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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”