The prayer book’s history is one of passionately contested revision and of manic sensitivity to a verb or a turn of phrase. In the book’s ambiguities and fierce contestations, Swift argues, William Shakespeare found the ready elements of drama. Tracing the prayer book’s lines and motions through As You Like It, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Measure For Measure, Othello, and particularly Macbeth, he redirects scholarly attention to the religious heart of Shakespeare’s work and time.
On the centenary of The Rite Of Spring, Moore’s Nijinsky captures the spirit of the great genius of C20th ballet, his relationship with Diaghilev, the controversy of his radical choreography and his descent into madness. In Sadler’s Wells Dance House Crompton chronicles how this London theatre and its creative impulses have shaped the course of dance in the C20th and C21st from classical to hip hop. Chaired by Clemency Burton-Hill.
The TLS history editor chairs this elite unit of award-winning war reporters and authors of new books – Zero Six Bravo, Maverick One and Under The Wire. In an age of mobile-phone footage, embedded journalists and instant disinformations, the values of deep research, personal experience and intelligent analysis are more essential than ever to lend authority and understanding to writing about war.
The young cavalry lieutenant wrote a vivid account of his experiences fighting Pashtun tribesmen – the great-great-grandfathers of today’s insurgents – on the North West Frontier. The Telegraph’s defence editor gives an insight into C19th military history that also throws light on a modern conflict that has lasted longer than WWII. Chaired by Mark Skipworth.
The story of Sarah Losh – forgotten Romantic heroine, antiquarian, architect and visionary. In the church in Wreay, her masterpiece, there are carvings of ammonites, scarabs and poppies; an arrow pierces the wall as if shot from a bow; a tortoise-gargoyle launches itself into the air. And everywhere there are pinecones, her signature in stone. The church is a dramatic rendering of the power of myth and the great natural cycles of life and death and rebirth. Chaired by Simon Mundy.