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Dave Rudden

Knights of the Borrowed Dark

Hay Festival 2016, 

This debut author’s thrilling series kicks off in style as orphan Denizen Hardwick is snatched from his orphanage to fulfil his amazing destiny. Hear about the ancient order of knights who control the terrifying creatures that can grow in the dark in a world where nothing can be taken for granted.

10+

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John Crace and John Sutherland

A Brontësaurus

Hay Festival 2016, 

To celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte’s birth, the two Johnnies reread the best books by the sisters from Haworth: Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, Emily’s Wuthering Heights and Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

John Crace and John Sutherland

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Robert Colvile

The Great Acceleration

Hay Festival 2016, 

The journalist explains how the cult of disruption in Silicon Valley, the ceaseless advance of technology, and our own fundamental appetite for novelty and convenience have combined to speed up every aspect of daily life. He explains how this is transforming the media, politics, farming and the financial markets, and asks whether our bodies and the natural environment can cope. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.

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Vince Cable talks to Bronwen Maddox

After the Storm

Hay Festival 2016, 

In a robust Q&A, the Liberal Democrat who served as business secretary in the coalition government from 2010-2015 considers the state of the global economy in the aftermath of the 2008 crash.

Vince Cable talks to Bronwen Maddox

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Ulinka Rublack

The Astronomer and the Witch: Johannes Kepler’s Fight for his Mother

Hay Festival 2016, 

Kepler is one of history’s most admired astronomers, who famously discovered that planets move in ellipses and defined the three laws of planetary motion. In 1615, at the height of his career, his widowed mother Katharina was accused of witchcraft; the proceedings led to a criminal trial that lasted six years. Kepler conducted his mother’s defence. The trial and the arguments advanced give a revealing picture of Europe on the cusp between the Reformation and the scientific revolution that was to follow.

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Nick Sharratt Draw-Along

Vikings in the Supermarket

Hay Festival 2016, 

Join the much-loved illustrator as he sets loose six Vikings in a rollicking, rhyming adventure. Pencils and paper will be provided for the whole family so that you can draw along with Nick. Look out for a tartan-patterened cat, a naughty vampire bat and a clever mermaid.

3+

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Gillian Clarke with Peter Florence

Talking About Shakespeare: Of Lear and Language and Poetry

Hay Festival 2016, 

The great poet discusses her experience of Shakespeare and her long relationship with Lyr, the subject of her masterpiece full-length poem The King of Britain’s Daughter. That poem itself was commissioned by the festival as an exploration of the words and ideas she began to play with in the 1989 Poetry Squantum, held upstairs in the back bar of the British Legion club in Hay.

Gillian Clarke with Peter Florence

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David Crystal

The Gift of the Gab: How Eloquence Works

Hay Festival 2016, 

To launch his delightful and life-changing book on oracy and eloquence, the linguistics professor reveals the tricks of the trade about how to make a speech that’ll wow a wedding, ace an interview or rouse an army. Along the way he analyses Barack Obama’s rhetorically near-perfect Yes We Can speech, and shows how a command of language and delivery can win hearts and minds.

David Crystal

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Tristan Gooley

How To Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns from Puddles to the Sea

Hay Festival 2016, 

From wild swimming in Sussex to way-finding off Oman via the icy mysteries of the Arctic, Gooley draws on his own pioneering journeys to reveal the secrets of ponds, puddles, rivers and oceans. He shows us the skills we need to read the water around us. Gooley is the author of The Natural Navigator and The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs. Chaired by Laura Powell, Features Commissioning Editor at the Daily Telegraph and author of The Unforgotten.

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John Guy

Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years

Hay Festival 2016, 

History has pictured Elizabeth I as Gloriana, an icon of strength and power. But the reality, especially during her later years, was not as simple. In 1583 Elizabeth is 50 and beyond childbearing age, but her greatest challenges are still to come: the Spanish Armada; the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots; and relentless plotting among her courtiers. The pre-eminent Tudor historian presents a gripping and vivid portrait of Elizabeth’s life and times –often told in her own words (“You know I am no morning woman”) and reveals a monarch who is fallible, increasingly insecure and struggling to lead Britain. The London theatre, however, was thriving.

John Guy

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Ruth Dudley Edwards talks to Rosie Goldsmith

The Seven

Hay Festival 2016, 

On Easter Sunday, 23 April 1916, the Irish Republican Brotherhood’s military council put their names to the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, declaring they were the provisional government of an Ireland free from British rule. In effect, each man had knowingly signed his own death warrant. Since then, the seven have been eulogised and used as political weapons by many. To challenge the morality of the Rising was to be denounced as unpatriotic, even un-Irish. One hundred years on, however, there is an increasing recognition within Ireland that it’s time for the founding fathers to come under proper scrutiny.

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Tom Holland

Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar

Hay Festival 2016, 

Rome was first ruled by kings, then became a republic. But in the end, after conquering the world, the republic collapsed. So terrible were the civil wars that the Roman people finally came to welcome the rule of an autocrat who could give them peace. Augustus, their new master, called himself “the divinely favoured one”. The lurid glamour of the dynasty founded by Augustus has never faded. No other family can compare for sheer unsettling fascination with its gallery of leading characters. Tiberius, the great general who ended up a bitter recluse, notorious for his perversions; Caligula, the master of cruelty and humiliation who rode his chariot across the sea; Agrippina, mother of Nero, manoeuvring to bring to power the son who would end up having her murdered; Nero himself, racing in the Olympics, marrying a eunuch, and building a pleasure palace over the fire-gutted centre of his capital.

Tom Holland

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Roger Bootle, Liam Fox, Nick Herbert, Allison Pearson, Roland Rudd and Alan Johnson

The Telegraph Debate: Does Britain Need the EU?

Hay Festival 2016, 

Three weeks before the 23 June referendum, a panel of politicians, business leaders and journalists weigh up the pros and cons of membership of the EU.

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Imtiaz Dharker and Gillian Clarke

Poetry Reading: On Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Hay Festival 2016, 

An all-star line-up of British poets respond with their own poems to their choice of Shakespeare’s 14-line poems. They introduce and read the original sonnets and their own newly commissioned work.

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Gary Gerstle talks to Bronwen Maddox

Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government

Hay Festival 2016, 

On the one hand, Americans don’t want ‘big government’ meddling in their lives; on the other, they have repeatedly enlisted governmental help to impose their views regarding marriage, abortion, religion and schooling on their neighbours. These contradictory stances on the role of public power have paralysed policymaking and generated rancorous disputes about government’s legitimate scope. How did America reach this political impasse? And what happens now? Gerstle is Paul Mellon Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge.

Gary Gerstle talks to Bronwen Maddox

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Jay Griffiths talks to Rosie Boycott

Tristimania: A Diary of Manic Depression

Hay Festival 2016, 

A raw and poetic account of a mind lost in madness, and how the author found her way back from the wilderness. In 2013, while completing work on her book Kith, Jay suffered a devastating, year-long episode of hypomania. She gives a lyrical and painfully honest account of that year. Lost in the depths of her illness, she eventually decided to walk the Camino de Santiago. Undertaking this ancient pilgrimage in her fragile condition against medical advice, she was determined to find a cure for her torment. Jay is the 2015-2016 Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol – Gwyl y Gelli/Creative Wales International Hay Festival International Fellow.

Jay Griffiths talks to Rosie Boycott

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Peter Parker

The Housman Lecture: The Name and Nature of Poetry

Hay Festival 2016, 

This year’s lecture is given by the distinguished biographer and critic, author of Housman Country: Into The Heart of England, The Old Lie: The Great War and the Public-School Ethos and biographies of J.R. Ackerley and Christopher Isherwood.

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Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

A Foot in the River: Why Our Lives Change – and the Limits of Evolution

Hay Festival 2016, 

Like other species, we have a culture. But compared with other species, we are strangely unstable: human cultures self-transform, diverge, and multiply at bewildering speed. They vary, radically and rapidly, from time to time and place to place. And the way we live – our manners, morals, habits, experiences, relationships, technology, values – seems to be changing at an ever-accelerating pace. Ultimately, no environmental conditions, no genetic legacy, no predictable patterns, no scientific laws determine our behaviour. We can imagine and re-imagine our world at will. The historian’s award-winning books include Civilizations; Millennium; 1492: The Year Our World Began, and Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration.

Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

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Anthony Lester talks to Martine Croxall

Five Ideas to Fight For: How Our Freedom is Under Threat and Why it Matters

Hay Festival 2016, 

Human Rights, Equality, Free Speech, Privacy and the Rule of Law: the battle to establish these five ideas in law was long and difficult, and Anthony Lester was at the heart of the 30-year campaign that resulted in the Human Rights Act, as well as the struggle for race and gender equality that culminated in the Equality Act of 2010. Today our society is at risk of becoming less equal. From Snowden’s revelations about our own intelligence agencies spying on us, to the treatment of British Muslims, our civil liberties are under threat as never before. The internet leaves our privacy at risk in myriad ways; our efforts to combat extremism curtail free speech; and cuts to legal aid and interference with access to justice endangers the rule of law.

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Alison Weir

Katherine of Aragon

Hay Festival 2016, 

The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon. Was her union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy Royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts, and the allure of an ambitious woman? The best-selling popular historian and novelist evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment.

Alison Weir

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Jo Marchant

Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind over Body

Hay Festival 2016, 

The field of mind-body medicine is plagued by wild claims that mislead patients and instil false hope. But scientists in a range of fields are uncovering solid evidence that our minds influence our bodies far more profoundly than previously thought. The award-winning science journalist delves deep into the latest research and asks: are those who turn to alternative medicine deluded, or are they on to something? Can our thoughts, beliefs and emotions influence our physical health? Can we train our brains to heal our bodies?

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Joanne Harris, Cristina Fuentes, Nazma Kabir, Claire Cohen

Because I am a Girl

Hay Festival 2016, 

Global children’s charity Plan UK introduces Because I am a Girl, the world’s biggest campaign for girls’ rights. With education, skills and the right support, girls in the developing world can make choices over their future and be a force for creating lasting change. Joanne Harris, author of the Rune fantasy series and the bestselling Chocolat trilogy, shares her personal stories as an inspiration for other women and girls worldwide to be able to fulfil their aspirations. She is joined by Plan UK’s Director of Programmes, Nazma Kabir, and Cristina Fuentes, International Director of Hay Festivals, who will talk about our work with Plan in Colombia.  Chaired by Claire Cohen, Deputy Women's Editor for Telegraph Wonder Women.

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Colin Tudge talks to Andy Fryers

Six Steps Back to the Land

Hay Festival 2016, 

Tudge coined the expression ‘enlightened agriculture’ to describe agriculture that is expressly designed to provide everyone everywhere with food of the highest standard, nutritionally and gastronomically, without wrecking the rest of the world. He explains how we can achieve that, with truly sustainable, resilient and productive farms.

Colin Tudge talks to Andy Fryers

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Jane Mayer talks to Philippe Sands

Dark Money

Hay Festival 2016, 

The award-winning New Yorker journalist forensically exposes the billionaire Koch brothers’ funding of interest groups, think-tanks and candidate campaigns to manipulate American politics towards their own extreme libertarian interests. She examines the impact on the 2016 US elections and reveals what influence the network has on politics in the UK and Europe.

Jane Mayer talks to Philippe Sands

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Simone Cuff

The Ecosystem Inside: Your Body and its Tiny Citizens - Cardiff University Series

Hay Festival 2016, 

Most people think they are human; this is only partly correct. You have within you more cells that are not human than those that are: from bacteria that help you digest your food, to fungi that help keep your skin healthy and mites that live in your eyebrows. You are in fact a whole world. What are the latest ideas on how interactions between you and your tiny citizens affect your health? How do bacteria affect allergies? Is there any point in eating live yogurt? Cuff is based at the Institute of Molecular and Experimental Medicine.

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