Legendary travel writer Jan Morris is to speak about her life and work to poet and author Kevin Crossley-Holland at this year’s Oxford Literary Festival in March.

Morris is best known for her Pax Britannica history of the British Empire and for her travel writing, including Oxford. She will receive the 2014 honorary fellowship of the festival.

Another legendary figure, former Oxford resident Ian McEwan, will also appear at the festival’s big ticket venue, the Sheldonian, where he will receive the Bodley Medal from the university library’s acting librarian, Richard Ovenden.

In another coup, the line-up features Eleanor Catton, 28, the youngest winner of the Man Booker Prize, discussing The Luminaries, her thumping novel set in the 19th-century New Zealand gold rush.

Nobel Prize-winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk will make a rare appearance, along with festival favourites philosopher AC Grayling and broadcaster and novelist Melvyn Bragg.

Other broadcasters include Jeremy Paxman on his recent book Great Britain’s Great War; gardener and broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh, discussing his novel Bring Me Home, a spy story set in the Scottish Highlands; and James Naughtie and Kirsty Wark, who have both written novels. Book at Blackwell’s, Broad Street, Oxford, tel 0870 343 1001 or at oxfordliteraryfestival.org.