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Peter Melchett and Julian Rose

Heart to Heart 2007: Farming for a Future

Hay Festival 2007, 
The Penrhos Trust’s annual symposium on organic food production is led by the Soil Association’s pioneering agronomists.

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Alexander McCall Smith talks to Paul Blezard

Hay Festival 2007, 
The creator of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency celebrates the eighth novel in the series, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive.

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Robin Waterfield

Why Socrates Died

Hay Festival 2013, 

Socrates’ trial and death together form an iconic moment in Western civilization. The picture we have of it – created by his immediate followers and perpetuated in countless works of literature and art ever since – is that a noble man was put to death in a fit of folly by the ancient Athenian democracy. But an icon, an image, is not reality.

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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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Marcus Brigstocke talks to Peter Florence

God Collar

Hay Festival 2011, 
A special preview of the comedian’s book questioning atheism, faith and the meaning of life.

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David Crystal

Begat

Hay Festival 2011, 
The Linguistics Prof plays with the extraordinary impact and influence of the King James Bible on the English language.
 
Read more about David Crystal

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Julian Bell

Mirror of the World: A New History of Art

Hay Festival 2008, 
Julian Bell introduces his brilliant global perspective, pulling together connections across continents and cultures.

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Jerry Brotton

Band of Brothers: Shakespeare’s Agincourt, 1599

Hay Festival 2015, 
On the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, Jerry Brotton shows how Shakespeare’s Henry V now defines how we see this momentous event in English history. The play is often regarded as a straightforward celebration of English nationalism, the story of England’s tiny ‘band of brothers’ defeating the overwhelming might of the French. Brotton questions this assumption by recreating the historical moment in which Shakespeare wrote his play, with military disaster in Ireland, Queen Elizabeth’s power in decline, and the Essex Rebellion just about to engulf her. He argues that the result allows politicians on the left and the right to lay claim to the play and its account of Agincourt, along the way explaining how Olivier, Branagh and Spielberg are all part of the story.
Jerry Brotton

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John Crace and John Sutherland

The Two Johnnies Do Emma

Hay Festival 2015, 

Jane Austen’s comic masterpiece was published 200 years ago by John Murray. Our awareness of her heroine’s limitations is one of the great joys of the book. The Guardian’s Digested Read satirist is joined by UCL’s Emeritus Professor of English, John Sutherland – co-author of The Connell Guide to Jane Austen’s Emma, Lives of the Novelists and How To Be Well Read – to celebrate the book.

John Crace and John Sutherland

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Gillian Clarke

A Recipe For Water

Hay Festival 2009, 
The National Poet of Wales launches her new collection of poetry with a reading.

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Kate Williams

Becoming Queen

Hay Festival 2009, 
The historian uncovers the machinations, repressions and rebellions of the young Victoria in her accession to the English throne.

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Tahir Shah

In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams

Hay Festival 2008, 
As Tahir Shah makes his way through the medinas of Fez and Marrakech, traverses the Saharan sands and tastes the hospitality of ordinary Moroccans, he collects a dazzling treasury of traditional stories, gleaned from the heritage of the Thousand and One Nights. Chaired by Palash Dave.

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Con Coughlin

Churchill’s First War: Young Winston And The Fight Against The Taliban

Hay Festival 2013, 

The young cavalry lieutenant wrote a vivid account of his experiences fighting Pashtun tribesmen – the great-great-grandfathers of today’s insurgents – on the North West Frontier. The Telegraph’s defence editor gives an insight into C19th military history that also throws light on a modern conflict that has lasted longer than WWII. Chaired by Mark Skipworth.

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Chris Wells and Ian Ridpath

Navigating By The Stars

Hay Festival 2013, 

How did our mariners manage without digital GPS? Captain Wells, master of Cunard’s QM2, traces the history of navigating the oceans by measuring the heavens using sextants and astrolabes; and author and broadcaster Ridpath, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, explores the mythology surrounding key constellations.

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Lisa Jones, Ian Jones and Clare Dolman

Exploring the Poles: In Search of a Deeper Understanding of Bipolar Disorder

Hay Festival 2016, 

University of Worcester Series

Our ability to treat bipolar disorder is hampered by the limits of our understanding of its causes. In conversation with Clare Dolman of Bipolar UK, The Professors of Psychological Medicine and Psychiatry who lead the Bipolar Disorder Research Network explore the highs and lows of bipolar disorder. They consider factors that can lead to both mania and depression, and examines recent and future advances in the treatment of this mental illness.

Lisa Jones, Ian Jones and Clare Dolman

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Amanda Owen

A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess

Hay Festival 2017, 

The best-selling author describes the age-old cycle of a farming year and the constant challenges of life at Ravenseat, the remote Yorkshire hill farm she shares with husband Clive, nine children and 1,000 sheep. Chaired by Oliver Balch, author of Under the Tump.

Amanda Owen

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George Monbiot

In the Green Corner 1

Hay Festival 2008, 
In the first of a series of conversations with the audience, the captivating author of Bring on the Apocalypse: Six Arguments for Global Justice discusses a global or environmental topic arising from the day’s news.

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Rosa Beltrán, Óscar Casares and Hugo Chaparro with Pepa Roma

Is it possible to teach the writing of literature?

Cartagena 2011, 
Given the proliferation of workshops, courses and qualifications in creative writing, the question demands an answer. Present will be the Colombian author Hugo Chaparro, who participated on Iowa University’s International Writing Program; Óscar Casares, who is Creative Writing lecturer at the University of Texas in Austin and also a writer, whose collection of short stories Brownsville was chosen as 2004 Book of the Year by the American Library Association and whose first novel Amigoland was praised by Publishers Weekly as an “outstanding novel”; and Rosa Beltrán, the Mexican writer, who is a Doctor in Comparative Literature from California University and currently Director of Literature at UNAM university’s Cultural Dissemination Department. They will talk to Pepa Roma, Spanish journalist and author of writings such as La trastienda del escritor, an essay about the art.

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The Extra Virgin Kitchen

Cookery Demonstration

Kells 2014, 

Susan Jane White is a specialist cook, food columnist with The Sunday Independent, former President of Oxford University’s Gastronomy Society, author of current bestselling cookbook The Extra Virgin Kitchen and a popular broadcaster on healthy eating. For a fraction of the price of a GP appointment, Susan Jane White will motivate you to embark on your own journey to glowing health on a diet free of wheat, sugar and dairy.

The Extra Virgin Kitchen

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Alan Johnson talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

The Long and Winding Road

Hay Festival 2017, 

The third volume of Alan Johnson's bestselling and award-winning memoirs takes us to the corridors of Westminster and lifts the lid on the life of a hard-working constituency MP in the first Blair administration.

Alan Johnson talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

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Sigrid Rausing, Oliver Bullough and Nick Butler talk to Bronwen Maddox

Prospect Platform 1

Hay Festival 2014, 

Ukraine: What Should The West Do?

150 years on, Crimea is again the centre of a geo-political crisis that threatens to destabilize East–West relations. How should the West react to Putin’s decisive intervention? Rausing works in the human rights field around the Caucasus, Butler is an energy expert, frontline journalist Bullough has newly returned from Ukraine. They talk to the editor of Prospect.

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Lewis Wolpert talks to Rosie Boycott

You’re Looking Very Well: The Surprising Nature of Getting Old

Hay Festival 2011, 
Why must we age? And how should we cope with our physical decline?
 
Read a recent interview with Lewis Wolpert http://newhumanist.org.uk/

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Colm Tóibín and Rawi Hage talk to Stephanie Merritt

Story: Migrations

Hay Festival 2009, 
Tóibín’s Brooklyn is a beautifully rendered story of an Irish woman venturing migration to the New World in the 50s. Lebanese novelist Hage takes his protagonist from his childhood in a war-torn Arab country, to his current life in the smoky émigré cafes of his new city in Cockroach.

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Damian Walford Davies, Mererid Hopwood and Paul White

The Poets’ Graves / Beddau yr Beirdd

Hay Festival 2014, 

A multi-media performance presenting a striking record of Welsh gravestones coupled with prose and poetry responses by two prominent writers from Wales, Hopwood and Walford Davies, and photographed by White.

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Chang-Rae Lee and Santiago Roncagliolo talk to Ariane Koek

Fiction: Investigations

Hay Festival 2010, 
The Surrendered is an epic of war and redemption set in Korea, Italy and America. Red April is a classic noir thriller set in Lima, and won the Alfaguara Prize.
Chang-Rae Lee and Santiago Roncagliolo talk to Ariane Koek