The Samuel Johnson Prize-winning author of 1599 offers an intimate portrait of one of Shakespeare’s most inspired moments: the year of King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. 1606, while a very good year for Shakespeare, is a fraught one for England. Plague returns. There is surprising resistance to the new king’s desire to turn England and Scotland into a united Britain. And fear and uncertainty sweep the land and expose deep divisions in the aftermath of a failed terrorist attack that came to be known as the Gunpowder Plot.
The historian follows the trail of Welsh drovers down through the centuries as they moved cattle and sheep to the ever-expanding markets of England. And he offers a detailed walks guide for those keen to discern their own drove roads.
Follett’s third novel in the Kingsbridge Series, A Column of Fire, went straight to the No.1 position on bestseller lists in the USA, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. In A Column of Fire, voices of tolerance struggle to be heard under authoritarian rule as England faces challenges from Europe. The social and political concerns of the first Elizabethan era resonate loudly in the second. Following the screening of a short film, Follett discusses with the audience how the themes of his Tudor-time novel echo in today’s political theatre.
The BBC’s Middle East Editor returns home to bring the news from Mosul, Gaza and Jerusalem. His 25-part series for Radio 4 about the region’s history starts on 15 May. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with analysis of the politics, economics and societies he’s reported on since he first arrived in the Gulf in 1990. Chaired by Peter Florence.
Come and meet two star novelists reading from their new novels Expo 58 and Mr Lynch’s Holiday months before they are published. Hear about them before the reviewers do!
The editors and contributors present the best writing on the Arab revolutions from prominent journalists, activists, bloggers, academics and writers who participated in and bore witness to the ongoing uprisings and struggles.
The Nobel Prize-winning chemist in conversation with the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science and author of The Book of Humans.
Everyone knows about DNA. It is the essence of our being, influencing who we are and what we pass on to our children. But the information in DNA can’t be used without a machine to decode it. The ribosome is that machine. Older than DNA itself, it is the mother of all molecules. Virtually every molecule made in every cell was either made by the ribosome or by proteins that were themselves made by the ribosome.
A fascinating insider account, Gene Machine charts Ramakrishnan’s unlikely journey from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being at the centre of a fierce competition at the cutting edge of modern science.
The £189m Library of Birmingham opens in September this year, and will be the largest public library in Europe. It will provide a showcase for the city’s internationally important collections of archives, photography and rare books, a gallery space, a new flexible studio theatre, an outdoor amphitheatre and two garden terraces. The Project Director, architect and the Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council will discuss bringing this ambitious project to fruition.
The award-winning crowd-funded publisher offers the Hay audience a chance to choose what gets published. Mixing authors whose books have already been funded with others pitching their ideas for books they want to write, this is a literary Dragons’ Den with a difference. Legendary writer and performer Salena Godden pitches her childhood memoir, Red Dwarf star Robert Llewellyn presents his science fiction sequel, novelist Charles Fernyhough asks whether neuroscience changes love, Strangler Hugh Cornwell and archaeologist-turned-crimewriter Francis Pryor compete for your support with a little help from publisher and QI Elf-master John Mitchinson. Light poetic relief from performance poet George Chopping.
Judith and Michael celebrate their 90th and 70th birthdays respectively this year. Be part of a magical event as they reminisce and share Judith’s new book, Creatures.
9+ years (not for young children)