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John Lewis-Stempel talks to Kitty Corrigan

Meadowland: The Private Life of an English Field

Hay Festival 2015, 

What really goes on in the long grass? Lewis-Stempel offers a hymn to pastoral beauty with an intimate account of an English meadow’s life from January to December. He records the passage of the seasons from cowslips in spring to the hay-making of summer and grazing in autumn, and the lives of the animals that inhabit the grass and the soil beneath: the badger clan, the fox family, the rabbit warren, the skylark brood and the curlew pair.

John Lewis-Stempel talks to Kitty Corrigan

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Anne Somerset

Queen Anne

Hay Festival 2012, 
A revelatory portrait of the great Stuart monarch, whose reign encompassed union with Scotland, Marlborough’s victories in France, some sublime architecture and rancorous rows with some of the highest Ladies of Court.

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Terri Apter

Cambridge Series: Sisters

Hay Festival 2010, 
The author of The Sister Knot discusses Why We Fight, Why We’re Jealous and Why We’ll Love Each Other No Matter What. Chaired by Claire Armitstead.
Terri Apter

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Geza Vermes

Searching for the Real Jesus

Hay Festival 2010, 
The Scrolls scholar examines perceptions of Jesus Christ through the prism of contemporary cultural representations – from The Da Vinci Code and Mel Gibson’s The Passion to Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth.
Geza Vermes

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Richard Gwyn and Horatio Clare talk to Gwen Davies

The Vagabond’s Breakfast & Truant

Hay Festival 2011, 
Two literary confessions of vagrancy, escape and redemption.
 
Read biographies of Richard Gwyn and Horatio Clare

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John Tusa, David Lammy, Jesse Norman, John Kampfner

Politics and the Arts

Hay Festival 2014, 

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.

John Tusa, David Lammy, Jesse Norman, John Kampfner

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John Boyne

This House Is Haunted

Kells 2013, 

The author of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas and The Absolutist introduces his new novel. Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall on a dark and chilling night… He talks to Sean Rocks, presenter of Arena on RTÉ Radio 1.

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David Edgerton

Britain’s War Machine

Hay Festival 2011, 
The compelling new history shows WWII in a new light, showing Britain as far from the plucky underdog, but as a wealthy country, formidable in arms, ruthless in pursuit of its interests and sitting at the heart of a global production system.
 
Read a recent review of Britain's War Machine

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Jasper Rees

Bred of Heaven

Hay Festival 2012, 
A love letter to Gatland’s Own Country and One Man’s Quest to Reclaim his Welsh Roots.

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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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Andy Kershaw talks to Martin Chilton

No Off Switch

Hay Festival 2012, 
We’re talking the rollercoaster, deliciously candid and brilliantly funny autobiography of Britain’s maverick radio DJ, world music champion and foreign correspondent.

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Anthony Giddens

Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe?

Hay Festival 2014, 

Reform in Europe for its 500 million citizens must go far beyond stabilising the euro, formidable and fraught though that task may be. Introducing an array of new ideas, Giddens suggests this is the time for a far-reaching rethink of the European project as a whole.

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Nick Stern talks to Alok Jha

The British Academy Lecture: Why Are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change

Hay Festival 2015, 

The risks and costs of climate change are worse than estimated in the landmark Stern Review in 2006; and far worse than implied by standard economic models. The science warns of the dangers of neglect; the economics and technology show what we can do and the great benefits that will follow; an examination of the ethics points strongly to a moral imperative for action. Why are we waiting? Chaired by the science correspondent of ITV News.

Nick Stern talks to Alok Jha

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Salman Rushdie, Kamila Shamsie, Valeria Luiselli, Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Talking About Shakespeare: Lunatics and Lovers 3

Hay Festival 2016, 

Daniel Hahn is joined by novelists from Britain, Mexico and Colombia to celebrate the 400th anniversaries of Cervantes and Shakespeare and the stories that they have written around them.

Supported by The British Council and Acción Cultural Española

Salman Rushdie, Kamila Shamsie, Valeria Luiselli, Juan Gabriel Vasquez

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Hanif Kureishi talks to Tiffany Murray

Budapest 2012, 
The playwright, novelist (The Buddha of Suburbia, Something to Tell You) and film-maker (The Mother, The Black Album, My Son the Fanatic, Venus) discusses his work with the author of Diamond Star Halo.
 
English with simultaneous translation into Hungarian

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The War of the World 1914–1989

Niall Ferguson

Hay Festival 2006, 
The twentieth century proved to be overwhelmingly the most violent, frightening and brutalized in history, with fanatical, often genocidal warfare engulfing most societies between the outbreak of the First World War and the end of the Cold War. What went wrong? Chaired by Hamish Mykura.

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Kevin Crossley Holland

Bracelet of Bones

Hay Festival 2011, 
The captivating author of the Arthur trilogy returns to Hay with his new Viking Saga. Chaired by Peter Florence.
 
10+ years Knapsacks & Ginger Beer

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Brendan Simms

Europe: The Struggle For Supremacy, 1453 To The Present

Hay Festival 2013, 

The story of Europe’s constantly shifting geopolitics and the peculiar circumstances that have made it both so impossible to dominate, and also so dynamic and ferocious. It is the story of a group of highly competitive and mutually suspicious dynasties, but also of a continent uniquely prone to interference from ‘semi-detached’ elements, such as Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Britain and (just as centrally to Simms’ argument) the United States. chaired by Jonathan Derbyshire.

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John Harrison talks to Kathryn Gray

Antarctica - Forgotten Footprints

Hay Festival 2012, 
The award-winning author of Cloud Road presents his history of the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands and the Weddell Sea, introducing the merchantmen, navy men, sealers, whalers and aviators who, with scientists and adventurers drew the first ghostly maps of the white continent.

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Concern Universal Youth Debate

The Carbon Question

Hay Festival 2012, 
Should an individual’s carbon emissions be limited to 2 tonnes per year by 2050? This is the internationally agreed safe limit in order to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change. But how should these limits be shared out? How could limits be policed? Do governments have any rights to impose limits on citizens? Or should we just take the risk and adapt to the impacts? Join our panel of sixth formers for a debate. Chaired by Andy Fryers.
 
(14+yrs)
 
FREE BUT TICKETED

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Patrick de Witt and Tom Bullough talk to Stephanie Merritt

Fictions – Not the C19th Novel

Hay Festival 2012, 
The Man Booker-shortlisted The Sisters Brothers is a noiradventure set in Gold Rush America; Konstantin tells the story of the first man in Russia to reveal how travel into space might be possible. It is a story of man, nature, and the limitless power of the imagination.

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Jessie Childs

God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England

Hay Festival 2014, 

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.

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Tony Juniper talks to Rosie Boycott

How many lightbulbs does it take to change the planet?

Hay Festival 2007, 
The Director of Friends of the Earth presents his 95 ways to save the planet with missionary zeal.

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Dai Smith in conversation with Max Porter

The International Dylan Thomas Prize in partnership with Swansea University

Hay Festival 2016, 

Join us to celebrate ten years of the prestigious prize for writers aged 39 and under, as the 2016 Winner talks with Dai Smith, Chair of the Judging Panel and Raymond Williams Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University. Max Porter won the award for his extraordinary book Grief is the Thing With Feathers.

Dai Smith says: “Max Porter, the judges felt, takes the common place of grief, the pall of death, the loss of loved ones, the things that we will all experience and transforms the ordinary through an extraordinary feat of imaginative prose, but prose that slips in to poetry and out again. The way it plays with the archetypal figure of Ted Hughes’ Crow is both astonishing and beguiling. It is funny, it is deeply moving and it is a book that the judges are proud to see as the winner of the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize, in partnership with Swansea University.”

Dai Smith in conversation with Max Porter

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Mary Warnock and Elisabeth McDonald

Easeful Death

Hay Festival 2008, 
Mary Warnock and Elisabeth McDonald examine the philosophical and ethical issues around assisted suicide and euthanasia.