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James Cracknell and Beverley Turner talk to Mark Skipworth

Touching Distance

Hay Festival 2013, 

In October 2011 James Cracknell, two-time Olympic gold-medal rower and one of the greatest endurance athletes the world has ever known, suffered a seizure at home as his young son looked on in horror. A man who had known no limits, a man who had practically achieved the impossible, was now struggling to master life’s simple challenges.

A year earlier, as James undertook yet another endurance challenge in Arizona, he was knocked off his bike by the wing mirror of a petrol tanker. It had smashed into the back of his head at high speed, causing severe frontal lobe damage. The doctors weren’t sure if he would recover and, if he did, whether he would ever be the same again.

Touching Distance is an extraordinary, honest and powerful account as James and his wife Bev confront for the first time the lasting effects that the accident has had on their lives. It is the story of a marriage, of a family and of one man’s fight back to be the best husband and father he can be.

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Janet Todd

Jane Austen and Money

Hay Festival 2013, 
Jane Austen knew the value of money, what it could and could not buy. ‘A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of,’ says a charming but tainted character.  Austen marketed herself as a solitary writer, but great wealth could only come from the professions, trade and speculation-- from which women were barred.  The books display bitterness at women’s dependence on men but also ambivalence over any female control of money. 

FREE BUT TICKETED

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Jonathan Dimbleby

Destiny In The Desert: The Road To El Alamein, The Battle That Turned The Tide

Hay Festival 2013, 

Dimbleby describes the political and strategic realities that lay behind the battle of November 1942 which inspired one of Churchill’s most famous aphorisms – ‘This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning’.

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Caroline Shenton

The Day Parliament Burned Down

Hay Festival 2013, 

In the early evening of 16 October 1834 a huge ball of fire exploded through the roof of the Houses of Parliament, creating a blaze so enormous that it could be seen by the King and Queen at Windsor. Rumours as to the fire’s cause were rife. Was it arson, terrorism, the work of foreign operatives, a kitchen accident, careless builders, or even divine judgement on politicians? Chaired by Jesse Norman.

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Mark Miodownik talks to Georgina Godwin

Stuff Matters

Hay Festival 2013, 

Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? How come concrete pours? The broadcaster and UCL Professor of Materials and Society introduces The Strange Stories Of The Marvellous Materials That Shape Our Man-made World.

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Rob Penn

The Wild Woods

Hay Festival 2013, 

A year ago, Rob took over the management of Strawberry Cottage Wood, 50 acres of abandoned broadleaf woodland at the entrance to the LlanthonyValley. Is man good for woods? Can woodlands pay? How can we value them in non-economic ways?

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Samar Yazbek talks to Jo Glanville

The View From Here

Hay Festival 2013, 

A conversation about new writing in the Arab world with the PEN Award-winning and Beirut 39 writer Samar Yazbek, author of A Woman In The Crossfire: Diaries Of The Syrian Revolution.

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John Bird in conversation with Marcel Berlins

The Necessity Of Poverty

Hay Festival 2013, 

The founder of The Big Issue mounts a blistering attack on orthodox thinking around the gap between rich and poor, sparing neither himself nor others in identifying what needs to be done to end poverty.

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Jonathan Meres

The World of Norm: May Require Batteries

Hay Festival 2013, 

 

With overdue homework, overdue pocket money and a bag full of overdue newspapers, can life get any more unfair for Norm? Abso-flipping-lutely.

Duration 45 mins.

9+ years

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Lara Faraway

Fairythorn Tales

Hay Festival 2013, 

 

If you believe in fairies, this is the event for you. Find out more about how to spot a fairy, join in a potion-making session and design and make your own fairy wings.

Duration 45 mins. Places limited.

6+ years

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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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Austen Bicentenary Series 5

John Mullan: What Matters In Jane Austen

Hay Festival 2013, 

Is there any sex in Austen? What do the characters call each other, and why? What are the right and wrong ways to propose marriage? And why is it risky to go to the seaside? Mullan shows that you can best appreciate Austen’s brilliance by looking at the intriguing quirks and intricacies of her fiction.

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Mary Ginsberg

The Art Of Influence: Asian Propaganda

Hay Festival 2013, 

Where the majority of a population is illiterate, art is the most effective way to communicate the message. The curator of the new BritishMuseum show examines propaganda ‘art’ as political communication, social cohesion and absolute control.

 

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Tim Minshall

Cambridge University Series 13: Building The Future

Hay Festival 2013, 

Engineers are fantastic – they are the people who change the world. Engineers put a man on the moon, develop the internet, build skyscrapers, rebuild bodies…and so much more. Yet not many people know what engineers actually do. This talk will reveal – in just ten words – the secrets of what engineers really get up to as they work hard to build a better future for us all.

Please note this event is aimed at secondary school age children

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NoViolet Bulawayo and Meike Ziervogel talk to Gaby Wood

Fictions – Elsewhere

Hay Festival 2013, 

The Zimbabwean novelist’s We Need New Names plays with the dreams and realities of leaving a terrible place of hunger and things falling apart for the paradise of the West. Ziervogel’s Magda is an uncompromising rendering of the mother-daughter relationships of the wife of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels.

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Abigail Brundin

Cambridge University Series 14: Only A Pen Can Ease My Pain

Hay Festival 2013, 

In C17th Italy, the number of girls and young women entering convents rose rapidly as dowries became increasingly expensive. Not all the girls went willingly and some left powerful written accounts of their experiences.


Entry to this event is free but you must reserve a ticket.

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CJ Busby

Frogspell

Hay Festival 2013, 

Discover more about Max and Olivia and their pet dragon Adolphus as they help protect King Arthur from dastardly plots. Find out how to create a spell using ‘magical’ words.

Duration 45 mins.

6+ years

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Patrick Ness

The Future

Hay Festival 2013, 

The double Carnegie Medal-winning author of A Monster Calls and the Chaos Walking trilogy talks with writer and critic Damian Kelleher about the appeal of the dystopian and the fantastical in YA fiction. He also brings a sneak preview of his next YA novel, due out in the autumn.

Duration 60 mins.

11+ years

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Monty Don

The Road To Le Tholonet: A French Garden Journey

Hay Festival 2013, 

From historical gardens like Versailles and Vaux le Vicomte to the kitchen gardens of the Michelin chef Alain Passard. There are grand potagers, like Villandry and La Prieure D’Orsan, and allotments and back gardens spotted on the way.

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Mark Urban

The Tank War: The Men, The Machines And The Long Road To Victory

Hay Festival 2013, 

The 5th Royal Tank Regiment were on the front line throughout WW2 in Africa as part of the Desert Rats, before returning to Europe for the Normandy landings. Wherever they went, the notoriety of the ‘Filthy Fifth’ grew – they revelled in their reputation for fighting by their own rules.

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Sarah Dunant in conversation with SJ Parris

Fictions – Blood And Beauty

Hay Festival 2013, 

The acclaimed novelist of the Italian Renaissance takes on the era’s most infamous family – the Borgias.

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Jonathan Fenby

Tiger Head Snake Tails

Hay Festival 2013, 

China’s Unfinished Revolution – the challenges that confront the looming superpower after its leadership transition. Chaired by Nik Gowing.

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William McIlvanney talks to Irvine Welsh

Tartan Noir

Hay Festival 2013, 

An interview with the razor king of Scottish crime fiction as his modern classic Laidlaw books are republished by Canongate.

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Saci Lloyd and Andrew Simms

Cancel The Apocalypse

Hay Festival 2013, 

A bold and radical look at a world obsessed with economic growth at the expense of quality of life – and what we can do to change. Environmental author and campaigner Saci Lloyd talks to New Economics Foundation fellow Andrew Simms.

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Daniel Morden

Greek Myths

Hay Festival 2013, 

Acclaimed storyteller Daniel Morden will bring the Greek myths to life and draw you into the world of Midas, Orpheus, Demeter and Persephone and more.

Duration 45 mins.

8+ years

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