentation is sponsored by the Lee Ann Wilkinson Group of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty.

Alice Hoffman, author of “The World That We Knew,” will give the closing address Sept. 29 at 2 p.m., at the Cape Henlopen High School Theater, 1250 Kings Highway in Lewes. Schell Brothers is sponsoring the closing program.

Tickets for the keynote address are $40 for individuals, or $55 for couples; both include one signed, hardcover copy of “The British Are Coming.” Individual and couples’ tickets for the closing address are $35 and $50, respectively, and include a signed copy of “The World That We Knew.” Tickets may be purchased online at

“The 2019 History Book Festival builds on the overwhelmingly positive audience response to the first two events,” said Festival Co-chair Jen Mason. “In addition to presenting a closing speaker, our venues offer 40 percent more seating capacity than last year, and a new shuttle service will provide transport between venues for guests who prefer not to walk.”

“We are honored to have authors of the impressive caliber of Rick Atkinson and Alice Hoffman headline the 2019 Festival,” said Co-chair Ron Collins. “As the festival gains in popularity each year, authors and publishers recognize that our event’s singular focus on history is unique in the nation and a wonderful opportunity to discuss new books. And Lewes, as the First Town in the First State, is the ideal venue for the festival.”

“The British Are Coming,” hailed by Kirkus as “a sturdy, swift-moving contribution to the popular literature of the American Revolution,” is the first volume of a planned trilogy. From the battles at Lexington and Concord to those at Trenton and Princeton, Atkinson brings to life some of the remarkable individuals who helped the ragged Continental Army defeat the British forces during the first 21 months of America’s fight for independence.

Atkinson, the critically acclaimed author of nine books documenting five different wars, previously was a reporter and editor for The Washington Post. He received Pulitzer Prizes for history and journalism, as well as the George Polk Award for distinguished journalism and the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award.

In “The World That We Knew,” Hoffman tells the story of the Jewish experience in France during World War II through the eyes of three young women whose fates are inextricably tied by the horror of their circumstances, the strength of love, and the deep mysticism of their faith in God and themselves. Hoffman’s characters take readers on a stunning journey in what Booklist hails as “an exceptionally voiced tale of deepest love and loss….”

Hoffman is a New York Times best-selling author of more than 30 novels, three books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults. Her novel “Here on Earth” was an Oprah Book Club choice, and another, “Practical Magic” was made into a Warner Brothers film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.

The full roster of 2019 festival authors is available online at All presentations are introduced by emcees who will share insights and facilitate audience questions. Authors are available to sign books after each presentation.

All books featured in the History Book Festival are available for purchase at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach and at Biblion in Lewes. Books also are available for purchase at festival events, or may be borrowed from the Lewes Public Library.

Events take place at venues including the Lewes Public Library, the Rollins Community Center and Lewes History Museum, Bethel United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall and the Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe Healthcare.

Presenting sponsors of the festival are Delaware Humanities and iHeart Media.

The History Book Festival is the first and only book festival in the United States devoted exclusively to history. Led by a volunteer board and funded in part by tax-deductible contributions through the Greater Lewes Foundation, the festival’s organizers believe in the power of history, literature and civil dialogue to influence the future for the better. For additional information on the festival, go to

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