The German journalist and writer offers an engaging and moving discussion of what horses once meant to us. Cities, farmland, entire industries were once shaped as much by the needs of horses as humans. They were sculpted, painted, cherished, admired; they were thrashed, abused and exposed to terrible danger. Tolstoy once reckoned that he had cumulatively spent some nine years of his life on horseback. And then came the 20th century, and there were just racetracks and pony clubs… Chaired by Corisande Albert.
George III wanted to be a new kind of king, one whose power was rooted in the affection and approval of his people. And he was determined to revolutionise his private life. He was sure that as a faithful husband and a loving father, he would be not just a happier man but a better ruler as well. As the children grew older, and their wishes and desires developed away from those of their father, it became harder to maintain the illusion of domestic harmony. The king’s episodes of madness undermined the bedrock of their marriage; his disapproving distance from the bored and purposeless princes, especially the dissolute Prince of Wales, alienated them; and his determination to keep the princesses at home, protected from the potential horrors of the European marriage market, left them lonely, bitter and resentful.
The Simeon manuscript is one of the most exceptional books of English literature ever made. It measures 590 x 390 mm, and is carefully copied and lavishly decorated with gold leaf on almost every page. It was made around 1400 AD. Containing songs, prayers, homilies, legends, and classic works of spiritual guidance, it is a massive compendium of literature for pious readers. Even more remarkable is that, unlike most books that survive from this period, it is written in English. Professor Scase examines the illustrations and brushwork to unlock its many secrets and disclose how, for whom and why it was made.
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.
Channelling our twin urges to explore and understand, geographers uncover the hidden connections of human existence, from infant mortality in inner cities to the decision-makers who fly overhead in executive jets. Geography is a science that tackles all the biggest issues that face us today, from globalisation to equality, from sustainability to population growth, from climate change to advancing technology.
The celebrated journalist and chief secretary of the Asociación de Periodistas Europeos (APE) Miguel Ángel Aguilar speaks with the editor Malcolm Otero Barral about his latest book España contra pronóstico (Aguilar), in which he takes us through recent Spanish history from the end of Franco’s regime and the Transition to the present day.
The acclaimed historian shares his profound love of trees and reverence for nature, rooted in the family estate of Tullynally in Ireland. He travels to the Tibetan border in search of a particular magnolia, to Eastern Patagonia to see the last remaining giants of the Monkey Puzzle tree, while the first of the Chinese-inspired gardens at Tullynally was planted entirely with seeds from south-west China. An expedition to Tibet’s Tsangpo Gorge goes awry only to lead to a fruitful exploration of the Rongchu Valley, which yields more than 100 bags of seeds, including the Tibetan golden oak, the Tsangpo cypress and blue-stemmed maples.
From brain imaging and epigenetics to galaxy formation and astronomy, three Royal Society Research Fellows discuss their work at the forefront of science with author and broadcaster Gabrielle Walker.
The award-winning investigative journalist takes aim at the official versions of UK history and the British establishment’s culture of secrecy. He examines key episodes – including the long denial of the existence of Bletchley Park, the time of talking to terrorists and the modern surveillance state and the convenient loopholes in the Freedom of Information Act.
As his 50th birthday dawned, Peter Dunne set out to leave a trail of metaphorical breadcrumbs for his three children, so that if they ever needed to know what their father might have had to say they would have him to hand: from compromise to compassion, and democracy to sacrifice, Dunne explores the social mores and morality of our time and tries to answer the eternal questions that line the path to peace of mind. He talks to Sarah Crown.
The 30th Hay Festival coincides with the 500th anniversary of the reforms proposed by Martin Luther. In order to celebrate this important milestone in Western critical thinking, we have asked a number of thinkers to give us a “reform” that would be applicable now. Andrea Wulf will talk about the traditional distinction between the arts and the sciences, proposing a reformation of this classic separation of disciplines and questioning why the imagination is not present in science. Followed by a question and answer session with Peter Florence.
Highly-acclaimed spoken word artist Steven Camden, aka Polarbear, will engage, entertain and provoke your creative side in a session built around his debut YA novel, TAPE.
12+ years (YA)
On a moonlit night in April 1944 a small band of fearless partisans, led by the British SOE agent Patrick Leigh Fermor, kidnapped a high-ranking Nazi general on the German-occupied island of Crete. Stroud is the author of The Phantom Army of Alamein: The Men Who Hoodwinked Rommel and The Book of the Moon. Chaired by Con Coughlin.
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.
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.
Responding to today’s international challenges in a rapidly evolving geopolitical environment is placing new strain on the UK’s place in the world. The historian and constitutional expert assesses the challenges the UK faces in the coming years, discussing the impact of withdrawal from the EU and turning into a ‘Global Britain’ may have on the our foreign policy, security and territorial integrity.