Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature, and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land, nature and weather. The author of The Old Ways, Mountains of the Mind and The Wild Places shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it.
The sexual abuse of children by adult men is a global problem. It appears to happen in every sector of society and the exposure of paedophile rings is a daily news story. But why does it happen at all? Batmanghelidjh runs Kids Company, Kennedy is a human rights lawyer, Berelowitz is Chair, national inquiry into child sexual abuse linked to the family.
We explore AI’s history, technology and potential; its manifestations in intelligent machines; its connections to neurology and consciousness, as well as – perhaps most tellingly – what AI reveals about us as human beings. Zarkadakis is the author of In Our Own Image: Will Artificial Intelligence Save or Destroy Us?
We know that, as individuals, we often 'miswant' – that is, want things that will not improve our wellbeing. How can we miswant as citizens, policymakers, or societies? How might some of the 'good' desires also have a darker side to them? Desires around hope, choice, and achievement, for example, can all make things worse as well as better. Dolan is a Professor of Behavioural Science at LSE. Tharoor is an Indian MP with over 1 million constituents in Thiruvananthapuram, and 3 million Twitter followers.
Do we need a First Amendment? What’s the best we can argue for in terms of independence, regulation, ownership, and authority? Bell is a member of the Scott Trust and Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism; Sambrook was Director of the BBC World Service and now runs Cardiff School of Journalism. Tony Phillips is Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, World Service. Chaired by Jon Snow.
We have a lifetime’s association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. The doctor takes us on a journey through health and illness, offering insights on everything from the ribbed surface of the brain to the secret workings of the heart and the womb; from the pulse of life at the wrist to the unique engineering of the foot. If the body is a foreign country, then to practise medicine is to explore new territory: the explorer and author of Empire Antarctica leads the reader on an adventure through what it means to be human.
'As much as anything, World War I turned on the fate of Ukraine...' The decision to go to war in 1914 had catastrophic consequences for Russia. The result was revolution, civil war and famine in 1917–20, followed by decades of Communist rule. Dominic Lieven explains why this suicidal decision was made and explores the world of the men who made it. But by looking at the origins and results of the First World War from a mostly Russian angle he also offers a radically different view of why Europe descended into disaster, overturning assumptions about the war's causes and consequences in a way that still has major implications for world history down to the present day. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.
Pioneering fashion designer Orsola de Castro and co-founder of Fashion Revolution Day, discusses the future of sustainability in fashion with Margareta van den Bosch, H&M’s former design director and now creative advisor, Jessica Bumpus from Vogue and Catarina Midby, H&M's Sustainable Fashion Advisor. They talk to Dilys Williams, Director of the London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion. The panel will also offer their insights on the final garments created by 12 students from H&M’s Garment Recycling Programme after a week-long workshop with leading designers. The workshops will have encouraged students to use and consider sustainable sourcing and techniques in the production of their garments as well as ensuring the finished product is beautifully designed and presented.
Author Michael Morpurgo is joined by actress Alison Reid, violinist Daniel Pioro and The Storyteller’s Ensemble (a quartet of strings). Together they interweave words and music, to tell his haunting tale of survival against the odds, set against the background of the Holocaust. Adapted and directed by Simon Reade.
‘It is difficult for us to imagine how dreadful was the suffering that went on in the Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War. The enormity of the crime that the Nazis committed is just too overwhelming for us to comprehend. In their attempt to wipe out an entire race they caused the death of six million people, most of them Jews. It is when you hear the stories of the individuals who lived through it – Anne Frank, Primo Levi – that you can begin to understand the horror just a little better, and to understand the evil that caused it.
‘For me, the most haunting image does not come from literature or film, but from music. I learned some time ago that in many of the camps the Nazis selected Jewish prisoners and forced them to play in orchestras; for the musicians it was simply a way to survive. In order to calm the new arrivals at the camps, they were made to serenade them as they were lined up and marched off, many to the gas chambers. Often they played Mozart.
‘I wondered how it must have been for a musician who played in such hellish circumstances, who adored Mozart as I do – what thoughts came when playing Mozart later in life? This was the genesis of my story, this and the sight of a small boy in a square by the Accademia Bridge in Venice, sitting one night, in his pyjamas on his tricycle, listening to a busker. He sat totally enthralled by the music that seemed to him, and to me, to be heavenly.’ Michael Morpurgo.
Is equality law working to deliver equality for women? If not, what’s it going to take? Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism project. Nimko Ali is a social activist, an FGM survivor and campaigner, co-founder of Daughters of Eve. Journalist and writer Sonia Faleiro is the author of Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay's Dance Bars and 13 Men.
What would you sacrifice for the sake of the one you love? The Forbidden Door tells passionate, funny and hauntingly interwoven stories. Twisting human nature’s need to disobey the rules into beautiful tales of love and loss, this is storytelling for adults; there are no big eyes or nursery rhymes. Expect impossible quests, heart-stopping twists, love, loss, high drama, low comedy and pure moments of total abandonment from the real world. The Devil’s Violin is Daniel Morden – story, Oliver Wilson-Dickson – violin, Sarah Moody – cello, and Dylan Fowler – guitar.
The riveting follow-up to her Bedsit Disco Queen. Part memoir, part wide-ranging exploration of the art, mechanics and spellbinding power of singing, Naked at the Albert Hall takes in Dusty Springfield, Dennis Potter and George Eliot; Auto-tune, the microphone and stage presence; The Streets and The X Factor. Including interviews with fellow artists and portraits of singers in fiction as well as Tracey’s real-life experiences, it offers a unique, witty and sharply observed insider’s perspective on the exhilarating joy and occasional heartache of singing.
A performed reading of the play about Wilfred Owen, who died in action on 4 November 1918 having written some of the greatest war poetry in the English language. The play is edited from Owen’s poems and letters and tells his story from the outbreak of war when he was teaching in provincial France. Owen joins up and is drafted straight into the realities of trench warfare on the frontline; he is invalided back to hospital in Edinburgh where he meets Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon before returning to his men in France, where he wins the Military Cross. Owen’s writing was savagely critical of church and state, and hugely compassionate towards the soldiers sacrificing their lives: ‘All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the poet must be truthful.’
On a moonlit night in April 1944 a small band of fearless partisans, led by the British SOE agent Patrick Leigh Fermor, kidnapped a high-ranking Nazi general on the German-occupied island of Crete. Stroud is the author of The Phantom Army of Alamein: The Men Who Hoodwinked Rommel and The Book of the Moon. Chaired by Con Coughlin.
Keyes’ stunning new novel The Woman Who Stole My Life is about losing the life you had and finding a better one. Her international bestselling novels include Rachel’s Holiday, Last Chance Saloon, Sushi for Beginners, Angels, The Other Side of the Story, Anybody Out There, This Charming Man, The Brightest Star in the Sky and The Mystery of Mercy Close. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.
William Nicholson’s new novel, The Lovers of Amherst, interweaves the stories of a young, contemporary researcher into the life and work of the reclusive American poet, Emily Dickinson, with that of the poet’s milieu during a turbulent period in the 1880s. The story from the past revolves around an illicit love affair conducted by Emily Dickinson’s married brother, in which the poet colluded. The theme stems from William Nicholson’s long-standing fascination with Emily Dickinson’s work as well as his interest in the wellsprings and consequences of erotic passion. Nicholson’s plays include Shadowlands and Life Story. He co-wrote the script for the film Gladiator and he has scripted Les Misérables and Mandela. Emily Dickinson’s poetry will be read by actress Lisa Dwan.