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Stephen Moss

Tweet of the Day

Hay Festival 2014, 

Imagine a jazz musician, improvising on a theme. Then imagine that he is able to play half a dozen instruments – not one after another, but almost simultaneously, switching effortlessly between instruments and musical styles with hardly a pause for breath. If you can countenance that, you are halfway towards appreciating the extraordinary song of the nightingale…

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Jonny Duddle

Gigantosaurus

Hay Festival 2014, 

Bonehead, the dino-kid lookout, raises so many false alarms that when the scary Gigantosaurus really appears, his friends may not believe him… High-energy fun from the exuberant Jonny Duddle.
4+ years

Jonny Duddle

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Luis Rubio

Mexico Beyond The Headlines

Hay Festival 2011, 
The President of the Centre of Research for Development discusses the political and economic situation in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Entry to this event is free but you must obtain a ticket

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Julia Golding

Magical Creatures, Perilous Pirates

Hay Festival 2012, 
The super-star scribbler of The Glass Swallow, the Companions Quartet and the Cat Royal series takes us on a whistle stop tour of her fantastical worlds. With hints and tips on how to write your own fantasy adventures along the way.
 
9+ yrs

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Fiona Caldicott, Nick Partridge and Tony Calland talk to Jonathan Montgomery

Big Data, Safe Data

Hay Festival 2017, 

The NHS collects people’s confidential data to provide their care but how else is it used? Should people be able to opt out of uses of their health data for purposes such as medical research, improving public services or commercial uses? Dame Fiona Caldicott is the National Data Guardian for Health and Care in England; Sir Nick Partridge is the former CEO of the Terence Higgins Trust and Dr Tony Calland is a former GP in Wales. Chaired by Professor Jonathan Montgomery, Professor of Health Care Law at University College London.

Fiona Caldicott, Nick Partridge and Tony Calland talk to Jonathan Montgomery

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Rebecca F. John and Jake Arnott talk to Georgina Godwin

Fictions: London Tales

Hay Festival 2017, 

John presents her novel The Haunting of Henry Twist – a mysterious love story set in 1926 that recalls the power and strangeness of Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Arnott’s The Fatal Tree is set 200 years earlier and is about the true story of Edgeworth Bess, which mesmerised C18th society: a riveting, artful tale of crime and rough justice, love and betrayal. Rich in the street slang of the era, it vividly conjures up a murky world of illicit dens and molly-houses; a world where life was lived on the edge, in the shadow of that fatal tree – the gallows.

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Patrick French

India

Hay Festival 2011, 
The author discusses his India: A Portrait.

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Animal Adventures

Hay Festival 2013, 

Sarah Lean’s debut A Dog Called Homeless went down a storm with Morpurgo fans. Learn how she creates her stories and join in with some ideas of your own.

8+ years

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David Beerling

Fossil Forests and Climate Crisis

Hay Festival 2008, 
Paleoclimatology Prof David Beerling, author of Emerald Planet, examines the impact of mankind’s fossil fuel burning on climate change, and maps the action needed to arrest the damage done.

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Jonathan Fenby

The Dragon Throne: A History of Imperial China

Hay Festival 2008, 
Jonathan Fenby charts the history and nature of China’s imperial system, 221BC–1912AD, which set the template for the way the world’s most populous (and often richest) nation was ruled, with a heritage still felt today.

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Paulo Coelho talks to Mick Brown

Hay Festival 2002, 
A rare opportunity to meet the author of The Alchemist, The Devil and Miss Prym, The Fifth Mountain, By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, and Veronika Decides to Die. The Brazilian novelist talks to Mick Brown, author of The Spiritual Tourist.

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Chris Woods and Chris Hunter talk to Oliver Bullough

Homeland Security?

Hay Festival 2015, 

How are wars conducted today? What happens when you only see your enemy onscreen or driving past an IED? And what effect does digital warfare have on the long-term security of the West? Woods is the author of Sudden Justice – America’s Secret Drone Wars. The investigative journalist charts the deployment of the CIA Predator drones for targeted counterterrorism killings in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. He challenges with damning evidence the assertion that drones minimize civilian casualties and are ‘the most precise weapon ever invented’. Major Hunter is the author of Eight Lives Down and Extreme Risk. He was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his work in Iraq as a bomb disposal operative.

Chris Woods and Chris Hunter talk to Oliver Bullough

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Robert Irwin and Azar Nafisi

Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange

Hay Festival 2015, 

On the shrouded corpse hung a tablet of green topaz with the inscription: ‘I am Shaddad the Great. I conquered a thousand cities; a thousand white elephants were collected for me; I lived for a thousand years and my kingdom covered both east and west, but when death came to me nothing of all that I had gathered was of any avail. You who see me take heed: for Time is not to be trusted.’

Dating from at least a millennium ago, these are the earliest known Arabic short stories, surviving in a single, ragged manuscript in a library in Istanbul. Some found their way into The Arabian Nights but most have never been read in English before. Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange has monsters, lost princes, jewels beyond price, a princess turned into a gazelle, sword-wielding statues and shocking reversals of fortune.

Robert Irwin’s books include For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies, The Middle East in the Middle Ages, The Arabian Nights: A Companion and (as editor) The Penguin Anthology of Classical Arabian Literature. Azar Nafisi taught Western literature at the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University and the University of Allameh Tabatabai in Iran. In 1981 she was expelled from the University of Tehran after refusing to wear the veil. In 1994 she won a teaching fellowship from Oxford University, and in 1997 she and her family left Iran for America. She is the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I’ve Been Silent About.

Robert Irwin and Azar Nafisi

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Tim Parker talks to Francine Stock

Trust

Hay Festival 2015, 

What and who do we trust with our sense of nationhood? The NHS, the BBC, the PM, the EU? The new chair of the National Trust has been a CEO and board director of many of Britain’s most successful international companies, and he owns the British Pathé Film Archive. He discusses the ideas of ownership, national identity, the interplay of the public, private and third sectors, and the ethical concerns that drive business in an age of social media.

Tim Parker talks to Francine Stock

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Simon Thirsk and Tessa Hadley

Fictions: Dragons

Hay Festival 2011, 
Hadley’s The London Train is a remarkable portrayal of a man and woman whose lives collide on the Cardiff to London train. In Thirsk’s Not Quite White, the young Jon Bull is sent by Westminster to Wales’ last remaining Welsh-speaking town to see why all attempts to bring it into the twenty-first century have failed. Chaired by Anita Sethi.

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Tariq Ramadan

Islam: The Essentials

Hay Festival 2017, 

Whether the issue is violence, terrorism, women’s rights or slavery, Muslims are today expected to provide answers and to justify what Islam is – or is not. Here’s an introduction to the basics from the Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.

Tariq Ramadan

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Gareth Stedman Jones

Cambridge University Series 12: Inventing Necessity - The Strange Genesis of C20th Political Authori

Hay Festival 2015, 

Ideas about states of emergency went back to the politics of Ancient Rome in which it was said that ‘necessity knows no law’. This idea took on a series of different meanings during the early modern period and was employed by the Jacobins during the invasion scare of 1793–94. In 1848 the idea was employed again to justify emergency rule after the June uprising in Paris, but in its later usages, particularly by Marx, the idea was inverted. It was no longer emergency that justified dictatorship. Rather, dictatorship was posited as a desirable outcome in a transition to new forms of society.

Gareth Stedman Jones

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Doris Lessing talks to Julian Mitchell

Hay Festival 1996, 
We celebrate the publication of Lessing's first novel for ten years Love, Again with this interview in which she talks to the playwright and screenwriter Julian Mitchell.

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Fiona Reynolds and Simon Jenkins talk to Revel Guest

Octavia Hill’s Grand Idea

Hay Festival 2012, 
The National Trust Director General and Chair celebrate the centenary of Octavia Hill, the social reformer and founder of the National Trust, and discuss her legacy in the work of the Trust today.
 

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Timothy Garton Ash talks to John Kampfner

freespeechdebate.com

Hay Festival 2012, 
The distinguished author of The File and Facts Are Subversive introduces the ten founding principles of his new global Free Speech project and demonstrates its international reach with Google's Free Speech advisor.

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Richard Sennett

Together- The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Co-operation

Hay Festival 2012, 
The thinker discusses one of the most difficult challenges facing us today: living with people who are different – racially, ethnically, religiously or economically.
 
Richard Sennett is unable to come to Hay, as he needs to be in close proximity to the hospital in London where he is being treated, but he is - heroically - adamant he wants to do his session so we are going to beam him on a live video link..

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Andrew Robinson

Sudden Genius? Mozart and Marie Curie

Hay Festival 2011, 
Insight into two of the ten arts and sciences lives featured in his revelatory study of The Gradual Path to Creative Breakthroughs. Robinson is also the author of the Genius book in the Very Short Introductions series.

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Adam Zamoyski

Rights of Peace

Hay Festival 2007, 
The historian exposes the chaos, corruption and sexual depravity of the 1815 Congress of Vienna, at which Europe was scrambled by Napoleon’s vanquishers.

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Mark Hudson

Titian: The Last Days

Hay Festival 2010, 
Towards the end of his life the artist didn’t finish his paintings. Created with the fingers as much as the brush, the last paintings are imbued with a sense of final desperate effort – a rawness and immediacy that weren’t to be seen again in art for centuries. How did it come to this? And what happened to the paintings?
Mark Hudson

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Finbarr Livesey talks to Andy Fryers

From Global to Local

Hay Festival 2017, 

For the past 30 years or more, the global economy has been run on three big assumptions: globalisation will continue to increase, trade is the route to growth and development, and economic power is moving from West to East. But what if all these are wrong? Livesey is an engineer and a lecturer in public policy at the University of Cambridge.