John Aubrey loved England. From an early age, he saw his England slipping away and, against extraordinary odds, committed himself to preserving for posterity what remained of it – in books, monuments and life stories. His Brief Lives would redefine the art of biography yet he published only one rushed, botched book in his lifetime and died fearing his name and achievements would be forgotten.
Scurr’s biography is an act of scholarly imagination: a diary drawn from John Aubrey’s own words, displaying his unique voice, dry wit, the irreverence and drama of a literary pioneer. Aubrey saw himself modestly as a collector of a vanishing past, a ‘scurvy antiquary’. But he was also one of the pioneers of modern writing, a journalist before the age of journalism, who witnessed the Civil War and the Great Fire of London in the company of some of the influential men and women, high and low, whose lives he would make his legacy.
Powerful girls, swirling adventures, fantasy worlds and a breathtaking love story – join the authors of The Girl of Ink and Stars and Rebel of the Sands, two of the most exciting first novels of 2016, as they reveal the inspiration behind their sensational debuts.
Gender isn’t just screwing over trans people, it’s messing with everyone. From exclusionist feminists to ‘alt-right’ young men; from men who can’t cry to the women who think they shouldn’t. Juno tells not only her own story but the story of everyone who is shaped by society’s expectations of gender –and what we can do about it. A frank, witty and powerful manifesto for a world where what’s in your head is more important than what’s between your legs. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.
The great climber charts not only his many triumphs in the climbing world – from the Alps to the Eiger, and the Himalaya – but also the struggles he has faced in his life bringing up a family and maintaining a successful and loving marriage over the decades of travelling the world to conquer mountains. An evening with a legend.
Through the 25 stories in Graham Swift's most recent anthology, we are steered effortlessly from the Civil War to the present day, from world-shaking events to the secret dramas lived out in rooms, workplaces, homes. With his remarkable sense of place, he charts an intimate human geography and, in doing so, he moves us profoundly, but with a constant eye for comedy. Graham will read from the collection and discuss his work with Peter Florence.
Daniel is one of the UK’s most popular tellers of traditional stories. Here he tells tales from the timeless collection of magical fairytales. Expect impossible quests, mysterious strangers,sudden jumps, dramatic twists, moments of high drama and low comedy…
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.
Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But the cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch who risked everything to help. German reprisals were cruel and lasted until the end of the war. The pre-eminent war historian looks into the very heart of the conflict.
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.
Two great international chefs discuss their taste and imagination with John Mitchinson. Ghayour follows her iconic cookbook Persiana with Sirocco: Fabulous Flavours from the East. Rowe, who trained at Moro and later opened Konstam, has written Food for All Seasons - a touching and informative culinary journey exploring the way our lives and our food are intertwined.
The journalist explains how the cult of disruption in Silicon Valley, the ceaseless advance of technology, and our own fundamental appetite for novelty and convenience have combined to speed up every aspect of daily life. He explains how this is transforming the media, politics, farming and the financial markets, and asks whether our bodies and the natural environment can cope. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
The Duchess of Rutland tells the story of the rediscovery of the great landscape designer’s abandoned plans for the Leicestershire estate. In a sumptuously illustrated lecture she shows how the original vision has now been articulated at one of Britain’s most spectacular country houses. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.
The great comic writer, author of What A Carve Up! and The Rotters’ Club, introduces his new novel. It’s about the hundreds of tiny connections between the public and private worlds and how they affect us all. It’s about the legacy of war and the end of innocence. It’s about living in a city where bankers need cinemas in their basements and others need food banks down the street. It’s about how comedy and politics are battling it out and how comedy might have won.
The former bishop of Oxford looks at the work of David Jones, Jacob Epstein, George Rouault, Stanley Spencer, Marc Chagall, Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland and suggests that the modern movement in art has turned out to be a friend, not a foe, of Christian art.
The best-selling author of Flawed and the debut author of Kook discuss teen life, the key issues in writing YA fiction and what really matters to their readers. Chaired by HAYDAYS director Julia Eccleshare.
Ex-robbers now bakers, Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam star in a new collection of stories about their comical adventures. The two dogs are best friends but they look like being in danger of falling out when a tempting looking package arrives at the café. Corderoy and Lenton entertain with comic rhymes and illustrations about their well-loved characters.
Confronting the truth of his own schooldays and the crimes he witnessed, Renton reveals a profound malaise in the British elite, shown up by tolerance of the abuse of its own children that amounts to collusion. This culture and its traditions, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that underpin them, are key to any explanation of the scandals over sexual abuse, violence and cover-up in child care institutions that are now shocking the nation.
The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015 came into full force in April 2016. It puts a legal responsibility on the Welsh public sector, including the Welsh Government, to consider sustainability in all of its actions. The potential for this to change the private sector too is huge but how much progress has been made during the first year of implementation? Environment Minister, Davidson was the original architect of this Act. Howe is the Commissioner currently responsible for delivery.