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The Gene Genie

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Evolution

Hay Festival 1998, 
Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward present the arguments about evolution and genetics explored in Dawin's groundbreaking books, which include The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker and Climbing Mount Improbable.

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Llew Smith – Glad Tidings of Struggle and Strife

Winter Weekend 2012, 
Protest Christmas Cards, highlighting political and social turmoil, have been produced from the early days of the industrial revolution right up to the current coalition government and the Occupy movement. Former MP Llew Smith explores their history.

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Gavin Esler

United States of Anger

Hay Festival 1998, 
Americans are angry - about their politics, their economy, about race, about crime, abortion, and immigration. The BBC's chief North America correspondent analyses what has happened to the American Dream at the end of the century of the Superpower.

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Paul G Bahn

Images of the Ice Age

Hay Festival 2016, 

An illustrated lecture explores the earliest human art and what it tells us about our ancestors. Bahn looks at the famous cave paintings of Lascaux, Altamira, and Chauvet and the thousands of exquisite pieces of portable art in bone, antler, ivory, and stone produced in the same period. In 2003, Bahn led the team that discovered the first Ice Age cave art in England, at Creswell Crags in Nottinghamshire. Chaired by Daisy Leitch.

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David Almond

The Tale of Angelino Brown

Hay Festival 2017, 

The Carnegie Medal-winning author of Skellig discusses his new novel for younger readers. Illustrated by Claude creator Alex T Smith, Angelino Brown is the warm and witty tale of a little angel who appears in bus driver Bert’s top pocket and brings joy to everyone’s lives. But some people aren’t so sure, including big bully Basher Malone, who’s out to get him. Delightful storytelling, perfect for fans of the author’s international bestseller, The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas.

9+
David Almond

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Bill Laws

Herefordshire’s Home Front in the First World War

Hay Festival 2017, 

Herefordshire in 1913 was an old-fashioned shire under the benevolent rule of the Church and the gentry. Its bishop was opposed to war and his successor was opposed to women’s suffrage. Many of its farmers refused to plough on a Sunday: many more regarded women as being incapable of farm work. By 1919 the shire was in mourning for more than 4,000 men, had employed 4,000-plus women in munitions factories and another 2,500 on farms. It had deprived more children of a proper education than any other English county.

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Terry Pratchett

Hay Festival 1998, 
An interview with one of the most brilliantly imaginative novelists of contemporary literature.

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Ian McEwan

Preview Enduring Love

Hay Festival 1997, 
The novelist previews his novel Enduring Love. McEwan's books include Black Dogs, First Love Last Rites, The Innocent, A Child in Time, The Comfort of Strangers and The Cement Garden.

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Richard Bardgett

Earth Matters: How Soil Underlies Civilisation

Hay Festival 2016, 

For much of history, soil has played a central role in society. Farmers and gardeners worldwide nurture their soil to provide their plants with water, nutrients and protection from pests and diseases; major battles have been aborted or stalled by the condition of soil; murder trials have been solved with evidence from soil; and, for most of us, our ultimate fate is the soil. The Professor of Ecology at Manchester explores the role soil plays in our lives and in the bio-geochemical cycles that allow the planet to function effectively. He considers how better soil management could combat global issues such as climate change, food shortages and the extinction of species.

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André Aciman and Colm Tóibín

Homo Sapiens

Hay Festival 2018, 

A conversation with two masters of fiction: Tóibín, author of Brooklyn and House of Names and the American novelist André Aciman, author of Call Me by Your Name, the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. The film of the book has made the love story a modern classic.

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Heather Widdows

A Duty To Be Beautiful?

Hay Festival 2018, 

It’s not surprising that how we look matters in an increasingly visual and virtual world. Whether you get 'likes' or make a good first impression matters and the pressure to be perfect is something which young men and women increasingly feel. Indeed body dissatisfaction and anxiety are so prevalent that we regard them as normal. The extent of such anxiety is in part explained by recognising the ethical nature of the beauty ideal. Individuals increasingly judge themselves and others according to whether they measure up in the beauty stakes, and feel like failures if they do not. The University of Birmingham’s John Ferguson Professor of Global Ethics explores the ethical nature of the beauty ideal to make sense of why such feelings run so deep.

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Che Golden

Meadow Vale Ponies

Hay Festival 2015, 
Horse-mad author Che Golden is here to tell you all about the Meadow Vale ponies and how Mulberry is based on a very special pony, which she owns herself. Find out all about Che’s real life horse and pony adventures and how they inspired this series in a talk jam-packed with horsey facts and fun.
7+ years
Che Golden

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Sean Hughes, Tony Hawks

Hay Festival 2000, 
Both comedians have enjoyed considerable success with their books. Hughes follows The Detainees with another brutally funny and harrowing novel about a man called Shea who finds his father hanging from a light-fitting on Boxing Day and sets out to find what could possibly have cast so dark a cloud over his family's happy Blairite lives. Hawks' new travel story Playing the Maldovans at Tennis is the result of another dodgy wager with Arthur Smith. It's a comic masterpiee, now shortlisted for the first Everyman Wodehouse Award.

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Roger McGough

Everyday Eclipses

Hay Festival 2002, 
New poems with McGough's unique spin on innocence and experience: poems about his docker father and his new young daughter, dreams about how he gave the idea of Hey Jude to McCartney and told Dylan to go electric; about jugglers and human cannonballs, about sad music and 'everyday eclipses.'

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Christine L Corton

London Fog: The Biography

Hay Festival 2016, 

The classic London fogs, thick yellow pea-soupers, were born in the Industrial Age and remained a feature of cold, windless winter days until clean air legislation in the 1960s. Corton tells the story of the fogs, their dangers and beauty, and the lasting effects on our culture and imagination of these urban spectacles. Chaired by Oliver Balch.

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Blake Morrison talks to Claire Armitstead

Hay Festival 2007, 
The poet and memoirist discusses his big state-of-the-nation first novel South of the River with the Literary Editor of The Guardian.

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Germaine Greer

The Shakespeare Lecture

Hay Festival 1998, 
The new historricism is no longer new but does that meanit shouldbe thrown out? Does thinking about Shakespeare in his historic context help us or hinder us in understanding his plays as texts for today? So Juliet is fourteen, so what? So Cesario is a boy played by a girl played by a boy. So what?

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Bridget Kendall

The Cold War

Hay Festival 2018, 

The Cold War is one of the furthest-reaching and longest-lasting conflicts in modern history. It spanned the globe - from Greece to China, Hungary to Cuba - and lasted for almost half a century. It has shaped political relations to this day, drawing new physical and ideological boundaries between East and West, that have suddenly and dramatically resurfaced with Russian resurgence and interventions. Kendall was foreign correspondent for the BBC in Moscow during the collapse of the Soviet Union. Formerly the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, she is now Master of Peterhouse College, Cambridge.

Bridget Kendall

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Michele Roberts

Impossible Saints

Hay Festival 1997, 
WH Smith Literary Award Winner Michele Roberts tells of the forbidden pleasures and pains of the love between father and daughter in the life and death of Saint Josephine: Holy woman or whore? Upholder of pious or pagan delights? Lowly nun or powerful miracle worker? Or both? "Some of the most voluptuous language since Joyce.. so rich, so crammed with stories, imagination and visions" - The Daily Mail

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Mahmood Sariolghalam talks to Nik Gowing

Navigating Tensions of Life in Iran

Hay Festival 2016, 

Sariolghalam is Professor of International Relations at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University and is one of Iran’s best-selling authors. For 26 years he has taught and conducted research on contemporary history and Iran’s relations with the outside world. His acknowledged skill has been to find ways to navigate Iran’s red lines in public discourse, and to avoid being targeted for being outspoken in print. The political establishment not only tolerated his writings, it has also been influenced by them. And Iran’s next generation views them as having helped to frame the 2015 nuclear agreement and expectations for the future.

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Lila Azam Zanganeh y Juan Gabriel Vásquez en conversación con Valerie Miles

Cartagena 2013, 
Lila Azam Zanganeh (Irán/Francia) es autora de El encantador. Nabokov y la felicidad, un estudio muy personal de la obra del gran novelista desde el punto de vista de una lectora enamorada del escritor. Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Colombia), ganador del Premio Alfaguara de Novela con El ruido de las cosas al caer, es el autor de varios libros y ensayos. Ambos conversarán con Valerie Miles sobre el proceso creativo, la tradición del siglo XX y los cambios del siglo XXI y dónde se encuentran ellos y su generación; ambos escritores han vivido fuera de sus países de orígen mucho tiempo, lo cual ha influído en sus estilos y su conversación en la tradición.

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Lucy Delap

Cambridge Series 9: Men and Feminism

Hay Festival 2018, 

Can men respond to feminism? In the era of Trump, Weinstein, #metoo and #timesup, feminist anger has reached a crescendo, and it is not for the first time. Delap looks at past efforts by women to get men to listen, and attempts by men to reshape masculinity in 20th century Britain. Dr Delap is a lecturer in Modern British History.

Lucy Delap

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J. C. H. King talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

Blood and Land: The Story of Native North America

Hay Festival 2017, 

The distinguished anthropologist presents a dazzling, panoramic account of the history and achievements of Native North Americans and why they matter today. He suggests that no understanding of the wider world is possible without comprehending the original inhabitants of the United States and Canada: Native Americans, First Nations and Arctic peoples.

J. C. H. King talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

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Ilan Pappe talks to Peter Florence

The Biggest Prison on Earth

Hay Festival 2017, 

The Israeli historian presents his powerful and groundbreaking history of the Occupied Territories. He analyses legal and security structures, political positions and abortive peace attempts, and discusses the possibilities for reconciliation. His other books include The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and Ten Myths About Israel.

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Max Arthur

Churchill - The Life:  An Authorised Pictorial Biography

Winter Weekend 2015, 

Winston Spencer Churchill was never far from the world's attention. Acclaimed historian Max Arthur shares revealing photographs and stories from Churchill’s front-line experiences as a soldier and journalist in India, Sudan and Cuba, to the Boer War and World War I; through to his unparalleled political career and his ‘finest hour’, leading Britain during World War II. Chaired by Peter Florence.

Max Arthur