The story of the most important woman in Chinese history. Under the Empress’s rule, the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, telegraph, and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. It was she who abolished gruesome punishments like ‘death by a thousand cuts’ and put an end to foot-binding. She inaugurated women’s liberation, and embarked on the path to introducing parliamentary elections to China.
The Booker-winning comic master conjures his new novel Zoo Time, a book about love – love of women, love of literature, love of laughter.
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.
The Battle of Plataea in 479 BCE is one of world history’s unjustly neglected events. It decisively ended the threat of a Persian conquest of Greece. For the Spartans, the driving force behind the Greek victory, the battle was sweet vengeance for their defeat at Thermopylae the year before. Cartledge masterfully exposes the Athenian/Spartan rivalry that ‘rewrote the history books’.
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.
Hitler claimed in Mein Kampf that his years as a soldier in the First World War were the most formative years of his life. Weber looks at what really happened to Private Hitler and the men of the Bavarian List Regiment of which he was a member. It is a radical revision of the period of Hitler’s life that is said to have made him. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.
Everything But The Girl made nine albums and sold nine million records. One half of the band (with her husband Ben Watt), Thorn gives a wry look at the realities of a pop career. There are thrills and wonders to be experienced, yes, but also moments of doubt, mistakes, violent lifestyle changes from luxury to squalor and back again, sometimes within minutes. Also see event 67
The inside story of F Scott Fitzgerald’s New York of 1922 with its speakeasies, high society and organised crime that was the context for the creation of his great American novel.
José Manuel Caballero Bonald, Premio Cervantes 2012, speaks about all his literary work, poetry, fiction and essays with the poet Luis García Montero. Together they re-examine the latest great poetry work by the writer from Jerez Entreguerras and Oficio de lector (Seix Barral both), an essay on literatura.
Co-organized with Fundación Lara