Planned as a decisive strike but fought as a bloody battle of attrition in 1916, the Battle of the Somme claimed over a million dead or wounded in months of fighting that have long epitomized the tragedy and folly of the First World War. By focusing on the first-hand experiences and personal stories of both Allied and enemy soldiers, Sebag-Montefiore defies the customary framing of incompetent generals and senseless slaughter. In its place, eyewitness accounts relive scenes of extraordinary courage and sacrifice, as soldiers ordered over the top ventured into No Man’s Land and enemy trenches, where they met a hail of machine-gun fire, thickets of barbed wire, and exploding shells. Chaired by Jesse Norman.
A fun-filled frantic session with the creator of the Astrosaurs and Cows In Action series.
The Chilean anthropologist introduces the colonial history and culture of the Polynesian island, and the islanders’ relationship with food, language and the renowned stone sculptures.
The exhilarating World music fusion of the guitar/percussion duo has excited audiences around Europe. Guitarist Jon Salfield and percussionist Simon Stanton have crafted a unique and dynamic repertoire combining Flamenco and Latin traditions, with elements of North African, Caribbean and jazz traditions, and a healthy dose of improvisation.
Where does anxiety come from? How do we overcome imposter syndrome? What is the key to creativity? How can we deal with grief? Informed by personal insights as well as interviews with some of the world’s top comedians, neuroscientists and psychologists, the comedian and Infinite Monkey Cage host offers a hilarious and often moving primer to the mind. But it is also a powerful call to embrace the full breadth of our inner experience – no matter how strange we worry it may be!
Brave explorer George has packed 25 muffins for his night-time adventure in the museum to catch the fabled thief. Can he and his faithful puppy Trixie track down the criminal without getting squashed by the great big mammoth? With storytelling and funny songs, the authors bring the entertaining adventure to life.
A conversation with the novelist and podcaster. “If I have learned one thing from this shockingly beautiful venture called life, it is this: failure has taught me lessons I would never otherwise have understood. I have evolved more as a result of things going wrong than when everything seemed to be going right. Out of crisis has come clarity, and sometimes even catharsis.”
Join Alex Wheatle, Clare Furniss, Patrice Lawrence and Sara Barnard, all of whom have been shortlisted for the Bookseller YA Book Prize 2017, as they discuss writing about big themes for YA readers. Chaired by Carrie Quinlan.
The former Observer editor and the politician and writer say the EU is a success story despite its frailties. It has guaranteed fundamental human freedoms and provided economic prosperity and order. They argue that Britain is abandoning four centuries of being part of the European diplomatic order for illusory gains and actual losses.
McMullan and Mair have carefully selected the nine most fascinating documents held by The National Archives relating to Shakespeare’s life. Presented together for the first time, these are some of the most significant documents in the world that track Shakespeare’s life as a citizen of London, a businessman, a family man, a servant to the King, and even possibly a thief and a subversive. They explore both his domestic and professional lives, what it meant to live in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras, and the social impact of his plays. McMullan is also the editor of the new digital Norton edition of the complete plays.
Why are the ‘junior doctors’ calling an all-out strike? What do the PFI hospital contracts mean? How much of the NHS is privatised already? How could it all be better? And what can we do about that? The physician, philosopher and writer Raymond Tallis is the author of NHS SOS; Donley is Clinical Vice President, Royal College of Physicians; Grigg is a GP in the Hay Medical Centre practice.
Fame, that’s all Elektra, star of Waiting for Callback: Take Two, has ever wanted, and now she has a part in a film, but things don’t go quite to plan. Anna Huntly, star of The It Girl: Superstar Geek, has a different ambition. Join the creators of these girls as they discuss their witty and wise stories of teenage dreams and anxieties with Emily Drabble, Head of Booktrust’s children’s book promotion.
Sarah Ridley and Rebecca Stevens were both inspired by real stories in their families, including letters sent home from soldiers away at war. Find out how their research inspired their books, Dear Jelly and Valentine Joe.
Ada, Countess of Lovelace, daughter of romantic poet Lord Byron and his highly educated wife, Anne Isabella, is sometimes called the world’s first computer programmer and has become an icon for women in technology. But how did a young woman in the 19th century, without access to formal school or university education, acquire the knowledge and expertise to become a pioneer of computer science? Ursula Martin is a professor at the University of Oxford whose research interests span mathematics, computer science and the humanities.
The TV and radio personality and teen ambassador discusses how magic and messed up life can be. Find out how she was inspired to write a book for young people to help them with all the big, bad and beautiful things that growing up is all about: from mental health to families to first love, and everything in between.