O’Toole examines how trivial journalistic lies became far-from-trivial national obsessions; how the pose of indifference to truth and historical fact has come to define the style of an entire political elite; how a country that once had colonies is redefining itself as an oppressed nation requiring liberation; the strange gastronomic and political significance of prawn-flavoured crisps; the dreams of revolutionary deregulation and privatisation that drive Arron Banks, Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg; and the silent rise of English nationalism, the force that dare not speak its name. O’Toole is an investigative journalist, historian, biographer, literary critic and political commentator. His acclaimed columns on Brexit for the Irish Times, the Guardian and the New York Review of Books have been awarded both the Orwell Prize and the European Press Prize. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
In this sumptuously illustrated lecture the historian asks: were the Vikings, as contemporary description had it, a ‘valiant, wrathful and purely pagan people’ who swept in from the sea to plunder and slaughter? Or, in the words of a Manx folksong, ‘ware-wolves keen in hungry quest’, who lived and died by the sea and the sword? Or were they unusually successful merchants, extortionists and pioneer explorers?
Grand Designs icon Ben Law discusses a more sustainable approach to buildings with Passivhaus expert Janet Cotterell and Green Consumer guru, Julia Hailes. Chaired by Hay-on-Earth Director Andy Fryers.
A conversation with the owner of Pearl Island Arabians based in Herefordshire, one of the most successful stud farms in the world, breeding from pure Bahraini bloodlines. She talks about her work with horses and her racy novels in the Seven Bands of Gold series, which recall the bestselling tales of Harold Robbins. Jenny is a member of the Hay Writers Circle. She talks to Corisande Albert, producer of the Horsetales documentaries.
Join Linda Davies for an exploration of her new young adults novel – a rip-roaring time-slip adventure set in the Black Mountains of Wales. This is a must-read for anyone who loves strong heroines, history, ponies and captivating storytelling – and the author might even bring her longbow along…
Growing up in 1970s Suffolk in a crumbling giant of a house with wild, tangled gardens, the celebrated jeweller was left to wreak havoc by invention. Without visible parental influence but with sisters to love him and brothers to fight for him, he made nature into his world. Creation became a compulsion, whether it was go-karts and guns, cross-bows and booby-traps, boats, bikes or scooters. And then it was jewellery. He talks to Georgina Godwin.
In our own time of anxious arrivals and enforced departures, the Jews’ search for a home is more startlingly resonant than ever. Belonging is a magnificent cultural history abundantly alive with energy, character and colour. From the Jews’ expulsion from Spain in 1492 it navigates miracles and massacres, wandering, discrimination, harmony and tolerance; to the brink of the twentieth century and, it seems, a point of profound hope. Schama tells the stories not just of rabbis and philosophers but of a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a boxer in Georgian England; a general in Ming China; an opera composer in 19th- century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine and the mining camps of California.
From nanomaterials and ancient oceans to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, three Royal Society Research Fellows introduce and discuss their work at the forefront of science with climatologist and broadcaster Gabrielle Walker.
The author of The Serpent’s Promise, Almost Like A Whale, The Language of the Genes and In the Blood conducts an evolutionist’s exploration.
The award-winning photo-journalist has been documenting the island of Haiti for the past 15 years and has produced an astonishing record of one of the world’s most extreme cultures and natural environments, racked by civil war, climatic catastrophe and violent deprivations. He shows his images and discusses his work with Oliver Balch.
The NHS is our most treasured institution, but even caring doctors have too many patients and too little time, while patients often feel too overwhelmed, embarrassed, intimidated or ill to ask the right questions. Dr Hammond will show you how to get your GP to listen to you and take your symptoms seriously, how to get hold of your patient records so you can ensure they’re correct, how to get a second opinion and, most importantly, how to get better (and in turn help make the NHS better too).
The Catholics of Elizabethan England did not witness a golden age. Their Mass was banned, their priests were outlawed, their faith was criminalised. In an age of assassination and Armada, those Catholics who clung to their faith were increasingly seen as the enemy within. It is a tale of dawn raids and daring escapes, stately homes and torture chambers, ciphers, secrets and lies. Chaired by SJ Parris.
Fuller studies the phenomenon of mass participation in reading events, through book clubs, city reads, festivals and online reading communities.