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John Mullan

What Matters in Jane Austen

Hay Festival 2012, 
Is there any sex in Austen? What do the characters call each other, and why? What are the right and wrong ways to propose marriage? And why is it risky to go to the seaside? Mullan shows that you can best appreciate Austen's brilliance by looking at the intriguing quirks and intricacies of her fiction – by asking some very specific questions about what goes on in her novels and why, he reveals their devilish cleverness and their art.
 
The English Prof, Late Review star and Guardian Book Club host discovers what games people played and why they had to wear mourning, how they addressed each other and how wealth was inherited, who shared bedrooms and who owned coaches. He explores the rituals and conventions of her fictional world in order to reveal her technical virtuosity and sheer daring as a novelist. Though not a book about Jane Austen's life, it uses biographical detail and telling passages from her letters to explain episodes in her novels; readers will find out, for example, what novels she read and how much money she had to live on and why she was obsessed with the weather.
 
John Mullan's books include How Novels Work and Anonymity: A Secret History of English Literature.

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Sebastian Faulks talks to Gaby Wood

The British Council Series 3: Fictions – A Possible Life

Hay Festival 2013, 

Provocative and profound, Faulks’ dazzling new novel journeys across continents and time to explore the chaos created by love, separation and missed opportunities. In this open workshop he describes how he came to write it this way, building the structure of the stories and his search for the language and form of his narratives.

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Daniel M Davis

The Compatibility Gene

Hay Festival 2014, 

We each possess a similar set of around 25,000 human genes. Yet a tiny, distinctive cluster of these genes plays a disproportionately large part in how our bodies work. The immunologist argues that these few genes hold the key to who we are as individuals and our relationship to the world: how we combat disease; how our brains are wired; how attractive we are; even how likely we are to reproduce. Chaired by Liz Hunt.

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Val McDermid, Jasper Fforde, Mathew Prichard

Agatha Christie 120

Hay Festival 2010, 
We celebrate the queen of detective fiction’s jubilee with two fans and her grandson, who still manages her estate. Chaired by Peter Guttridge.

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Robert Macfarlane talks to Horatio Clare

Holloway

Hay Festival 2013, 

The new book from the author of The Old Ways. In 2005 Macfarlane and Roger Deakin travelled to explore the holloways of South Dorset’s sandstone. They found their way into a landscape of shadows, spectres and great strangeness. Six years later, after Deakin’s early death, Macfarlane returned to the holloway with the artist Stanley Donwood and writer Dan Richards.

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Niall Ferguson

Kissinger: The Idealist, 1923-1968

Hay Festival 2016, 

No American statesman has been as revered and as reviled as Henry Kissinger. Hailed by some as the ‘indispensable man’, whose advice has been sought by every president from John F Kennedy to George W Bush, he has also attracted immense hostility from critics who have cast him as an amoral Machiavellian – the ultimate, cold-blooded ‘realist’. In his first volume of biography, the historian examines Kissinger’s early life (as a Jew in Hitler’s Germany, a poor immigrant in New York, a GI at the Battle of the Bulge, an interrogator of Nazis, and a student of history at Harvard) to understand his debt to the philosophy of idealism. By tracing his rise, fall and revival as an adviser to Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller and Richard Nixon, Ferguson assesses Kissinger’s contribution to the theory of diplomacy, grand strategy and nuclear deterrence.

Niall Ferguson

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Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

The Gruffalo LIVE

Hay Festival 2009, 
Join in the Gruffalo’s 10th birthday party in this interactive, lively celebration with the author and illustrator. Jam-packed with songs, music, fun and rhyme.

Family Event

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Bob Fiddaman (SCIMAC), Molly Conisbee (Soil Association), Jonathon Harrington and Herbert Mwalukomo (Concern Universal)

Greenprint Forum: Food for Thought

Hay Festival 2011, 
Genetically modified food has been on the agenda for years and the argument rages over the benefits versus the risks. With climate change comes the increased occurrence of extreme weather events from droughts to floods, salination to big freezes. Is GM part of the answer to ensuring food supplies in these conditions or can traditional agriculture cope? Chaired by Louise Gray.

Greenprint is the Festival's sustainability project. Since 2005 we have been working to minimise carbon emissions, reduce waste and study the causes and effects of climate change. Please join in and contribute to the sessions and the debate at hayfestival.org/greenprint.


To book a full day ticket to all 6 Greenprint sessions for £15, please call the box office

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Muhammad Yunus

The Hamlin Lecture

Hay Festival 2013, 

The Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize-winning pioneer of microfinance and founder of the Grameen Bank talks to Nicholas Stern.

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Marc Craste & Helen Ward

Varmints

Hay Festival 2009, 
The writer and film-maker of this beautifully haunting ecological tale come together to discuss working collaboratively and their recent BAFTA nomination. Screening included.  Chaired by Amelia Johnstone.

9 years – adult

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David Sedaris chaired by Johann Hari

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

Hay Festival 2011, 
An hour with the sardonic wit and satirist, one of America’s finest humorists.
 
Read this piece on David Sedaris in the Guardian
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk - David Sedaris

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Jacqueline Wilson

The Worst Thing About My Sister

Hay Festival 2012, 
Marty and Melissa are the best of friends, the worst of enemies and of course sisters. Another gift from the mega-bestselling, super-lovely godmother of children’s fiction.
 
As we only have Jacqueline for a limited time the first 200 children's tickets sold will be eligible to get their books signed. These tickets have sadly sold out but you can still book to enjoy the wonderful event! 
 
8+ years

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David Baddiel talks to David Aaronovitch

Hay Festival 2011, 
The comedian and writer whose credits include the fundamentalism satire movie The Infidel discusses his new novel The Death Of Eli Gold.
 
The Death of Eli Gold - David Baddiel

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Justin Fletcher

Justin’s Jokes

Hay Festival 2012, 
The CBeebies star brings us jokes and songs in this giggle-tastic event. Come in your finest fancy dress.
 
3+ years

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Ed Balls talks to Joan Bakewell

Speaking Out

Hay Festival 2017, 

The highs and lows of life in and out of politics – from the despatch box to Strictly stage with one of Britain’s most influential and charming political figures. He’s funny, and acute about the madhouse of Parliament. Ed Balls is not currently an MP.

Ed Balls talks to Joan Bakewell

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Mario Vargas Llosa talks to Peter Florence

Nobel Series - The Dream of the Celt

Hay Festival 2012, 
The Peruvian Nobel Laureate discusses his work and his new novel, which re-imagines the life of Roger Casement, the controversial hero of Irish nationalism.
 

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Terry Leahy

Management in 10 Words

Hay Festival 2012, 
An exclusive preview of THE top book on business strategy and leadership, by the former Tesco CEO. Chaired by the Executive Editor of The Telegraph Mark Skipworth.

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Steve Jones

The John Maddox Lecture: Incest and Folk Dancing – Why Sex Survives

Hay Festival 2011, 
Sir Thomas Beecham once said: ‘Try anything once but incest and folk-dancing’ (he pointed out that brass bands, too, are all very well in their place: ‘in the open air and several miles away’). Sex with a relative is often frowned upon, but is in fact universal, for we all share ancestors in the recent past.

Read more about Steve Jones

Articles by the author:

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Martin Rees

The World in 2050

Hay Festival 2009, 
The Astronomer Royal looks to the future and what we don’t yet know.

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Jenny Agutter, Heidi Thomas, Pippa Harris

Call The Midwife

Hay Festival 2015, 

The star, screenwriter and producer of the television drama discuss the stories and period of Jennifer Worth’s best-selling books with Virginia Nicholson.

Jenny Agutter, Heidi Thomas, Pippa Harris

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Fernando Trueba in conversation with Roberto Pombo

A film is not a novel – or is it?

Cartagena 2010, 
Spanish film director Fernando Trueba began his film career with Ópera Prima (1980), winning the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1992 with Belle Epoque. He has just launched El Baile de la Victoria, which is also in the running to be selected for the Oscars this year. He talks books and cinema with Roberto Pombo, director of El Tiempo.

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Nick Clegg talks to Matthew d’Ancona

Politics: Between the Extremes

Hay Festival 2017, 

The former Deputy Prime Minister lifts the lid on the workings and failings of the 2010--2015 coalition government, analyses the 2017 European electoral cycle, and assesses the opportunities for the liberal centre ground of politics.

Nick Clegg talks to Matthew d’Ancona

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Claudia Roden and Jose Pizarro talk to Michael Jacobs

The Rose Gray Tabletalk: Spanish Food

Hay Festival 2012, 
The peerless food-writer, author of The Food of Spain, is joined by the top Spanish chef, author of Pizarro: Seasonal Spanish Food to celebrate one of the great gastronomic cultures of the world.

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John Bulmer talks to Revel Guest

The North

Hay Festival 2013, 

The photo-journalist shows and discusses his seminal 1960s reportage in b/w and colour from the industrial heartlands untouched by the Swinging Sixties.

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Helen Browning, David Speller and Jake Freestone talk to Rob Yorke

Green-tech tinted glasses: how smarter agriculture can reduce farming’s footprint

Hay Festival 2017, 

Crop drones, precision pesticides, earthworm management, poultry software and GPS- directed tractors are just some of the new technologies that are revolutionising agriculture. The panel discusses agri-tech innovation helping farmers to become more efficient by using fewer resources. Browning is CEO of the Soil Association, Speller is an award-winning poultry farmer, Freestone a Linking Environment and Farming accredited farm manager.

Helen Browning, David Speller and Jake Freestone talk to Rob Yorke