The second novel in the popular historian’s Six Tudor Queens series mines the story of Anne Boleyn, the young woman who changed the course of history. Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love. But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game.
Chaired by Phil Rickman.
The doyenne of literary translators, the English voice of García Márquez, Cervantes, Vargas Llosa and Roncagliolo discusses her craft.
What happens when fossil fuels run out? How do communities and cultures survive? After Coal profiles inspiring individuals who are building a new future in the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky and South Wales. Stories of coalfield residents who must create new careers illustrate the challenge of creating a sustainable future. Introduced by the film’s director.
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Join Malorie Blackman as she reflects on her time as Children’s Laureate and her extraordinary writing career to date – from her groundbreaking and unforgettable Noughts & Crosses series and BAFTA winning story Pig-Heart Boy to her writing for Doctor Who. Malorie will talk about her inspirations and her writing tips, and will give a sneak preview of her new novel Crossfire, out later this year. Malorie will speak to Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust.
The legendary musician shares the insights and experience of his sixty-year career with Clemency Burton-Hill. ‘This book distils what, at my advanced age, I feel able to say about music, musicians, and matters of my pianistic profession.’
Griffiths will be the International Hay Festival Fellow for the next 12 months, visiting all our festivals around the world. Her visionary and poetic work explores her interest in nature, anthropology and art. Her books include Kith: The Riddle of the Childscape, Wild: An Elemental Journey, Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time, and her fictionalised hymn to Frida Kahlo, A Love Letter to a Stray Moon. She talks to Peter Florence.
Barkham reflects on the long campaign to protect our shoreline from tidal erosion and human damage. He weaves together fascinating tales about every aspect of the coast – from ancient conquests and smugglers’ routes, to exotic migratory birds and bucket-and-spade holidays – to tell a more profound story about our island nation and the way we are shaped by our shores. Chaired by Horatio Clare.
What’s Macbeth without the witches? Quite possibly the play Shakespeare wrote. Macbeth was not published until after Shakespeare’s death and it is highly likely that it was his great contemporary Thomas Middleton who wrote most of the supernatural scenes. The Goldsmiths Shakespeare scholar will consider the role of the witches in Macbeth; their lasting legacy of psychosexual drama and the problems of ‘normal’ in a play that features a homicidal thane, a woman who wants to be unsexed, and a collection of bearded women babbling on a heath. Chaired by Peter Florence.
The Deputy Artistic Director of the RSC discusses her current production. As a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and his great legacy, the production features local amateur companies in all 12 regions and nations of the UK playing Shakespeare’s Mechanicals alongside the professional cast. Erica shares her thoughts as the tour concludes in Cardiff and Belfast, and the company prepares to return to Stratford-upon-Avon for a final run featuring performances from all the amateur companies.
Many of our everyday activities, such as looking up information on the internet and journey planning, are supported by sophisticated algorithms. Some of our online activities are supported by the fact that we don’t have good algorithms for some problems: the encryption scheme that supports the privacy of credit cards in online transactions is believed to be secure precisely because there is no known fast algorithm for factoring large numbers. The Oxford Computer Science Professor explains a little of what we know about the limitations of algorithms, and also the famous P vs NP problem. This is the most important open problem in computer science and is one of the seven Millennium Problems of the Clay Mathematics Institute, which has offered a million-dollar prize for its solution.
It’s common sense that the best stimulus to social mobility is education. But the facts of the past 50 years – a period of unprecedented social mobility – suggest that people may be just as mobile however much or little education they have. So what does cause social mobility, if not education? And what, if anything, can governments do to promote it?
Amidst the numbers and summits of the refugee crisis, the voices of those who have fled conflict and persecution can be lost. Join us for readings from women across the world who have sought protection in the UK and learnt English with the British Red Cross in South Wales, where they have been writing about their experiences. Sharing their stories from the point of departure to their arrival in Britain, they write eloquently about the asylum system and life in the UK.
Archie Miles has been a professional photographer for forty years. With an abiding passion for the British landscape, he has carved a specialist niche in the world of trees. He has written and photographed eight books on the subject and his latest, The British Oak, is a stunning reflection of Archie’s particular love of our ancient oak trees, profiling fifty of the most famous in Britain and celebrating the diverse array of fascinating stories and historic associations that have made them so remarkable.