Assuming no previous linguistic knowledge or familiarity with Middle English, Horobin introduces us to the wonders of Chaucer’s language and the importance of reading him in the original, rather than modern translation.
The author of The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee and Personal Velocity introduces the twin tales of C18th Paris and C21st New York in her new novel Jacob’s Folly, to consider the hold of the past on the present, the power of private hopes and dreams, and the collision of fate and free will.
Nature’s uses and abuses, physical, social and psychological, and one man’s quest to help save the world’s oldest and greatest tree specimens. One of Britiain’s best-known environmental campaigners joins New York Times journalist and author Jim Robbins.
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.
Taking the audience on a spectacular, enchanting journey across Wales and its glorious landscape, Wilson uses photos from the book to talk about his work, his inspirations and how to set about capturing the perfect image. Chaired by Carolyn Hitt.
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.
Europe, the richest economic area in the world, faces unprecedented challenges: a protectionist US administration, Russian interventions, a Chinese leader who has defied succession planning, and the parliamentary success of the far-right in Germany, Italy and Austria. And then there’s Brexit. Something must be done. But what? And how? And by whom? The distinguished diplomat Gourdault-Montagne is now Secretary General of the French Foreign Ministry, Mountfield is a British QC, Schama is an historian. Chaired by the BBC’s Europe Editor.
Memories are not only about the past; they also affect the future. Nicola and Clive, a scientist and a fine artist respectively, explore the complex relationships between memory and human experience. Join them for a fascinating discussion incorporating science, literature, magic and dance.
The incredible history of Doggerland, a country now sunk beneath the North Sea, which once, 6,000 years ago, linked the Yorkshire coast with a stretch of Continental Europe from Denmark to Normandy. The submersion of Doggerland was the last time inhabited areas of land were lost because of changes in climate.
Many of us would like to lead healthier lives, so what stops us? The Director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit explains why risk information doesn’t change our unhealthy behaviour. Chaired by Hugh Muir.
Who made the Mappa Mundi? How and why? Arrowsmith looks at the map through the eyes of a medieval visitor to the cathedral. She explains how a map that is very unfamiliar to us, with East rather than North at the top, populated with semi-human figures who may have four eyes or one foot and beasts like the defecating Bonnacon, would have made complete sense. You could tell your children the story of your pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, point out the winding trail taken by Moses and the Israelites and tell the Bible stories illustrated there and elsewhere. Or you could impress other bystanders with your knowledge of Alexander’s campaigns and the three races of Ethiopians illustrated near the map’s edges.
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How should culture be valued by politicians? What does it contribute to the GDP and Britain’s sense of identity? Tusa, the former Barbican chief, is the author of Pain in the Arts. Norman, a director of Hay Festival and the Roundhouse, is writing Soul Food – The Conservative Case for the Arts. Lammy was Minister for the Arts in the last Labour government and is a prospective candidate for London Mayor. Kampfner is Director of the Creative Industries Federation. Chaired by Liz Hunt.
In 1993–4 abandoned watchtowers dotted the coast line. The huge fields of the Lenin collective farm were lying fallow, waiting for claims from former owners, fleeing war and Soviet and Nazi occupation. The anthropologist reflects on history, political repression, and the story of the minority Swedes in the area.