Explorer Maria Leijerstam and world-record-holding athlete Josie Pearson introduce Spark – a new vibrant series of non-fiction books for young readers. Maria relates her epic adventures visiting different parts of the world, including her recent expedition to Antarctica, while Josie shares her experience of winning a Gold medal at the Paralympic Games in London 2012.
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.
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.
The first authoritative history of the Submarine Service, the most secretive and mysterious of Britain’s armed forces, from the end of the Second World War to the present. As we come to decide whether to renew the nuclear deterrent, Hennessy and Jinks analyse the development of Britain’s submarine fleet, its capabilities, its weapons, its infrastructure, its operations and, above all – from the testimony of many submariners and the first-hand witness of the authors – what life is like on board for the denizens of the silent deep.
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.
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We may want to cool the planet if (when) we fail to meet our CO2 emissions targets. There are technologies out there almost ready to go and some sound quite scary. Is it safe to meddle with the climate when we only have one Earth? Hunt is a Reader in the Department of Engineering. Chaired by Gabrielle Walker.
A radical look at Jane Austen as you’ve never seen her – as a lover of farce, comic theatre and juvenilia. Byrne celebrates Britain’s favourite novelist 200 years after her death and explores why her books make such awesome movies, time after time.
Introducing a new literary geography based on the assumption that novels and stories cannot be confined by the covers of a book, but through the reader’s imagination become part of the lived experience of the world around us. Explaining how this new cartography of page and place will be developed is Jon Anderson from the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University.
The medic/philosopher takes a wry look at a variety of topics such as stupidity (including the author’s own), fashions in academe, and the human propensity for mission drift. His latest book of essays is Epithemean Imaginings.
The classicist and novelist reimagines the Oedipus and Antigone stories from the perspectives of two of the women who have often been overlooked, Jocasta and Ismene; re-telling the myth to reveal a new side of an ancient story.
Come along for interactive storytelling with the 2014 World Book Day author-illustrator, and learn how to draw his huggable bear, Hugless Douglas. Watch out for the bear himself…
Duration 45 minutes
On Mother’s Day 2004 the artist Henny Beaumont gave birth to her third child. For the first few hours, her baby seemed no different from her two other little girls. With stunning art and refreshing honesty, Henny describes how family life changed the moment the registrar told her and her husband that their daughter might have Down’s syndrome. Henny’s wit and irony transform a deeply traumatic personal experience into a story that will resonate with every parent. She shares her family’s journey - in beautiful black and white drawings – from hospital to home, and from early years to school, in this moving, wise and unsparing graphic memoir.
A portrait of Prussia’s charismatic and domineering Iron Chancellor, who dominated C19th Europe, and who caused Kaiser Wilhelm to observe that ‘it was hard being Emperor under a man like Bismarck’.
Birmingham University Series
Film-makers are often attracted to Shakespeare’s plays with their vivid characters, exciting stories and scope for new takes on familiar subjects. But ever since the pictures started talking, the language has been a challenge both in quality and quantity; there isn’t the need for so much dialogue in a medium where showing trumps telling. Jackson has been text consultant for several feature films – including all of Kenneth Branagh’s versions of Shakespeare’s plays – and many stage productions. His books include Shakespeare and the English-speaking Cinema, Shakespeare Films in the Making, and The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film.
Matt Morgan is an intensive care doctor; that is to say, a person in whose hands you may find yourself one day – as one in five of us will – when something has gone seriously wrong. It may be down to an accident, following a major operation, or you may have succumbed to serious illness. Being critically ill means that one or more of your vital organs has failed. At such times you’ll need faith in the ability of the medical team looking after you to make life-or-death decisions under extreme pressure or to unravel the mysteries of the human body and diagnose unexplainable illnesses urgently. On this day of his book’s launch, Morgan draws on his time spent with real patients on the brink of death, and explains how he and his colleagues fight against the odds to help them live. Baroness Finlay is a professor of palliative medicine.
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.
Bread, chocolate and pasta are year-round comfort foods. Meet an artisan baker, a chocolatier and a Welsh-Italian cook who set up family food businesses, and learn how you can do the same from your kitchen table. Chaired by former Country Living Deputy Editor Kitty Corrigan.