The bestselling author of My Last Duchess introduces her new novel. In 1875 Sisi, the Empress of Austria, is the woman that every man desires and every woman envies. Beautiful, athletic and intelligent, Sisi has everything – except happiness. Bored with the stultifying etiquette of the Hapsburg Court and her dutiful but unexciting husband, Franz Joseph, Sisi comes to England to hunt. She comes looking for excitement and she finds it in the dashing form of Captain Bay Middleton, the only man in Europe who can outride her…
As society becomes more liberal, the Churches often seem more entrenched. The Oxford historian explores how Western Christianity’s complex and often divisive ideas about sex, marriage and gender have their roots in a story that began 3,000 years ago. Chaired by Anita Anand.
The internationally famous writer Péter Esterházy is well-known for his work Harmonia Caelestis, which tells the story of his aristocratic ancestors during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when Haydn composed music in his family’s palace. The grandson of the last prime minister of the Austro-Hungarian Empire talks to the grandson of the last Emperor, HM Georg von Habsburg. Chaired by Arpad von Lazar, Emeritus Professor of the Fletcher School of Tufts University (USA) and member of the advisory board of IE University and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Simultaneous translation from German into Spanish
The new Director of the V&A explores the role of culture and curation in a world turning on a new axis, where intelligence is artificial and some pots are still priceless; where a common wealth of resources and makers can fashion global treasures.
What are the limits of free speech and civility? What is the nature of ‘offence’? What earns ‘respect’? If words can hurt you, are sticks and stones and broken bones the answer?
The origin and evolution of our solar system is a tantalizing mystery that may one day provide answers to the question of human origins. The astronomer explains how the celestial objects that make up the solar system arose from common beginnings billions of years ago, and how scientists and philosophers have sought to unravel this mystery, piecing together the clues that enabled them to deduce the solar system’s layout, its age, and the most likely way it formed.
The author of This Orient Isle asks how we understand Shakespeare in a global world when his language seems more remote than ever. Drawing on his recent involvement in international productions of Macbeth and Othello he explains how Shakespearean character and language is created through rehearsal and stage action. He concludes by arguing that schools should stop studying the plays as words on the page but instead rehearse and perform them however they can.
Come and enjoy your first lesson in Mandarin with the teacher who has developed an extraordinary accessible method of learning the Chinese language.
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.
Sam McBratney has won many awards for his children’s books and is best known as the author of the multi-million selling family classic Guess How Much I Love You. He talks about his life and career and what it means to have created one of the world’s most famous picture books – which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Don't miss this chance to hear Sam read his famous story. There will also be a special Guess How Much I Love You goody bag for every child.
Based on a true story about Judith Kerr’s father, Alfred Kerr, who once took in an abandoned seal pup, this life-affirming tale is told with Judith’s signature wit, warmth and keen eye for the absurd. She reminds us all that you’re never too old for a brand new life filled with love and laughter. Chaired by Georgina Godwin.
There will be no book-signing after this event, but signed book plates will be available with every book sold in the Festival Bookshop.