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David Wengrow

What Makes Civilization?

Hay Festival 2011, 
The archaeologist relates the ‘birth of civilization’ in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq) to other more recent attempts at reshaping the world order to an ideal image.
 

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Richard Fortey

Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth

Hay Festival 2008, 
The palaeontologist introduces his scintillating long view of evolution and cataclysm.

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Charlie Higson

The Sacrifice

Hay Festival 2013, 

The fourth in the nail-biting series described as ‘Lord Of The Flies With Zombies’ is every bit as tense, bloody and action-packed as fans could wish.

13+ years

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Chris Ellis, Rosie Toll, Hugh Ellis, Kate Henderson and guests

Land of Promise

Hay Festival 2015, 

An exploration, through words and music, of Britain’s radical utopian tradition. This rich legacy of hope was the dominant strand of political thought for five centuries, but in the last 40 years we have stopped asking the question: how are we going to live? With a cast of actors, musicians and authors Land of Promise aims to reignite our utopian aspirations for a better Britain.

Chris Ellis, Rosie Toll, Hugh Ellis, Kate Henderson and guests

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Stephen Anderton

Christopher Lloyd: His Life at Great Dixter

Hay Festival 2011, 
The gloriously eccentric and opinionated ‘Christo’ was probably the greatest C20th English plantsman, and his East Sussex garden is a national treasure.

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Geraldine McCaughrean talks to Philip Reeve

Hay Festival 2007, 
Two award-winning and eminent writers in conversation with Daniel Hahn. Philip’s novel Here Lies Arthur gives a new truth to the famous legend; Geraldine has written Peter Pan in Scarlet, the sequel to JM Barrie’s classic.

Hay Fever 10 yrs +

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Jane Birkin talks to Philippe Sands

Hay Festival 2009, 
The actress, singer, and film director discusses her life, her collaborations with Serge Gainsbourg, and her new album Enfants d’Hiver.

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Wendy Cope

Family Values

Hay Festival 2011, 
From a motorway service area to her ambivalent relationship with religion, from childhood and love to ageing, the poet covers a wide range of experience in her new collection.
 
Read more about Wendy Cope www.contemporarywriters.com/

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David Vann and David Bezmozgis talk to Jon Gower

Fictions: Great American Novels

Hay Festival 2011, 
Two of America’s brightest and best: Vann’s Alaskan novel Caribou Island is a beautiful portrait of marriage and dreams. Bezmozgis’ The Free World is a tragic and comic tale of passage from Communist Russia to the West.
 
Recent reviews: 

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Julia Hobsbawm, Sophie Radice, David Aaronovitch, Chris Parry

Editorial Intelligence

Hay Festival 2012, 
The Editorial Intelligence director and her guests analyse the media and comment of the day.

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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Hay Festival 2008, 
Director Mark Herman introduces clips from the forthcoming movie and does Q&A with the novelist John Boyne.

Hay Fever 12 yrs+

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Abdellah Taia, Ala Hlehel, Randa Jarrar

Beirut39 I

Hay Festival 2010, 
Three writers selected among the best young authors in the Arab world discuss their work with the editor of Guardian Review, Lisa Allardice.

Entry to this event is free but you must reserve a ticket.
Abdellah Taia, Ala Hlehel, Randa Jarrar

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Andrew Boucher and Luke Craddock-Bennett

Death in the Close: A Medieval Mystery

Hay Festival 2015, 

The editor of Death in the Close is joined by the archaeologist who led the excavations under Hereford Cathedral. They reveal extraordinary details of medieval life in Hereford, and the Saxon history of the cathedral site.

Andrew Boucher and Luke Craddock-Bennett

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Toby Wilkinson

The Nile: A Journey Downriver Through Egypt’s Past and Present

Hay Festival 2014, 

The award-winning Egyptologist tells a story of ancient gods, pharaohs, emperors, adventurers, archaeologists and historians whose fates were all entwined with the river. Chaired by Paul Greatbatch.

Toby Wilkinson

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Janet Todd

Jane Austen and Money

Hay Festival 2013, 
Jane Austen knew the value of money, what it could and could not buy. ‘A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of,’ says a charming but tainted character.  Austen marketed herself as a solitary writer, but great wealth could only come from the professions, trade and speculation-- from which women were barred.  The books display bitterness at women’s dependence on men but also ambivalence over any female control of money. 

FREE BUT TICKETED

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Michael Nyman talks to Francine Stock

Hay Festival 2007, 
The prodigious composer discusses his international cinema work and collaborations with Peter Greenaway and Michael Winterbottom.

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Sarah McIntyre

Hay Festival 2013, 

Superkid is the brilliant Sarah McIntyre’s latest creation – the cartoon kid with superspeed, x-ray vision and bravery by the bagload. Find out if you have special secret powers too…

Duration 45 mins.

5+ years

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Peter Bazalgette talks to Bryony Gordon

The Empathy Instinct

Hay Festival 2017, 

Empathy is the power of understanding others, imaginatively entering into their feelings. It is a fundamental human attribute without which mutually co-operative societies cannot function. In a revolutionary development, we now know who has it, who lacks it and why. With the MRI scanner, we are mapping the human brain. This is a new frontier that reveals a host of beneficial ideas for childcare, teens challenged by the internet, the justice system, decent healthcare, tackling racism and resolving conflicts.

Peter Bazalgette talks to Bryony Gordon

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Rahaf Harfoush

The Hidden Forces Behind our Technologies

Hay Festival 2017, 

Digital disruption and innovation are like any tools: capable of being used and abused. How are these technologies already influencing our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours and how do we ensure that these tools bring real and lasting benefits to society? Rahaf Harfoush is a digital anthropologist and best-selling author of The Decoded Company, and Yes We Did: An Insider’s Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand. Rahaf is the founder of Red Thread, a think-tank specialising in digital culture. She is currently working on her third book called Hustle and Float about  the intersections of technology, contemporary work culture and a post-work society. Formerly, Rahaf was the Associate Director of the Technology Pioneer Programme at the World Economic Forum, and the Research Coordinator on Don Tapscott’s Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. She was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Shaper, and by the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society as a Rising Talent for her thought-leadership in the fields of digital culture and technology.

Rahaf Harfoush

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Anne Robinson, Rosie Boycott, Gaby Wood and Kitty Corrigan

Women in Journalism

Hay Festival 2011, 
New research shows the media is getting more male, even in the areas of features and lifestyle. Why? How?

Duration 45 minutes.

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Abigail Brundin

Cambridge University Series 14: Only A Pen Can Ease My Pain

Hay Festival 2013, 

In C17th Italy, the number of girls and young women entering convents rose rapidly as dowries became increasingly expensive. Not all the girls went willingly and some left powerful written accounts of their experiences.


Entry to this event is free but you must reserve a ticket.

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Charles Chesshire

Japanese Gardens

Hay Festival 2007, 
The garden designer explains the influence of Shinto, Chinese art and Zen Buddhism on the development of this distinctive garden style.

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Kate Williams

England's Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton

Hay Festival 2007, 
The spectacular trajectory of our first supernova celebrity, from Northern slums to Nelson’s bedchamber. Chaired by Corisande Albert.

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Graham Swift

Making an Elephant: Writing from Within

Hay Festival 2009, 
The Booker-winner offers a varied and brilliantly realised version of a writer’s life, work and friends. Chaired by Peter Guttridge.

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John Julius Norwich

The London Library Platform: The Popes

Hay Festival 2011, 
The historian surveys the rich and controversial history of the papacy from St Peter to Benedict XVI today.
John Julius Norwich