As the Vikings did not write their history, we have to discover it for ourselves. The historian and broadcaster examines the myths and truths about the Scandinavian adventurers and raiders who travelled the world to build a vast empire that lasted 200 years.
A fascinating account of an exemplary Parliamentary and political career from an insider committed to progressing gender equality. There’s a great quote about her in The Times: “Countless blows have tempered Harman into something fearless and indestructible”. She talks to the founder of the Everyday Sexism project.
The uncompromising and passionate rationalist calls on us to insist that reason take centre stage and that gut feelings, even when they don’t represent the stirred, dark waters of xenophobia, misogyny, or other blind prejudice, should stay out of the voting booth. He investigates a number of issues, including the importance of empirical evidence, and decries bad science, religion in the schools, and climate-change deniers. Dawkins has equal ardour for ‘the sacred truth of nature’ and renders with typical virtuosity the glories and complexities of the natural world. When so many highly placed people still question the fact of evolution, Dawkins asks what Darwin would make of his own legacy - 'a mixture of exhilaration and exasperation'– and celebrates science as possessing many of religion’s virtues – 'explanation, consolation, and uplift' – without its detriments of superstition and prejudice. Chaired by LBC's Matt Stadlen.
A sweeping, epic history of the Renaissance artists, seen through the lens of something that perhaps occupied their thoughts and influenced their art the most…sex. Taking Donatello’s provocative reinvention of the nude as his starting point, Jones shows how the story of the Renaissance is the story of a sexual revolution. Chaired by Clemency Burton-Hill.
A reading from two new collections. A Scritture Giovani fellow, Lewis introduces Other Harbours; Meredith reads from Air Histories, commissioned partly about the Black Mountains for the Woollen Lines project. Chaired by Simon Mundy.
The first ever biography of one of the most enduring and mysterious stars of the twentieth century shows a star adrift in a bewildering new America torn apart by the Civil Rights movement. Shunned by many of her former friends, shocked by her country’s insidious racism, and with a perilously fragile sense of her own identity.
Warpaint by Alicia Foster is a compelling tale of truth and lies, tragedy and black comedy, loosely based on the lives of four painters of the time. The Sea Change by Joanna Rossiter is a haunting and moving novel about a mother and a daughter, caught between a tsunami and a war. In Francesca Rhydderch’s The Rice Paper Diaries, four interweaving accounts relate the intimate havoc wrought by military conflict on individual lives. Chaired by Lisa Dwan.
Roger Bushell was ‘Big X’, mastermind of the mass breakout from Stalag Luft III in March 1944, immortalised in the Hollywood film The Great Escape. Through exclusive access to his private papers – as well as fascinating new research from other sources – journalist Pearson has now written the first biography of this iconic figure.
Wales’ inaugural National Poet Gwyneth Lewis’ latest memoir is Two in a Boat – A Marital Voyage. John Harrison is the author of the Wales Book of the Year winner Cloud Road – A Journey Through the Inca Heartland; he recently recovered from throat cancer. Chaired by New Welsh Review editor Gwen Davies.