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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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Jon Cooksey

A History of the First World War in 100 Objects

Hay Festival 2014, 

The historian presents a selection of artefacts and their stories, from weapons that created carnage to affectionate letters home and unexpected items of trench decoration. Cooksey adds contemporary colour with stories from Harry’s War, his collaboration with Great War veteran Harry Drinkwater.

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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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Michael Rosen

Jelly Boots and Uncle Gobb, and a Bear Hunt

Hay Festival 2019, 

Come and meet the one and only Michael Rosen and find out all about Jelly Boots, Smelly Boots and Uncle Gobb and the Plot Plot and his other fabulous stories including We're Going on a Bear Hunt as we celebrate its 30th birthday. Jelly Boots is a riotous poetry celebration of words – silly words, funny words, words you only use in your own family, new words, old words, and the very best words in the right order. Uncle Gobb and the Plot Plot is the third uproarious Uncle Gobb adventure and sees Malcolm and his awful Uncle Gobb return, each with a cunning plot… 

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Rachel Lewis and Polly Ghazi

The Low Carbon Diet

Hay Festival 2007, 
What we all can do towards carbon reduction, offset trading and getting fit for the planet.

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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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Festivals and Carbon Reduction

A Greenprint Debate

Hay Festival 2007, 
Martin Orbach (Abergavenny Food Festival), Penny Kemp (Big Green Gathering), Andy Fryers (Hay) and Alan Gwynant (National Eisteddfod) propose greener ways to manage power, waste and visitors' travel. Chaired by Sky News Environment Correspondent Robert Nisbit.

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Adam Parr

The Art Of War: Five Years In Formula One

Hay Festival 2013, 

A graphic novel that gives a unique insight into the world of motor sport, from the former CEO of the Williams F1 Team.

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Michael Frayn talks to Sarah Crompton

My Father’s Fortune

Hay Festival 2012, 
The novelist and playwright (whose Noises Off is currently playing in London) discusses his childhood memoir and his exploration of his father’s story My Father's Fortune. His new novel Skios is a story of mislaid identity, misdirected passion and miscalculated consequences set on a Greek Island.

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Joan Bakewell

The Wellcome Book Prize Lecture: Is Life Worth Living? It Depends on the Liver!

Hay Festival 2016, 

The chair of the Wellcome Book Prize jury reflects on how we share what we know, and how science progresses. The shortlist for this year’s prize is The Outrun by Amy Liptrot, Signs for Lost Children by Sarah Moss, It’s All In Your Head by Suzanne O’Sullivan, Playthings by Alex Pheby, The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink and NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman. The winner is announced on 25 April.

Joan Bakewell

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Matt Ridley talks to Nik Gowing

The Rational Optimist

Hay Festival 2010, 
The science writer and author of Genome talks about How Prosperity Evolves and why he thinks the future is bright for people and the planet.

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Juan Carlos Botero

The Art of Fernando Botero

Cartagena 2012, 
Juan Carlos Botero, journalist, writer and son of Fernando Botero, will present El arte de Fernando Botero, a book that looks at the artistic career of this great Colombian painter. He will show some examples of his pictorial work using slides, and will inquire into the artist’s work.

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Emerald Fennell

Monsters

Hay Festival 2016, 

Emerald Fennell, author and Call the Midwife star talks about her new book: A blackly comic tale about two children you would never want to meet. Set in the Cornish town of Fowey, all is not as idyllic as the beautiful seaside town might seem. The body of a young woman is discovered in the nets of a fishing boat. It is established that the woman was murdered. Most are shocked and horrified. But there is somebody who is not - a twelve-year-old girl. She is delighted; she loves murders. Soon she is questioning the inhabitants of the town in her own personal investigation. But it is a bit boring on her own. Then Miles Giffard, a similarly odd twelve-year-old boy, arrives in Fowey with his mother, and they start investigating together. Oh, and also playing games that re-enact the murders. Just for fun, you understand...

12+

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Siddhartha Deb

The Beautiful and the Damned

Hay Festival 2011, 
A panoramic portrait of the new India from its least advantaged countryside to its high-tech tiger economy.

Duration 45 minutes.
 
Read a profile of Siddhartha Deb

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Julia Hobsbawm, Peter York, Chris Parry, Bronwen Maddox and Alice Sherwood

EI Breakfast

Hay Festival 2011, 
The Editorial Intelligence director and her guests analyse the media stories and comment of the day.

Duration 45 minutes.

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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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Sinclair McKay and Thomas Briggs

Bletchley and Enigma

Hay Festival 2016, 

The historians reveal unknown secrets of Bletchley’s wartime operation and the Enigma, and discuss the code-breaking challenges we face in today’s rapidly changing and technologically complex world. McKay is the author of the bestselling The Lost World of Bletchley Park and Bletchley Park - The Secret Archives. Bletchley Park’s Enigma expert, Thomas Briggs, brings a genuine, working Enigma machine to the Festival.

Sinclair McKay and Thomas Briggs

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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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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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Gruff Rhys talks to Phil Rickman

Hay Festival 2007, 
The Super Furry Animals singer-songwriter talks music, politics and the subtle art of being angry. He'll also perform some of the songs from his new solo album Candylion. Recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio Wales.

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Joan Bakewell talks to Peter Florence

All the Nice Girls

Hay Festival 2009, 
The broadcaster’s first novel captures the danger and excitement of wartime Britain with a sweeping story of heroic deeds and painful separations, illicit love and battles at sea, and above all, of the poignancy of longing and loss.

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Rob Penn

The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees

Winter Weekend 2015, 

Rob Penn cut down an ash tree to see how many things could be made from it. Journeying from Wales and Ireland across Europe to the USA, he finds that the ancient skills and knowledge of the properties of ash, developed over millennia making wheels and arrows, furniture and baseball bats, are far from dead. He chronicles how the urge to appreciate trees still runs through us like grain through wood.

Rob Penn

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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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Alain George

The Rise of Islamic Calligraphy

Hay Festival 2010, 
How a craft based on pen, parchment and ink came to convey the divine character of the Qur’anic text, in the emerging civilisation of Islam.