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.
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’.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.