In the popular imagination, as in her portraits, Elizabeth is the image of monarchical power. The Virgin Queen ruled over a Golden Age: the Spanish Armada was defeated and England's enemies scattered; English explorers reached almost to the ends of the earth; a new Church of England rose from the ashes of past conflict, and the English Renaissance bloomed in the genius of Shakespeare, Spenser and Sidney. But the image is also armour. In her illuminating new account of Elizabeth’s reign, Castor shows how England’s iconic queen was shaped by profound and enduring insecurity – an insecurity which was both a matter of practical political reality and personal psychology. But, facing down her enemies with a compellingly inscrutable public persona, the last and greatest of the Tudor monarchs would become a timeless, fearless queen.
Beneath the waters of Abukir Bay, at the edge of the Nile Delta, lie the submerged remains of the ancient Egyptian cities Canopus and Thonis-Heracleion, which sank more than a thousand years ago. They were dramatically rediscovered in the C20th and brought to the surface by marine archaeologists in the 1990s. The wealth of ancient artefacts from these excavations are now exhibited in the British Museum’s landmark exhibition. The curator tells the story of how two iconic ancient civilisations, Egypt and Greece, interacted in the late first millennium BC.
Wangari Grace (The Forever Tree) and Millie Dok (Worms To Eat, What a Treat)
A lively, interactive session of play-songs and tales in English and Kiswahili. Be prepared to have too much fun!
With a death toll of 50-100 million people and a global reach, the Spanish 'flu of 1918-1920 was the greatest human disaster, not only of the 20th century, but possibly in all of recorded history. And yet, in our popular conception it exists largely as a footnote to World War One. Spinney recounts the story of an overlooked pandemic, tracing it from Alaska to Brazil, from Persia to Spain, and from South Africa to Odessa. Telling the story from the point of view of those who lived through it, she shows how the pandemic was shaped by the interaction of a virus and the humans it encountered; and how this devastating natural experiment put both the ingenuity and the vulnerability of humans to the test. Chaired by Stephanie Boland of Prospect magazine.
In April 1917, the exiled leader of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, travelled back to Russia by train. His country was at war and his route would take him through enemy territory; the plan was controversial from the start. The destination was the Finland Station and the first steps on the road to Soviet power. Merridale, the great Russia scholar, follows in the leader's tracks, creating a gripping account of events in Russia and Europe at one of the tensest moments of the First World War. Chaired by Peter Hennessy.
On 20 June 1998 Temple-Morris, Conservative MP for Leominster, crossed the floor to join his rivals on the Labour party benches. What drove a seasoned Conservative politician, one of the so-called Cambridge Mafia, with 24 years’ experience at Westminster, to change his allegiance so radically? He discusses his disillusionments and inspirations, his adventures in ‘the art of the possible’, and his colleagues on both sides of the House with the veteran BBC anchor.
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.
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.
Melting ice, a military arms race, the rush to exploit resources at any cost—the Arctic is now the stage on which our future will be decided. But one early September morning in 2013, 30 men and women from 18 countries - the crew of Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise - decided to draw a line in the ice and protest the drilling in the Arctic. Ben Stewart is Greenpeace's Head of Media and Frank Hewetson is one of the arrested Arctic 30.
The smart-machines revolution is re-shaping our lives and our societies. Shadbolt dispels terror, confusion and misconception. We are not about to be elbowed aside by a rebel army of super-intelligent robots of our own creation. We were using tools before we became homo sapiens, and will continue to control them. How we exercise that control – in our private lives, in employment, in politics – and make the best of the wonderful opportunities, will determine our collective future well-being. Shadbolt is one of the UK’s foremost computer scientists. He is a leading researcher in artificial intelligence, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, and chairman of the Open Data Institute, which he co-founded with Tim Berners-Lee.
Escribir crónicas y reportajes implica enfrentarse a una realidad que muchas veces se niega a tener sentido. Jon Lee Anderson, reportero estadounidense de The New Yorker; Marcela Turati, mexicana ganadora del Premio Gabriel García Márquez a la Excelencia Periodística 2014; y Alfredo Molano, cronista colombiano de El Espectador, son claros ejemplos de periodistas que viajan con los cinco sentidos alerta para narrar hechos complejos que atrapen al lector, que lo inquieten y despierten su curiosidad. ¿Cómo recorren esos territorios propios y extraños?, ¿cómo rompen barreras físicas y mentales?, ¿cómo logran historias que aunque parezcan lejanas nos tocan mucho más de lo que creemos?
Co-organizado por la Fundación Gabriel García Márquez para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI) y la Fundación Tenaris TuboCaribe
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.
Traditional ploughland is disappearing. Seven cornfield flowers have become extinct in the past 20 years. Once abundant, the corn bunting and the lapwing are on the Red List. The corncrake is all but extinct in England. And the hare is running for its life. The author of The Wild Life and Meadowland tells the story of the wild animals and plants that live in and under our ploughland: from the labouring microbes to the patrolling kestrel above the corn, from the linnet pecking at seeds to the seven-spot ladybird that eats the aphids that eat the crop. He talks to Kitty Corrigan.
In a time of extreme stress for the NHS, is there another way to deliver healthcare in the UK? Should we go back to traditional roles, like matrons? Or should we innovate with new professions like Physician Associates? Which new systems can we find for dealing with an ageing population? Baroness Hollins is Emeritus Professor in Psychiatry of Disability at St George’s, University of London; Perry is Associate Head of the Institute of Health & Society at the University of Worcester; Thrush is a Consultant at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Wilkie, is a GP and Professor of Primary Care; Charlotte Scott-Wilson is a Physician Associate Graduate.
The editor of The Amorist magazine chairs a conversation about love and sex in fiction and asks: is erotic passion the hardest form of literary endeavour? Get one line wrong and there’s laughter, or disgust. Gardner writes erotic fiction under the pen name Wray Delaney. Delaney’s first erotic novel, An Almond for a Parrot, is set amidst the brothels of 18thcentury London. Huston is the author of Say My Name, an account of a love affair between a married woman and a much younger man, while Jacobson’s most controversial novel was The Act of Love.
The prolific Edinburgh novelist discusses the joys and travails of writing fiction – plotting, voice, tone and humour – with his fellow crime-writer. His books, in numerous series including No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, Isabel Dalhousie and 44 Scotland Street, have sold tens of millions of copies worldwide, in 46 languages.