In 1613 a beautiful Stuart princess married a handsome young German prince. This was a love match, but it was also an alliance that aimed to weld together Europe’s two great Protestant powers. Before Elizabeth and Frederick left London for the court in Heidelberg, they watched a performance of The Winter’s Tale. In 1943, a group of British POWs gave a performance of that same play to a group of enthusiastic Nazi guards in Bavaria. When the amateur actors suggested doing a version of The Merchant of Venice that showed Shylock as the hero, the guards brought in the costumes and helped create the sets. Nothing about the story of England and Germany is as simple as we might expect. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.
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.
At 21 the prodigious violinist found her instrument: a rare 1696 Stradivarius, perfectly suited to her build and temperament. Her career soared. Then, in a train station café, her violin was stolen from her side. In an instant her world collapsed. This is Min's extraordinary story - of a young woman staring into the void, wondering who she was, who she had been. It is a story of isolation and dependence, of love, loss and betrayal, and of the intense, almost human bond that a musician has with their instrument. Above all, it's a story of hope through a journey back to music.
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.
For thousands of years the human heart remained the deepest of mysteries; both home to the soul and an organ too complex to touch, let alone operate on. Then, in the late 19th century, medics began going where no one had dared go before. Morris gives us a view over the surgeon’s shoulder, showing us the heart’s inner workings and failings. He describes both a human story and a history of risk-taking that has ultimately saved countless lives. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
Horrid Henry and Dennis the Menace go head-to-head in a battle to find out who is the more terrible of the two. Join the creators of two of the best-loved bad guys as they send their characters into the fight, then vote for the winner in this deadly contest.
Have you seen Spot? This storytelling session includes games, dancing, plus a chance to meet the world’s most lovable puppy.
Duration 40 mins.
Winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and twice winner of the Blue Peter Book Award, Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum is a complete horror. He hates children, animals and fun, not to mention corn on the cob. This book is about him, an angry fairy who lives in his bathtub, Jake the dog and a little girl called Polly. Plus, there are heroes and sweets and adventures. Join to celebrate the 10th anniversary of You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum!
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.
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.
An examination of childhood and the freedoms of space, time and the natural world, from West Papua and the Arctic to suburban western Europe.
Jay Griffiths will be the International Hay Festival Fellow for the next 12 months, visiting all our festivals around the world. Her visionary and poetic work explores her interest in nature, anthropology and art. Her books include Kith: The Riddle of the Childscape, Wild: An Elemental Journey, Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time, and her fictionalised hymn to Frida Kahlo, A Love Letter from a Stray Moon.
Jay talks to Tiarnán de Hál.
The addictive new psychological thriller from the author of The Girl on the Train, the runaway No. 1 bestseller and global phenomenon.
Hosted by senior Telegraph journalists, stories from 30 May at key historical moments over the past 150 years are brought to life using the paper’s unique archive. From World War One and D-Day to the rise of the Suffragettes and the birth of the nuclear age; not to mention fashion through the decades and legendary stars of sport. Here is a past world documented in fascinating and revealing detail by daily reporting.
Alwyn Hamilton and Maria Turtschaninoff have both recently completed their second titles in powerful trilogies set in richly imagined worlds. Join the authors as they discuss the challenges and opportunities of creating whole new worlds and the people who live in them. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.
This story of a young Nigerian-German psychiatrist in New York City five years after 9/11 was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and won both the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Internationaler Literaturpreis. ‘A powerful and un-nerving inquiry into the human soul. Open City is ‘a profoundly original work, intellectually stimulating and possessing of a style both engaging and seductive.’ – Time Magazine. John Sibi-Okumu is a Kenyan playwright (Role Play and Minister Karibu) journalist and actor best known internationally for his role in The Constant Gardener.
Feeling cranky? Out of sorts? In a big bad mood? Then flap off over to Scowl’s grumpy branch for a good old grouch and grumble… Steve’s new picture book Big, Bad Owl is a fabulously funny tale about learning to deal with moods and emotions.
Invention is at the heart of the adventures of Rosie Revere, Ada Twist and Iggy Peck. Andrea
Beaty’s stories of engineer Rosie, scientist Ada and architect Iggy show that anyone can be whatever they want to be if they are curious and apply themselves.
From the food on our plates to the greens in our garden, many plants share one extraordinary characteristic – they contain two, three or even 10 copies of their entire genetic code in each of their cells. This so-called ‘polyploidy’ crams cells full of DNA and not only gives us weird and wonderful-looking plants, but almost all of the plants we eat every day. The Director of Science at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew and Michael Faraday Prize winner talks about polyploidy and how it will help us take on our great global challenges.
For Adam Phillips - as for Freud and many of his followers - poetry and poets have always held an essential place, as both precursors and unofficial collaborators in the psychoanalytic project. But the same has never held true in reverse. What, Phillips wonders, at the start of this deeply engaging book, has psychoanalysis meant for writers? Phillips explores these questions through an exhilarating series of encounters with writers he has loved, from Byron and Barthes to Shakespeare and Sebald. And in the process he demonstrates how literature and psychoanalysis can speak to and of each other.
Promising myth, adventure and mechanimals, Bunzl and Hargrave will begin an illustrated conversation in which they discuss the inspiration behind their best-selling debuts Cogheart and The Girl of Ink and Stars and introduce their new books, Moonlocket and The Island at the End of Everything.