Barkham delves into the fascinating natural and rich cultural history of the animal – from their prehistoric arrival in Britain to their savage persecution over the centuries, the cuddliness of Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows character and the cull of 2013.
We are delighted to launch the paperback of Nikesh Shukla’s award-winning collection of essays and stories with three of the contributing writers. Inspired by discussion around why society appears to deem people of colour as bad immigrants – job stealers, benefit scroungers, undeserving refugees – until, by winning Olympic races or baking good cakes, or being conscientious doctors, they cross over and become good immigrants, Shukla has compiled a collection of essays that are poignant, challenging, angry, humorous, heartbreaking, polemic, weary and – most importantly – real.
Join the author for a discussion of her new book, Margot and Me, a tender cross-generation story of the unexpected truth that a girl uncovers about her grandmother, when she reads the diary of her life during the War.
On St Crispin’s Day 1415, Henry V and his exhausted army of 9,000 long-bowmen and infantry defeated the 20,000 massed cavalry and nobility of France. It was a turning point in the Hundred Years War, and in the advance of weaponry.
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Jacek Dehnel is a poet, novelist, painter and translator. In 2005 he was one of the youngest ever winners of Poland’s Koscielski Prize for promising writers and was also awarded the prestigious Paszport Polityki prize. He talks to RTE's Zbyszek Zalinski.
William Nicholson’s new novel, The Lovers of Amherst, interweaves the stories of a young, contemporary researcher into the life and work of the reclusive American poet, Emily Dickinson, with that of the poet’s milieu during a turbulent period in the 1880s. The story from the past revolves around an illicit love affair conducted by Emily Dickinson’s married brother, in which the poet colluded. The theme stems from William Nicholson’s long-standing fascination with Emily Dickinson’s work as well as his interest in the wellsprings and consequences of erotic passion. Nicholson’s plays include Shadowlands and Life Story. He co-wrote the script for the film Gladiator and he has scripted Les Misérables and Mandela. Emily Dickinson’s poetry will be read by actress Lisa Dwan.
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.
The Tree Charter launches this year, built from more than 50,000 public stories about the value of trees and woods. How have the issues of rights and responsibilities shaped the relationship between people and trees over the 800 years since the 1217 Charter of the Forest? Germaine Greer, author of White Beech: The Rainforest Years and community woods enthusiast Rob Penn talk with Woodland Trust CEO Beccy Speight about the role of trees in our lives; and about the role of a Tree Charter in protecting this for the future.
Join us for an afternoon with the much-loved author and discover how she started her writing career and created some of her most popular characters, then hear about her brand new book, Rose Rivers.
Following the drought of 2012, the community of Gumbi in rural Malawi decided they needed to diversify to protect their families from further famine and create a brighter future for their children. They decided that education was the key. Today, thanks to the support of the Gumbi Education Fund, Book Aid International and others, Gumbi has a small library, three villagers are qualified teachers, and three more are going to university. John Vidal, who covered the famine in the Guardian,and Patrick Kamzitu from Gumbi, will tell this inspiring story. They are joined by broadcaster and historian Bettany Hughes, a long-term supporter of the Gumbi Education Fund and Emma Taylor, Book Aid International’s Head of Communications.
There are almost a billion guns across the globe today. There are 12 billion bullets produced every year and as many as 500,000 people are killed by them annually. Meeting people affected by guns from all walks of life in 25 countries – porn starlets who appear as snipers in XXX films, Zionist anti-terror gun trainers, El Salvadoran gangland killers – Overton unearths some hard truths about the terrible realities of war and gun crime. Overton is Director of Investigations at the London-based charity Action on Armed Violence and an investigative journalist who has worked in over 80 countries around the world.
The way the body moves, feels, breathes, and engages with the world has been viewed very differently across times and cultures. For centuries, we were believed to be composed of souls that were part of the body and inseparable from it. Now we exist in our heads, and our bodies have become the vessels for that uncertain and elusive thing we call our true selves. The way we understand the material structure of the body has also changed radically over the centuries. From the bones to the skin, from the senses to the organs of sexual reproduction, every part of the body has an ever-changing history, dependent on time, culture, and place. Fay Bound Alberti is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow in History at Queen Mary University of London.
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.