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Dragon Frontier

Hay Festival 2013, 

Dan Abnett, who has written some of the most famous superhero comics in the world, introduces a fantasy adventure series set in the wild west – with added dragons!

8+ years

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John Bolton talks to Nik Gowing

Hay Festival 2008, 
President Bush's Ambassador to the UN (2005-06) discussed international relations.

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Julian Richards

The Viking Great Army and the Winter of AD 872–3

Hay Festival 2014, 

Recent discoveries have allowed archaeologists to locate the site, near Torksey in Lincolnshire, where the Viking Great Army wintered in AD 872–3. Richards describes what archaeological fieldwork can tell about the Great Army and their camp.

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Simon Jenkins

England’s 100 Best Views

Hay Festival 2014, 

The National Trust chairman presents his rhapsodic celebration of the landscapes and cityscapes of England, informed with his insightful historical, geographical and architectural commentary. Chaired by Justin Albert.

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Chris Haughton and Emily Shuckburgh

Trans.MISSION 1: Polar Science and Climate Change

Hay Festival 2018, 

What happens when you bring together two people at the top of their game but from different spheres? Shuckburgh is a climate scientist and deputy head of the Polar Oceans Team at the British Antarctic Survey. Haughton is a designer, author and illustrator of numerous publications including A Bit Lost, Oh No George! and Shh! We Have a Plan. They have collaborated to create an original piece of work that will explore the issues around polar science and climate change. The Trans.MISSION project was created to bring science and culture together with the aim of communicating cutting-edge science to new audiences through new methods. More information about the Trans.MISSION project can be found here.

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Thomas Weber talks to Rosie Goldsmith

Becoming Hitler: The Making of a Nazi

Hay Festival 2018, 

The story of the making of Adolf Hitler that we are all familiar with is the one Hitler himself wove in his 1924 trial, and then expanded upon in Mein Kampf. Weber strips away the layers of myth and fabrication in Hitler's own tale to tell the real story of his politicisation and radicalisation in post-First World War Munich. It is the gripping account of how an awkward and unemployed loner with virtually no recognisable leadership qualities and fluctuating political ideas turned into the charismatic, self-assured, virulently anti-Semitic leader with an all-or-nothing approach to politics with whom the world was soon to become tragically familiar.

Thomas Weber talks to Rosie Goldsmith

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Hugo Mercier

The Enigma of Reason: A New Theory of Human Understanding

Hay Festival 2017, 

Reason, we are told, is what makes us human, the source of our knowledge and wisdom. But if reason is so useful, why didn’t it also evolve in other animals? If it is that reliable, why do we produce so much thoroughly reasoned nonsense? Mercier’s provocative and brilliant suggestion is that reason helps us justify our beliefs and actions to others, convince them through argument and evaluate the justifications and arguments that they address to us.

Hugo Mercier

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M.G. Leonard and Sarah Beynon

Beetle Boy

Hay Festival 2016, 

The author was terrified of beetles until she started to write Beetle Boy, when she discovered that they support the eco-system of the whole planet. As a result, she created Baxter the rhinoceros beetle, side-kick to Darkus, who needs all the help he can get to find his missing father, in this funny and heart-warming story. Dr Sarah Beynon is an expert entomologist and head of Beynon's Bug Farm, with some very cool beetles.

8+

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Jody Williams talks to Francine Stock

A Vermont Girl

Hay Festival 2013, 

The dynamic and inspiring activist, advocate and hero won the Nobel Peace Prize for her International Campaign To Ban Landmines. She describes her life and work in My Name Is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path To The Nobel Peace Prize.

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Hay Writers Circle

Hay Festival 2012, 
New Work from the local creative writing group
 
FREE BUT TICKETED

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Laurence Lessig

The Director's Lecture

Hay Festival 2006, 
The Stanford Law Professor, author of Free Culture, The Future of Ideas and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace examines the questions of copyright, ownership and access, to determine whether and how the western literary tradition is being imperilled in the digital age. Chaired by Damian Tambini.

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Wangari Maathai talks to Rosie Boycott

The Hamlin Lecture: Unbowed

Hay Festival 2007, 
The heroic and inspiring Kenyan Nobel Peace Laureate and founder of the African development Green Belt Movement talks about her life and work. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.

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Fay Bound Alberti

This Mortal Coil

Hay Festival 2016, 

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.

Fay Bound Alberti

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William Nicholson

Fictions – The Lovers of Amherst

Hay Festival 2015, 

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.

William Nicholson

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Douglas Hurd

Sir Robert Peel

Hay Festival 2007, 
The life of the one-nation Tory Prime Minister who gave us Corn Laws, Canada, Catholic Emancipation, the Conservative Party and the Constabulary.

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Daniel Kehlmann and Dorthe Nors

Fictions – Laughter

Hay Festival 2015, 

Two international superstars read and discuss their stories with Daniel Hahn. Kehlman presents his new novel F: the Friedland brothers have nothing in common. Martin is a priest with no faith. Ivan is an artist with no integrity. Eric is a financier – now, with no money. Each, in their own way, a fake. Each about to step into the abyss. Nors introduces her glitteringly funny and acute stories of Danish life collected in Karate Chop / Minna Needs Rehearsal Space. Blending compassion with dark delight, Nors conjures up a flawed, unsettlingly familiar world with each cautionary glance as fresh moments of wonder, romance and frail beauty are unexpectedly infiltrated by depravity, isolation and despair.

Daniel Kehlmann and Dorthe Nors

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Kate Fletcher talks to Andy Fryers

Fashion: Craft of Use

Hay Festival 2016, 

Rather than continually making more clothes using more materials, there should be a greater emphasis on how clothes can be repaired, adapted and upcycled. The Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion at University of the Arts London presents an inspiring manifesto for improving durability and resourcefulness in the fashion industry.

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Callum Roberts talks to Gabrielle Walker

Ocean of Life

Hay Festival 2014, 

Oceans are the most mysterious places on earth. Their depths remain largely unexplored, yet 95% of the planet’s habitable space lies within them. And now the life they support hangs in the balance.

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Germaine Greer

The Uses of Poetry

Hay Festival 2003, 
The celebrated teacher and Shakespearean communicates her passion for great poetry with her customary provocative and inspirational brilliance. Greer has edited two collections of poetry by women, Kissing the Rod and 101 Poems. She runs her own press, Stump Cross Books, which has published editions of work by Katherine Philips, Anne Wharton and other neglected poets.

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Jennifer Gray

Atticus Claw, Chickens and More

Hay Festival 2015, 
Find out about Atticus Claw, the world’s greatest cat burglar, and be introduced to the hen-sational Amy Cluckbucket, heroine of Jennifer’s new Chicken Mission series. Answer a quiz, hear all about the characters and help Jennifer plan the next part of the story.
6+ years
Jennifer Gray

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Mark Lynas

The 2050 Pathways Show

Hay Festival 2012, 
What would 2050 look like if you had your hands on the energy and lifestyle tiller? Join in a live experiment to crowdsource the future with the author and climate change advisor.

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Adam Nicolson

The Gentry

Hay Festival 2012, 
The writer introduces his sweeping, epic history of England told through the stories of 14 families down 700 years.

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Iain Overton talks to Oliver Balch

Gun Baby Gun

Hay Festival 2015, 

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.

Iain Overton talks to Oliver Balch

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Roddy Doyle

Kells 2015, 

The dearly treasured Booker Prize-winning novelist, screenwriter and dramatist discusses his work. His books include The Barrytown Trilogy, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Oh Play That Thing, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors and Two Pints. He also co-wrote Roy Keane’s memoir The Second Half. His stage adaptation of The Commitments is now running on the West End in London. In the television series Father Ted, the character Father Dougal Maguire’s unusual sudden use of (mild) profanities is blamed on his having 'been reading those Roddy Doyle books again.' Roddy talks to Sean Rocks, presenter of Arena on RTÉ Radio 1.

Roddy Doyle

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John Kampfner and guests

Full STEAM Ahead

Hay Festival 2016, 

How should we value the Arts in the schools curriculum? What do we learn from putting on plays, playing in bands, painting and dancing? The CEO of the Creative Industries Federation and his guests challenge the government’s focus on STEM subjects and examine the place of culture in British education and the national economy.