Wagner presents her riveting biography of one of the most important figures in American civil engineering history, Washington Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge. Introduced by Philip Davies, Director of the Eccles Centre.
How do you create a world where everything is different to our own? Join three authors as they discuss the imaginative journey it takes to create alternative worlds in their books including Skychasers, The Girl of Ink and Stars and The City of Secret Rivers. Chaired by Emily Drabble, BookTrust
The author of The Radleys, The Humans and Reasons To Stay Alive talks about his glorious, rollicking time-hopping novel. How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live.
Stephanie Merritt is the comedy critic of The Observer and writes historical fiction as SJ Parris.
Discover new bird species, names and stories, and learn how to draw their markings at Matt Sewell’s Spotting & Jotting Club. Explore birdwatching guides, including Our Garden Birds and Owls, as he launches his first book specifically for children, The Big Bird Spot. Sewell, the author of the bestselling Our Garden Birds, has illustrated for The Guardian, Big Issue, and the V&A among many others.
The islands of the Pacific and Indian oceans and the people who inhabited these seas are some of the most marginalised places and people in Western historical memory. Yet they played a crucial role in modern political, intellectual and cultural thought, and may be sites to watch for the future of humanity even as environmental change takes its course. Dr Sivasundaram is Reader in World History.
The historian and broadcaster brings the court of Henry VIII to life in her first children’s novel. Go behind the scenes and discover the friendships and intrigues at the Royal court when she tells the story of Eliza’s life as a Maid of Honour to the glamorous new Queen.
Join Fabien Erhlinghauser for a visually stunning presentation on the process involved in creating the Oscar-nominated animated feature film Song of the Sea. Including behind-the-scenes clips from the soon-to-be-released film, this is a must for anyone with a passion for animation and visual storytelling.
Chevalier’s best-selling novel inspired many readers to look at Vermeer’s famous painting more closely. Now she has participated in a documentary film directed by Phil Grabsky – part of the pioneering series Exhibition on Screen. How did the writer help the award-winning film-makers to bring the work to life? How has the film affected her own understanding of a painting she thought she knew well?
A majestic distillation of our current understanding of the birth of the universe, of the solar system, of the oceans, of mountains and minerals, of all life on earth and of the driving dynamics of human culture and achievement. Christian is a Distinguished Professor in History at Macquarie University in Australia and the co-founder, with Bill Gates, of The Big History Project.
A legendary singer, folklorist and music historian, Shirley Collins has been an integral figure in the English folk music scene for more than 60 years. In her autobiography, All in the Downs, Collins tells the story of that lifelong relationship with English folksong – a dedication to artistic integrity that has guided her through the triumphs and tragedies of her life.
The French novelist introduces his masterpiece The French Art of War, which won the Goncourt Prize in 2011 and is published now in English. It’s a journey through France’s military history in Indochina, Algeria and at home. The novel is told through the eyes of a war veteran who becomes a painter, Victorien Salagnon, and the young man he teaches to paint in exchange for writing his story.
This event is part of a European Writers’ Tour, an initiative proudly delivered by EUNIC London in partnership with the Royal Society of Literature and the British Library. The programme is supported by the European Commission Representation in the UK and EUNIC Global.
In French with translation available.
Civil war has been a recurring feature of human societies throughout history, and an essential catalyst for major international conflict. Focusing on the numerous civil conflicts that have occurred throughout the world since the Second World War, Kissane asks what the recent social science literature adds to what we already know about civil war. The LSE professor uses insights from historical sources from the ancient Greeks onwards, to explain the extreme violent experience of so many parts of the world today. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
The captivating Instagram gastro star and Roman native conjures up La Dolce Vita with her recipes for earthy breakfasts, alfresco lunches and sumptuous suppers. She is joined by historian and food fanatic Simon Schama. This is table talk in flagrante!
Join Adam Stower as he shows us one story and tells us another in an hilarious case of mistaken identity which will delight young readers.
Is modernity really failing? Or have we failed to appreciate progress and the ideals that make it possible? If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking into chaos, hatred and irrationality. Yet Pinker argues that this is an illusion – a symptom of historical amnesia and statistical fallacies. If you follow the trendlines rather than the headlines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer, happier, more peaceful, more stimulating and more prosperous – not just in the West, but worldwide. Such progress is no accident: it’s the gift of a coherent and inspiring value system that many of us embrace without even realising it. These are the values of the Enlightenment: of reason, science, humanism and progress. The leading thinker shows how we can use our faculties of reason and sympathy to solve the problems that inevitably come with being products of evolution in an indifferent universe. We will never have a perfect world, but – defying the chorus of fatalism and reaction – we can continue to make it a better one.
An hour of glorious grammar as the fabulously entertaining language and linguistics guru plays with two-minute lectures. A is for Alphabet – why this order? O may well be Oxford Comma, but it might be Original Pronunciation... (ellipsis). What would you like to hear him explain?