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Fiction International

Hay Festival 2008, 
New Zealander Lloyd Jones was Booker-shortlisted for Mr Pip; Tim Winton’s Australian masterpiece Breath is a hot tip for this year. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.

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The Delightful World of Jeremy Strong

Hay Festival 2016, 

The best-selling author has jokes a-plenty as he talks about Vikings, Romans, My Brother’s Famous Bottom, a karate princess and Streaker, the world-famous, hundred-mile-an-hour dog.

6+
The Delightful World of Jeremy Strong

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Clare Nasir

Two Clouds and a Cough

Hay Festival 2016, 

Become a cloud expert with the meteorologist, author and presenter. She will spark the imagination of young minds as she talks weather and clouds, and reads from her latest children’s book.

3+

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Anthony Lester talks to Martine Croxall

Five Ideas to Fight For: How Our Freedom is Under Threat and Why it Matters

Hay Festival 2016, 

Human Rights, Equality, Free Speech, Privacy and the Rule of Law: the battle to establish these five ideas in law was long and difficult, and Anthony Lester was at the heart of the 30-year campaign that resulted in the Human Rights Act, as well as the struggle for race and gender equality that culminated in the Equality Act of 2010. Today our society is at risk of becoming less equal. From Snowden’s revelations about our own intelligence agencies spying on us, to the treatment of British Muslims, our civil liberties are under threat as never before. The internet leaves our privacy at risk in myriad ways; our efforts to combat extremism curtail free speech; and cuts to legal aid and interference with access to justice endangers the rule of law.

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Lissa Evans

Wed Wabbit

Hay Festival 2017, 

Calling all children and adults: Do you have a loud voice? Are you a giggler? Do you have an eardrum-shredding scream? If so, Lissa Evans, Carnegie-shortlisted author of Small Change for Stuart, Big Change for Stuart and Wed Wabbit, would like to recruit you for her Wimbley Woo Workshop. Along the way, you can also learn what Lissa’s real name is, and what it’s got to do with the plot of Small Change for Stuart, what she learned in Year 5 at Primary School (clue: nothing) and how to talk like a Yellow Wimbley.

9+

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Carlo Rovelli

The 2017 John Maddox Lecture - Reality is Not What it Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity

Hay Festival 2017, 

Do space and time truly exist? What is reality made of? Can we understand its deep texture? Taking us on a wondrous journey, Rovelli invites us to imagine a whole new world where black holes are waiting to explode, space time is made up of grains and infinity does not exist: a vast universe still largely undiscovered.

‘The man who makes physics sexy. The new Hawking. His writing is luminous.’ – The Times.  Chaired by Marcus du Sautoy.

Carlo Rovelli

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John Parrington talks to Daniel Davis

Redesigning Life: How Genome Editing will Transform the World

Hay Festival 2017, 

Genome editing has already been used clinically to treat AIDS patients by genetically modifying their white blood cells to be resistant to HIV. In agriculture, genome editing can be used to engineer species with increased food output, resistance to pests, drought and harsh environments. But these powerful new techniques also raise important ethical dilemmas. To what extent should parents be able to manipulate the genetics of their offspring? Can we effectively weigh up the risks from introducing synthetic life forms into complex ecosystems? Parrington is an Associate Professor in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the University of Oxford.

John Parrington talks to Daniel Davis

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Phil Rickman and Yrsa Sigurđardóttir

Crime Fictions – Supernature

Hay Festival 2014, 

The Icelandic superstar of Nordic Crime brings her lawyer Thóra Gudmundsdóttir to Hay – a humanely-drawn protagonist with much in common with Merrily Watkins, the ‘detective’ in Rickman’s series of supernatural thrillers set around the Borders. His latest novel is The Magus of Hay. They talk to Paul Blezard.

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Daping Chu, Lee Skrypchuk and Valerian Meijering

Cambridge Series: The Car of the Future, with Head-up Technology

Hay Festival 2017, 

Head-Up Display (HUD) technology can help drivers with a safer and more comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. It can provide ‘immersive entertainment’ and protection for human wellbeing in the autonomous cars of the future. Professor Chu is Director of the Centre for Photonic Devices and Sensors at Cambridge. He presents his work with two colleagues from Jaguar Land Rover.

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Kourosh Saeb Parsy

Cambridge Series: The Future of Organ Transplantation

Hay Festival 2017, 

The consultant transplant surgeon reviews how organ transplantation is being transformed by innovations in organ donation, stem cell technology, bio-engineered tissues and machine perfusion of organs. He explores what is now possible and  discusses the ensuing ethical and legal dilemmas.

Kourosh Saeb Parsy

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Bruce Robinson

They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper

Winter Weekend 2015, 

The iconoclastic writer and director of the classic Withnail & I returns to London in a decade-long examination of the most provocative murder investigation in British history, and finally solves the identity of the killer known as ‘Jack the Ripper’.

Bruce Robinson

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There’s a Shark in the Bath

Hay Festival 2014, 

BIG TEETH! BUBBLES! BATHROOM CHAOS! When a family of sharks pops out of the plughole, Dulcie must figure out a way to keep them from eating her up. Cue utter silliness, sea creatures and some crazy cartooning with Sarah McIntyre.

5+ years

There’s a Shark in the Bath

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John Guy

Would the Real Thomas More Please Stand Up?!

Hay Festival 2017, 

Who was Thomas More, the author of Utopia? The distinguished historian of Tudor England parses the propaganda and More’s writings to read behind the myth. He examines the ways in which More’s legacy has been contested or resisted. And he suggests which aspects of his thought are likely to continue to influence the world in the future.

John Guy

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Roy Hattersley

The Catholics: The Church and its People in Britain and Ireland, from the Reformation to the Present Day

Hay Festival 2017, 

The survival of Catholicism in Britain, in the face of persecution and institutionalised discrimination (‘the enemy within’ again…) is the triumph of more than simple faith. Hattersley argues that it is the victory of moral and spiritual unbending certainty. Catholicism survives because it does not compromise. It is a characteristic that excites admiration in even a hardened atheist.

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Whitney Brown talks to Francine Stock

Between Stone and Sky: Memoirs of a Waller

Hay Festival 2018, 

Whitney Brown was midway through her Masters thesis and on track for an exciting position at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington when a chance meeting with a Welsh dry-stone waller at a folklife festival changed the course of her life. Within weeks Whitney had left behind her secure world in the States and was living with him in rural Wales, learning the craft of dry-stone walling. She fell irretrievably in love with Wales and for what she found there – for stone, for the act of physical creation and accompanying physical exhaustion, for life in the countryside and days spent working in the sanctuary of a lonely hillside to repair structures older than the country of her birth, for windswept valleys and low hanging clouds and chilly nights by the wood stove and, much to her dismay, for a man 33 years her senior. She had no choice but to trust these things and see where they might lead her. It was, after all, the first time in her life she'd ever truly felt at peace.

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Tracy Chevalier talks to Georgina Godwin

Fiction: At The Edge of the Orchard

Hay Festival 2016, 

The novelist discusses her new book set in C19th America. In this rich, powerful story, Chevalier is at her imaginative best, bringing to life the urge to wrestle with our roots, however deep and tangled they may be.

Tracy Chevalier talks to Georgina Godwin

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Tom Wolfe talks to Mark Lawson

Hay Festival 1999, 
The writer in conversation with the journalist Mark Lawson. Wolfe's books include the contemporary classics The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, The Right Stuff and Bonfire of the Vanities.

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Arnold Wesker

The Shakespeare Lecture - Birth of a Play

Hay Festival 1995, 
The playwright analyses The Merchant of Venice and describes how and why he wrote his own play Shylock - not a rewrite of the Shakespeare, but and original work based on the same three stories; illustrated with readings from Shylock, which is set in the C16th Jewish Ghetto of Venice. Wesker is the author of 32 plays, short stories, and his autobiography As Much As I Dare.

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Juliet Barker

England Arise

Hay Festival 2015, 

In the summer of 1381 England erupted in a violent popular uprising as unexpected as it was unprecedented. Sceptical of contemporary chroniclers’ accounts, Barker draws on the judicial sources of the indictments and court proceedings that followed the rebellion to offer a new perspective on the so-called Peasants’ Revolt. She introduces us to the loyal rebels who believed they were acting in the king’s best interests, and suggests that the boy-king Richard II sympathised with their grievances. Had it been implemented, their radical agenda would have transformed English society and anticipated the French Revolution by four hundred years. In conversation with Stephanie Merritt.

Please click here to prebook lunch at Relish Restaurant on site

Juliet Barker

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Peter Parker

The Housman Lecture: The Name and Nature of Poetry

Hay Festival 2016, 

This year’s lecture is given by the distinguished biographer and critic, author of Housman Country: Into The Heart of England, The Old Lie: The Great War and the Public-School Ethos and biographies of J.R. Ackerley and Christopher Isherwood.

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Rosamond McKitterick

Cambridge Series 17: History, Memory and Ideas About the Past

Hay Festival 2011, 
The historian mines the cultural memory of the Dark Ages and shows how medieval ideas about the state echo down the ages.

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Marcus du Sautoy

The Great Unknown

Hay Festival 2018, 

Every week seems to throw up a new discovery, shaking the foundations of what we know. But are there questions we will never be able to answer - mysteries that lie beyond the predictive powers of science? Marcus du Sautoy invites us to consider the problems in cosmology, quantum physics, mathematics, and neuroscience that continue to bedevil scientists and creative thinkers who are at the forefront of their fields. He challenges us to consider big questions - about the nature of consciousness, what came before the big bang, and what lies beyond our horizons - while taking us on a virtuoso tour of the great breakthroughs of the past. He celebrates the men and women who dared to tackle the seemingly impossible and had the imagination to come up with new ways of seeing the world. The mathematician holds the University of Oxford's prestigious Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science.

Marcus du Sautoy

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Rick Stroud and Tania Szabó talk to Francine Stock

Lonely Courage

Hay Festival 2017, 

Stroud tells the true stories of the SOE heroines who fought with the Resistance to free Nazi-occupied France. He is joined by Tania Szabó, who has also written a book about one of those agents, her mother: Young, Brave and Beautiful: The Missions of Special Operations Executive Agent Lieutenant Violette Szabó, George Cross, Croix de Guerre avec Étoile de Bronze.

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Fiona Sampson

In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein

Hay Festival 2018, 

Mary Shelley was brought up by her father in a house filled with radical thinkers, poets, philosophers and writers of the day. Aged 16, she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, embarking on a relationship that was lived on the move across Britain and Europe, as she coped with debt, infidelity and the deaths of three children, before early widowhood changed her life for ever. Most astonishingly, it was while she was still a teenager that Mary composed her canonical novel Frankenstein, which was published exactly 200 years ago. In this fascinating dialogue with the past, Sampson sifts through letters, diaries and records to find the real woman behind the story.

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River Out Of Eden

Richard Dawkins talks to Matt Ridley

Hay Festival 1995, 
Dawkins broke new ground in the theory of evolution with his book The Selfish Gene. He has contnued to promote the Darwinian cause in The Extended Phenotype and The Blind Watchmaker. His River Out of Eden is the river of DNA, a river of information that defines the genetic make-up of the species, uninfluenced by the experiences and acheivements of that species, and uninfluenced by another powerful source of potential contamination: sex. He discusses his theories of sexual recombination and the new tributaries of his DNA river with The Telegraph's Matt Ridley, author of The Red Queen.