Jones mixes cultural investigation, art appreciation and dental history in an ingenious and wonderfully entertaining account of how we only learned to really smile in Revolutionary France. Colin Jones is Professor of History at Queen Mary University of London. He talks to Rothschild, winner of the Wodehouse Prize and chair of the National Gallery.
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.
The 94-year-old author's creation celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year. The writer discusses its enduring appeal and her long career as a writer and illustrator with the broadcaster, musician and novelist.
Cathedrals are custodians of culture and of the rituals of civic life. They offer welfare and relieve suffering. They uplift spirits with their beauty. In a real sense they are still what they were when first built a millennium ago, a glimpse of the sublime. Illustrated lecture.
The distinguished art historian presents his elegant and intriguing survey of the evolution of visual art in Wales from the Renaissance to the present day, told through landscape and portrait paintings, drawings and sculptures. Chaired by Jon Gower.
Comics and animation entrepreneur Chief Nyamweya explores the many unexpected lessons learned while trying to re-invent an industry in Kenya. Chief is best known for the prolific crime-fiction comics Roba (syndicated daily in The Star newspaper) and Emergency - both of which popularized the Kenya Noir style of art characterized by abundant use of black ink, high contrasts and dark themes.
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 first great adventure story in the Western canon, The Odyssey, is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage, family and identity; and about travellers, hospitality and the changing meanings of home in a strange world. The vivid new translation, the first by a woman, matches the number of lines in the Greek original, striding at Homer's sprightly pace. Wilson employs elemental, resonant language and a five-beat line to produce a translation with an enchanting ‘rhythm and rumble’. She recaptures what is epic about this wellspring of world literature. This inaugural translation lecture is given in the name of the pre-eminent translator, whose peerless work rendering French, Danish and German literature into English ranges from Asterix to Austerlitz. Chaired by Charlotte Higgins.
Bryony Gordon was not a runner. A loafer, a dawdler, a drinker, a smoker, yes. A runner, no. Yet somehow, as she began to recover from the emotional rollercoaster of laying her life bare in her mental health memoir Mad Girl, she started to realise that getting outside, moving her body and talking to others for whom life was also an occasional challenge, might actually help her. Going for a run might not banish her sadness but at least it might show that she was damn well trying to beat it, which is sometimes half the battle. As she began to run further she started to see the limitations she had imposed on her life more clearly. Why couldn’t she be a runner? Or a bungee jumper? Or a deep-sea diver? Maybe rather than sitting on the sofa watching the world go by, fulfilling your dreams was just about standing up and taking that first step.
Adam, an editor at Nature, explores the ground-breaking neuroscience of cognitive enhancement that is changing the way the brain and the mind works – to make it better, sharper, more focused and, yes, more intelligent. Sharing his own experiments with revolutionary smart drugs and electrical stimulation, he delves into the sinister history of intelligence tests, meets savants and brain hackers, and reveals how he boosted his own IQ to cheat his way into Mensa.
This is the comedian’s first book. His first book that he’s written. He’s read loads of books. “Using letters, emails, tweets and telegrams I will show you how the things in your life that make you sad, low or anxious can soon appear trivial, insignificant and like a fish. In short, I will butter your parsnips.” So..
If the political decision is difficult, what will the practical delivery be like? How can it be done? By whom? And when? Maddox is the Director of the Institute for Government; Lord Burns was Permanent Secretary to the Treasury in the 1990s; Pryce was joint head of the Government’s Economic Service until 2010, and is the author of Greekonomics; Allen Green writes the Jack of Kent blog and is the author of Brexit: What Everyone Needs to Know.
In 1997, Bella Bathurst began to go deaf. Within a few months, she had lost half her hearing, and the rest was slipping away. For the next 12 years deafness shaped her life, until, in 2009, everything changed again. Sound draws on this extraordinary experience, exploring what it is like to lose your hearing and – as Bella eventually did – to get it back. What does that teach you about listening and silence, music and noise? She investigates the science behind deafness, hearing loss among musicians, soldiers and factory workers; sign language, and what the deaf know about these subjects that the hearing don’t. Chaired by Kamal Ahmed.
The novelist discusses his superbly controlled emotional thriller – a tale of passion, betrayal and conscience set in post-war Germany. Perfect for anyone who loved Atonement, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin or Anna Karenina.
The poignant story of Boabdil, the last Muslim king of Granada. Betrayed by his family and undermined by faction and internal conflict, Boabdil was defeated in 1492 by the forces of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of the newly united kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. The Christian victory marked the completion of the long Christian reconquest of Spain and ended seven centuries in which Christians, Muslims and Jews had, for the most part, lived peacefully and profitably together in La Convivencia.
Martinez brings together a torrent of mind-expanding ideas, facts and arguments to dismantle sacred myths central to our society - myths about free will, free markets, free media and free elections. From the lottery of our birth to the consent-manufacturing influence of concentrated wealth and power, this far-reaching manifesto lifts the veil on the mechanisms of control that pervade our lives.
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.