Where do camels belong? ‘In the Arab world’ may seem the obvious answer, but they are relative newcomers there. They evolved in North America, retain their greatest diversity in South America, and the only remaining wild dromedaries are in Australia. Thompson examines The Story and Science of Invasive Species.
Seventy years ago Tom Rolt published the book Narrowboat and sparked one of Britain’s greatest conservation movements and rescued the nation’s canals from destruction. The Daily Telegraph’sMark Skipworth discusses with journalist Libby Purves, poet Jo Bell and industrial archaeologist Geraint Coles.
One of the UK’s most imaginative and entertaining authors creates hilarious, often absurd but always compelling adventures within bizarre and zany worlds. Find out all about The Eye of Zoltar, the third novel in his hugely popular Last Dragonslayer series, packed with Jasper’s trademark magic and invention.
The novelist talks about her play written in response to Shakespeare’s Othello. Her workis an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. Morrison gives voice and depth to the female characters, letting them speak and sing in the fullness of their hearts.
Other events in the Shakespeare 450 series - 34, 55 and 446.
The biochemist explains how the behaviour of cells is controlled and what goes wrong when they begin to proliferate in an abnormal manner – the basic cause of cancers. He then enters an amazing new world, revealed by astonishing technical advances that are revolutionising how we think about and treat cancers. Advances and alternatives that suggest a cautious optimism for the future of mankind’s battle against these fascinating diseases. His Betrayed by Nature and The Secret of Life are published this year.
Contributors to Honno’s new anthology about women campaigners discuss how they became politicised, and how they were personally changed by the process of changing the world. Armstrong is director of the climate change blockbuster Age of Stupid, and is now working on a TV drama series based on the true story of the police spies who infiltrated British activist groups and the women who unwittingly had relationships and even children with them. Crow is a disability rights activist and performance artist. Sanghera has won many awards and accolades for her work against honour-based abuse and forced marriage.
In 1613 a beautiful Stuart princess married a handsome young German prince. This was a love match, but it was also an alliance that aimed to weld together Europe’s two great Protestant powers. Before Elizabeth and Frederick left London for the court in Heidelberg, they watched a performance of The Winter’s Tale. In 1943, a group of British POWs gave a performance of that same play to a group of enthusiastic Nazi guards in Bavaria. When the amateur actors suggested doing a version of The Merchant of Venice that showed Shylock as the hero, the guards brought in the costumes and helped create the sets. Nothing about the story of England and Germany is as simple as we might expect. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.
Art is not always just for art’s sake: it has long been used as way of exploring, communicating and engaging people as well as bringing people together. Writers Mahfouz, Sheers and Brigstocke, and Cape Farewell director Buckland, discuss vision, ethics, imagination and integrity. They are joined by Mark Shorrock from the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, who is unveiling the first of two international art commissions.
The broadcaster discusses her first novel. When Elizabeth Pringle, an inspirational teacher on the island of Arran dies, her will contains a surprise. She has left her home and her belongings to someone who is all but a stranger, a young mother she watched pushing a pram down the road more than thirty years ago. Now it falls to Martha, the baby in that pram, to find out how her mother inherited the house in such strange circumstances.
Frida Kahlo transformed the emotional and physical pain of her life into art. Her paintings make visible the invisible, interior experiences of many women. They speak of loss, loneliness, her struggle to have children, her lovers, a bus accident that shattered her body and spirit. But they are also full of passion and warmth, each canvas a defiant celebration of what it is to be human. The author of Pip Pip – A Sideways Look at Time, Wild – An Elemental Journey and Kith – The Riddle of the Childscape reimagines Kahlo’s life and art in a passionate prose poem.
The standard description of the scientific method is that it is primarily a negative activity, with scientists setting out to disprove the latest hypothesis. But very few real scientists have ever set out with this aim in mind. The astronomer shows that real science is often a matter of casting a net.
The Catholics of Elizabethan England did not witness a golden age. Their Mass was banned, their priests were outlawed, their faith was criminalised. In an age of assassination and Armada, those Catholics who clung to their faith were increasingly seen as the enemy within. It is a tale of dawn raids and daring escapes, stately homes and torture chambers, ciphers, secrets and lies. Chaired by SJ Parris.
Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, Meyer’s The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim. In Spalding’s The Purchase a young Quaker father and widower leaves his home in Pennsylvania to establish a new life. He sets out with two horses, a wagon full of belongings, his five children, a 15-year-old orphan wife, and a few land warrants for his future homestead. When Daniel suddenly trades a horse for a young slave, Onesimus, it sets in motion a struggle in his conscience that will taint his life forever.
Despite the efforts of some recent historians, prejudices still deform popular and scholarly understanding of the Byzantine civilization, often reducing it to a poor relation of Rome and the rest of the classical world. Cameron suggests why it is so important to integrate the civilisation into wider histories, and lays out why Byzantium should be central to ongoing debates about the relationships between West and East, Christianity and Islam, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, and the ancient and medieval periods.