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Richard Fortey

The Wood From the Trees

Hay Festival 2016, 

Fortey presents his wood, deep in the Chiltern Hills, as an interwoven collection of different habitats rich in species. His attention ranges from the beech and cherry trees that dominate the wood to the flints underfoot; the red kites and woodpeckers that soar overhead; the lichens, mosses and liverworts decorating the branches as well as the myriad species of spiders, moths, beetles and crane-flies. The 300 species of fungi identified in the wood capture his attention as much as familiar deer, shrews and dormice. The great palaeontologist is the author of Fossils: A Key to the Past, The Hidden Landscape, Life: An Unauthorised Biography, Trilobite! and The Earth: An Intimate History. Chaired by Dan Davis.

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Darian Leader

Hands: What We Do With Them, And Why

Hay Festival 2016, 

Why do zombies walk with their arms outstretched? How can newborn babies grip an adult finger tightly enough to dangle unsupported from it? From early tools to machinery, from fists to knives to guns, from papyrus to QWERTY to a swipeable screen; the history of civilisation is a history of what humans do with their hands. Mankind’s story is marked out by profound changes in how we use our hands; and it is also marked by underlying patterns that never change. And as much as the things we do with our hands reflect our psychological state, they can also change that state profoundly…The psychoanalyst is the author of Why do Women Write More Letters Than They Post? and Promises Lovers Make When It Gets Late. Chaired by Daisy Leitch.

Darian Leader

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Matt Hancock, Helen Margetts, Timandra Harkness

Spark Salon 1: Creators and Consumers: What’s our role in responsibly designing the future?

Hay Festival 2018, 
Rapid advancements in computational power, decreasing costs of hardware and software, and the ubiquity of data, mobile and embedded technology have created unthought-of dilemmas. Policymakers, businesses and citizens are scrambling to understand the impact and challenges of technological progress. As creators, consumers and users do we all need to understand how technology works? And who can we hold to account when it fails? Is it possible to develop a set of regulatory principles for digital products? Hancock is Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Margetts is Director of the Oxford Internet Institute and Professor of Society and the Internet at University of Oxford. Harkness is a science writer, presenter and comedian.

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Lisa Dwan and Colm Tóibín

Pale Sister: A Rehearsed Reading

Hay Festival 2018, 

Pale Sister, written by Colm Tóibín for the great Beckett actress Lisa Dwan, is a dramatisation of the voice of Ismene, the sister of Antigone, who recounts her sister's defiance of the king as pressures mount on Ismene herself to act to vindicate her sister, or even follow her example. It arises from The Antigone Project, a course taught at Columbia University by Dwan and Tóibín, which examined the ways in which this story – a woman’s powerlessness emerging as power, conscience versus law, defiance versus might, protest versus order, individual versus authority. It runs for one hour and 15 minutes and will be followed by a discussion.

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Alan Garner

Strandloper: Man of Leaf and Golden Hood

Hay Festival 1996, 
Recognised as the key figure in the Golden Age of British Literature for his books Elidor, The Owl Service, Red Shift and The Stone Book Quartet, Garner talks about his writing and introduces his first adult novel Strandloper which explores and melds the Dreaming of the Aborigines and the ancient green magic of England

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Clive Aslet

War Memorial: The Story of One Village’s Sacrifice from 1914 to 2003

Hay Festival 2014, 

In an intimate portrait of a single countryside community, the historian traces in vivid detail the lives of the twenty-two men and one woman from the Dartmoor village of Lydford who made the supreme sacrifice fighting for Britain in the two World Wars, the Falklands and Iraq.

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Ed Vere

Grumpy Frog

Hay Festival 2017, 

Do you sometimes feel grumpy? Do you wish every day was your birthday? Join the author and illustrator of Grumpy Frog for a fantastic interactive event with storytelling and live drawing. 

3+
Ed Vere

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Gordon McMullan and Katy Mair

By Me, William Shakespeare

Hay Festival 2016, 

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.

Gordon McMullan and Katy Mair

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John Browne

Connect: How Companies Succeed by Engaging Radically with Society

Hay Festival 2016, 

The former BP CEO of BP articulates and explores the recurring rift between big business and society, offering a practical manifesto for reconciliation. It’s a call to arms for real and effective corporate social responsibility.  Chaired by Rosie Boycott.

John Browne

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Denis Burdakov, Anne O’Garra, Barry Thompson

Collaborating to Beat Cancer: Cancer Research UK Series

Hay Festival 2016, 

What do neuroscience, tuberculosis and the humble fruit fly have to do with cancer? At the Francis Crick Institute, London’s new biomedical discovery centre, scientists from across the biomedical spectrum are being brought together under one roof. They are revolutionising research into cancer by speaking across specialisms and towards scientific innovation in the C21st. Chaired by Francine Stock.

Denis Burdakov, Anne O’Garra, Barry Thompson

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Steve Antony

Betty Goes Bananas

Hay Festival 2015, 
Have you ever thrown a tantrum? Betty has! Join Steve Antony for an interactive storytelling of his funny picture book, about a toddler gorilla named Betty, who, though she looks cheerful, throws lots of tantrums. What happens when Betty finds a banana that just won’t open? Steve teaches everyone how to draw Betty and gives sneak peeks into his next book, Betty Goes Bananas in her Pyjamas.
4+ years
Steve Antony

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Fiona Reynolds

Cambridge Series 21: The Fight for Beauty

Hay Festival 2016, 

In a world where too often, it seems, only the economy matters, Fiona Reynolds argues that beauty should shape our lives. Dame Fiona is Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and was formerly Director-General of The National Trust.

Fiona Reynolds

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Madeleine Thien talks to Jemimah Steinfeld

The Index Platform: Fictions

Hay Festival 2017, 

A conversation with the Canadian novelist whose Do Not Say We Have Nothing was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker, and who is now publishing her early novel Certainty. Her humane and exacting writing often explores the Asian diaspora. She has won many awards including the Governor General’s Award and The Giller Prize. She talks to the deputy editor of Index on Censorship who has reported from and written extensively on China.

Madeleine Thien talks to Jemimah Steinfeld

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Marcus Sedgwick

Saint Death

Hay Festival 2017, 

The author takes listeners on a virtual trip into his writing space, revealing the research behind Saint Death. Think folk saints, migrants, gang warfare and human rights as he tells tales of the iconic Santa Muerte and reveals the shocking reality facing many communities living on the Mexican/US border. A fascinating and powerful talk from this prize-winning novelist. 

 #HAYYA

12+
Marcus Sedgwick

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Kate Summerscale talks to Stephanie Merritt

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer

Hay Festival 2016, 

Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, 13-year-old Robert Coombes and his 12-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lords. They told their neighbours their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next 10 days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes’ house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm... Summerscale won the Samuel Johnson Prize for The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

Kate Summerscale talks to Stephanie Merritt

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Simon Taylor talks to Mark Lynas

Cambridge Series 8: The Strange Rebirth of Nuclear Power in Britain

Hay Festival 2016, 

Twenty years ago the UK stopped building nuclear stations. Why are we now planning an £18 billion, French-Chinese, nuclear power station at Hinkley Point? Taylor is lecturer in finance at Cambridge University.

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Tom Percival

Herman’s Letter

Hay Festival 2014, 

Herman the bear embarks on an epic journey to deliver a very special letter and ensure that his friendship with Henry the raccoon really is forever. Tom talks about Herman’s adventure in a creative event: prepare to get crafty and remember to bring your imagination!
5+ years

Tom Percival

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Tom Bullough talks to Chris Stewart

Hay Festival 2007, 
The author grew up on a hill farm in the Welsh borders, the setting for his second novel, The Claude Glass. He is interviewed by the author of Driving Over Lemons.

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Nick Sharratt Draw-Along

Vikings in the Supermarket

Hay Festival 2016, 

Join the much-loved illustrator as he sets loose six Vikings in a rollicking, rhyming adventure. Pencils and paper will be provided for the whole family so that you can draw along with Nick. Look out for a tartan-patterened cat, a naughty vampire bat and a clever mermaid.

3+

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Richard Greatrex, Jose Quiros & Jonathan Paulus talk to Rob Penn

Working Wales – The Bike

Winter Weekend 2015, 

Jonathan and Jose are custom bike builders from Burry Port. Photographer Richard Greatrex has chronicled their journey to complete a unique and magnificent bike, documenting the joys and difficulties of small-scale manufacturing. In conversation with Rob Penn, author, journalist, TV presenter and inveterate cyclist. The Working Wales project celebrates makers and the things they make.

Richard Greatrex, Jose Quiros & Jonathan Paulus talk to Rob Penn

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Jonathan Haslam

Near and Distant Neighbours

Hay Festival 2016, 

Based on a mass of newly declassified Russian secret intelligence documentation, Haslam reveals the true story of Soviet intelligence from its very beginnings in 1917 right through to the end of the Cold War. Covering both branches of Soviet espionage, civilian and military, he charts the full range of the Soviet intelligence effort and the story of its development: in cryptography, disinformation, special forces, and counter-intelligence. He shows how their greatest weapon and ironically their greatest weakness was the human factor: their ability to recruit secret agents. Haslam is the George F Kennan Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.

Jonathan Haslam

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Andrew Gant

Christmas Carols: From Village Green to Church Choir

Winter Weekend 2014, 

Andrew Gant unravels the captivating, and often surprising stories behind the origin of some of our best loved carols. Tales of great musicians and thinkers, saints and pagans, shepherd boys, choirboys, monks and drunks. It is a fittingly joyous account of one of our best-loved musical traditions.

Andrew Gant

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Nativel Preciado in conversation with Fernando Delgado

Segovia 2014, 

Journalist and author Nativel Preciado discusses her latest novel Canta solo para mí, which won the 2014 Premio Fernando Lara de Novela. The novel depicts the journalistic profession in Spain in the 1970s, a very turbulent period during which huge changes took place. This provides the backdrop for a passionate love story. She talks to writer Fernando Delgado.

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How To Write a Book

Kells 2014, 

Have you ever wanted to write a novel? How do you get it out of your head and onto the page? How do you handle structure, dialogue and plot? And once it’s written, what is the best way to get it published? These and more questions will be tackled in a new series in The Irish Times called ‘How To Write a Book’. Joining Sinead Gleeson of The Irish Times will be novelists from the festival programme.

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Stephen Hawking

Hay Festival 1998, 
The Cambridge scientist celebrates the tenth anniversary of his book A Brief History of Time with this lecture.