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Simon Horobin

How English Became English

Hay Festival 2016, 

The English Language is spoken by more than a billion people throughout the world. But where did English come from? And how has it evolved into the language used today? The Oxford Professor investigates the evolution of the English language, examining how it continues to adapt, as English continues to find new speakers and new uses. Engaging with contemporary concerns about correctness, he considers whether such changes are improvements, or evidence of slipping standards. What is the future for the English Language? Will Standard English continue to hold sway, or are we witnessing its replacement by newly emerging Englishes?

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The Massed Choirs

The Gwernyfed Minibus Concert

Hay Festival 2015, 

Talgarth Male Voice Choir are joined by Hay Community Choir and bands and choirs from schools in the Gwernyfed area. They sing a celebration concert of popular choral works to raise money for the school minibus. The concert will be compèred by Chris Davies. Please join us.

The Massed Choirs

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Richard J. Evans

The British Academy Lecture 2 - The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914

Hay Festival 2017, 

Drawing on a lifetime of thinking about 19th-century Europe, the pre-eminent historian re-evaluates this remarkable era bounded by the Battle of Waterloo and the outbreak of World War I. Charting overwhelming cultural, political and technological change, he highlights how Europe dominated the rest of the world as never before or since.

Richard J. Evans

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Jon McNaught and Conz in conversation with Michèle Standjofski

Graphic Tales

Beirut 2013, 

British Jon McNaught is the creator of a very special graphic style, using screen-printing and lithography to create miniature images and silent narratives, capturing quiet moments in small, inky panels. Belgian Conz made his debut in 2004 with the semi-autobiographical album Toen ik nog Baas van de Wereld was (‘When I Still Ruled The World’, pub. Oogachtend), which won the prize for the best début at the Turnhout comics festival. He is currently working on his dream project, the science-fiction graphic novel De Wraak van de Walvis (‘The Whale’s Revenge’). In conversation with Michèle Standjofski.

Event in English

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Lisa Jardine

Going Dutch

Hay Festival 2008, 
Lisa Jardine’s revelatory history of big ideas and remarkable individuals redefines the cultural and commercial weft of the two great C17th trading empires, and offers a brilliant revision of the Enlightenment and the relationship between England and the Netherlands.

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Lucy Carpenter

Our Oceans and Atmosphere: A Strained Relationship

Hay Festival 2014, 

The earth’s oceans and atmosphere have been intimately linked since they were formed, with one compartment helping to sustain life in the other. Now, changes in climate are perturbing the natural exchanges and threaten life in both. The oceanographer examines the scientific understanding of chemical exchanges between the sea and air that impact on the Earth’s heat balance and underpin future projections of climate change.

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Simon Schama

The Founders Lecture: Humanity

Hay Festival 2018, 
The historian celebrates the formative role art and creativity have played in the forging of humanity itself across empires, cultures and time. In an age of profound hostility and manipulation, he proposes that artistic imagination is our best hope for empathy and understanding, as it has always been. Chaired by Stig Abell, edtor of the TLS.

The landmark BBC series 'Civilisations' is available on iPlayer. The Lecture is given in the names of Norman Florence and Rhoda Lewis, who wrangled the Hay Festival into being.
Simon Schama

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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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Richard Perle talks to Philippe Sands QC

Hay Festival 2007, 
Bush’s former NeoCon Defense Policy Advisory Committee Chairman recently recanted his support for the invasion of Iraq: ‘At the end of the day, you have to hold the President responsible’.

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Finding Wonderland

Hay Festival 2015, 
Cathy Cassidy, who loved Alice in Wonderland above all other books as a child, has re-imagined the story for a modern audience in Looking Glass Girl. Chris Riddell learned about the relationship between words and pictures by copying Sir John Tenniel’s famous illustrations. They are joined by Julia Eccleshare of the British Library to talk about Lewis Carroll, his legacy, and how it feels to walk in his footsteps.
10+ years
Finding Wonderland

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Marion Coutts talks to Rosie Boycott

The Iceberg – Winner of the Wellcome Book Prize

Hay Festival 2015, 

A conversation with the winner of the 2015 prize. Chair of judges, Bill Bryson: 'Marion Coutts' account of living with her husband's illness and death is wise, moving and beautifully constructed. Reading it, you have the sense of something truly unique being brought into the world – it stays with you for a long time after.'

In 2008 the art critic Tom Lubbock was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The tumour was located in the area controlling speech and language, and would eventually rob him of the ability to speak. He died early in 2011. Marion Coutts was his wife. In short bursts of beautiful, textured prose, Coutts describes the eighteen months leading up to her partner's death. This book is an account of a family unit, man, woman, young child, under assault, and how the three of them fought to keep it intact. Written with extraordinary narrative force and power, The Iceberg is almost shocking in its rawness. It charts the deterioration of Tom's speech even as it records the developing language of his child. Fury, selfishness, grief, indignity and impotence are all examined and brought to light. Yet out of this comes a rare story about belonging, an 'adventure of being and dying'. This book is a celebration of each other, friends, family, art, work, love and language.

Marion Coutts talks to Rosie Boycott

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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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Lionel Shriver talks to Rosie Boycott

The New Republic

Hay Festival 2012, 
We are delighted to launch a biting political satire set in the Portuguese backwater of Barba by the Orange Prize-winning author of We Need To Talk About Kevin and So Much For That.

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Iain Begg talks to Adam Austerfield

Will the euro Survive? Scenarios for the Future of Europe

Segovia 2012, 
Iain Begg of the Lonon School of Economics and Political Science specialises in the political economics of the European economy and its financial governance, the European Central Bank. He has held various advisory roles on the future of political cohesion and has testified to the European Parliament and House of Lords committees. He discusses the future of the euro with Adam Austerfield, Secretary-General of LSE Alumni in Spain.
 
Co-organized with the LSE

Simultaneous translation from English into Spanish

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Dominic Lieven

Cambridge University Series 18: Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia

Hay Festival 2015, 

'As much as anything, World War I turned on the fate of Ukraine...' The decision to go to war in 1914 had catastrophic consequences for Russia. The result was revolution, civil war and famine in 1917–20, followed by decades of Communist rule. Dominic Lieven explains why this suicidal decision was made and explores the world of the men who made it. But by looking at the origins and results of the First World War from a mostly Russian angle he also offers a radically different view of why Europe descended into disaster, overturning assumptions about the war's causes and consequences in a way that still has major implications for world history down to the present day. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.

Dominic Lieven

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Catherine Ndereba

Careerpedia - Sports Talk

Storymoja Nairobi 2013, 

Alex Kandie chats with Olympic medalist and world champion marathon runner Catherine Ndereba, popularly known as ‘Catherine the Great’. They discuss her extraordinary achievements and her life story - how a girl from a humble background was able to scale international heights.



14–18 years

 

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Arcadi Espada, Yves Wantens and Sven Tuytens

European autonomies

Segovia 2013, 

Two opposing views are presented on the role of the self-governing regions in the process of decision-making at the European level: that of the pleasantly polemic columnist Arcadi Espada on one hand and on the other Yves Wantens, Representative of Flanders in Spain. Chaired by the Belgian correspondent of Flemish public television, Sven Tuytens.

Simultaneous translation of Dutch into Spanish.


Co-organised with the Flemish Delegation in Spain.

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Sarah Webb

Ask Amy Green

Kells 2013, 

Using toys, clothes and photos from her childhood, Sarah will talk about growing up in Dublin and how she became a writer. She will also read from the latest book in the Ask Amy Green series, Wedding Belles (published in September 2013) and take questions from the audience. Be warned: this may involve some audience participation, acting and wig-wearing.


10+ years


All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

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William Waldegrave talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

A Different Kind of Weather

Hay Festival 2015, 

A beautifully weighted memoir of political success and failure from the son of an Earl, who after Eton and Oxford found himself in cabinet and at the heart of Margaret Thatcher’s government. Just as his star was in the ascent, Waldegrave became embroiled in a scandal that tarnished his reputation but could not dampen his voracious enthusiasm for the political game.

William Waldegrave talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

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Elmer the Patchwork Elephant

Elmer Day

Hay Festival 2016, 

Celebrate everyone’s favourite patchwork elephant, on the very first Elmer Day. Listen to the wonderful stories about Elmer, and share in the funny adventures he and his friends get up to. Come dressed in your brightest clothes.

3+
Elmer the Patchwork Elephant

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Jacob Rees-Mogg and Munira Mirza talk to Bronwen Maddox

The Prospect Platform: The Case for Brexit

Hay Festival 2016, 

Two of the smartest OUT-ers make the case for leaving the EU. Rees-Mogg is Conservative MP for North-East Somerset and Mirza is London’s Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture. They are questioned by the editor of Prospect magazine.

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Harry Potter: Calling All Fans

Hay Festival 2015, 
Have you ever wanted to explore the magical world of the Harry Potter books? Join our ‘Professor of Potter’ and his plucky assistant as they bring to life the characters, creatures, spells and adventures from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. A fun and interactive event for all the family, whether you’re new to the books or a dedicated fan. Prizes for best costume. Certificates and postcards for keen muggles! Come and share the magic!
7+ years
Harry Potter: Calling All Fans

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Cynan Jones talks to Tiffany Murray

The Dig

Hay Festival 2014, 

The author reads from and discusses his searing short novel, weaving the interlocking fates of a badger-baiter and a disconsolate farmer. The story unfolds in a stark rural setting where man, animal, land and weather are at loggerheads. 

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John Guy

Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years

Hay Festival 2016, 

History has pictured Elizabeth I as Gloriana, an icon of strength and power. But the reality, especially during her later years, was not as simple. In 1583 Elizabeth is 50 and beyond childbearing age, but her greatest challenges are still to come: the Spanish Armada; the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots; and relentless plotting among her courtiers. The pre-eminent Tudor historian presents a gripping and vivid portrait of Elizabeth’s life and times –often told in her own words (“You know I am no morning woman”) and reveals a monarch who is fallible, increasingly insecure and struggling to lead Britain. The London theatre, however, was thriving.

John Guy

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Les Murray

Hay Festival 2008, 
The great Australian poet reads and talks about his work. ‘Given his encyclopaedic memory, his gargantuan appetite for language, and his acrobatic dance in all forms of expression, The Bi-Plane Houses is as rich and diverse as we would expect.’ – Poetry Book Society.