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.
How do professionals across all sectors develop the survival skills for a resilient future? Join us to take the great ideas you’ve jotted on the back of beer mats or napkins and make them real.
Shamsie’s epic story A God In Every Stone starts in 1914 and carries us across the globe, into the heart of empires fallen and conquered, from Ypres to Peshawar. Young’s The Heroes’ Welcome is a sequel to My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You. For those who fought, those who healed and those left behind, 1919 is a year freighted with perilous beginnings, unavoidable realities and gleams of indestructible hope. The authors talk to Ted Hodgkinson.
Between 1900 and 1950, Britain amassed a huge collection of over 800 historic buildings, monuments and sites and opened them to the public – a programme that established a modern state on deep historical and rural foundations.
Alex Rider is back. Join the author as he reveals what’s in store in the next chapter of his legendary character’s life as he is forced to leave his home in San Francisco and head back east. There are some old friends and old enemies and, above all, there is plenty of action, adrenaline and adventure.
The authorised biography of the Tottenham, Arsenal and England defender is a frank and often blistering account of a life lived between the soaring heights of celebrity football and the despairing depths of personal trauma. He talks to the author of Wenger.
On 11 September 1973, President Salvador Allende of Chile, Latin America’s first democratically elected Marxist president, was deposed in a violent coup d’état. The Colombian historian explains why and how business leaders in Chile, extreme right-wing groups, high-ranking officers in the Chilean military and the US administration, and the CIA worked together to secure a prompt and dramatic end to his progressive social programme.
The poetry champion, force behind National Poetry Day and founder of the Forward Prize introduces his prescription poems clinic – connecting festival-goers with poems to heal and sustain them.
Never in human history was there such an opportunity for freedom of expression. If we have internet access, any one of us can publish almost anything we like and potentially reach an audience of millions. And never was there a time when the evils of unlimited speech flowed so easily across frontiers: violent intimidation, gross violations of privacy, tidal waves of abuse. With vivid examples – from his personal experience of China’s Orwellian censorship apparatus to the controversy around Charlie Hebdo as well as a very English court case involving food writer Nigella Lawson – Garton Ash proposes a framework for civilized conflict in a world in which we are all becoming neighbours.
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.
The beloved, bestselling author’s new novel is illustrated with photographs that make this journey around Greece, already alive in the imagination, linger forever in the mind. Hislop’s other Greek novels include The Island and The Thread.
The author of the inspired tragi-comic novel Skippy Dies (long-listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize) reads from that book and from his soon-to-be-published The Mark and the Void. He talks to Sinead Gleeson, presenter of The Book Show on RTÉ Radio 1.
Hay Castle’s rich history reaches back to the time of the Norman Conquest, and is intertwined with events that have shaped the evolution of the country as a whole. Legend has it that in the early C13th the stone castle rose overnight out of the low woodlands next to the River Wye. In the C17th it was transformed from ruined defensive castle to country seat for the gentry. More recently it has been the seat of the King of Hay, Richard Booth.
The C21st has seen Hay Castle owned in trust for the public for the first time, and the creation of an exciting future vision for the buildings and grounds. The architects for the realisation of the vision are Rick Mather Architects, who, with representatives from their team of archaeology and conservation specialists, will describe the history and proposed future for the Castle – the creation of the next chapter in its story. Chaired by Francine Stock.
For further details about Hay Castle please visit the stall on site or www.haycastletrust.org.