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Elizabeth Chapman

The LSE Lecture: 100 Years And Counting

Hay Festival 2013, 

In 2013 the collections of the Women’s Library move to join those at the Library of the London School of Economics to create a powerful resource for discovering the history of campaigning women. The Library Director explores some of the stories revealed in the collections. Chaired by Gaby Wood.

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Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig and guests

What Do We Want?

Hay Festival 2015, 

Eight hundred years after a gang of barons met in a tent by a river, which Rights do we want to fight for today? A fortnight after what looks like a rough old election, let’s dream about what a better world might look like and talk about how that might be achieved.

The festival President hosts this first in a Magna Carta series of twenty events at Hay Festival 2015, and is joined by international guests to discuss equalities.

Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig and guests

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Sinead Cusack, Rupert Evans and Jeremy Irons

The Josephine Hart Poetry Hour; The Poetry Of The Great War

Hay Festival 2013, 

Actors read Josephine’s programme featuring the work of Owen, Yeats, Sassoon and many others. Introduced by Francine Stock.

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Richard Wyn Jones and James Mitchell talk to Bethan Rhys Roberts

Scottish Independence: How Might it Affect Wales?

Hay Festival 2014, 

In light of the First Minister for Wales’s call for UK-wide constitutional conventions, how does the Scottish independence vote, whether yes or no, affect the people of Wales?

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Noel Fitzpatrick talks to Francine Stock

One Planet, One Medicine, One Love

Hay Festival 2016, 
Pioneering surgeon Professor Fitzpatrick, Channel 4’s The Supervet, founder of Fitzpatrick Referrals and founding partner of Surrey University’s new school of veterinary medicine, has a radical vision: Humans and animals share genetic, physiological, environmental and even emotional bonds. For a sustainable future should they not share medicine, too? What are the practical and moral implications of being a ‘Humanimal’?


Noel Fitzpatrick talks to Francine Stock

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Desmond Tutu

The Hamlin Lecture

Hay Festival 2009, 
‘Sometimes strident, often tender, never afraid and seldom without humour, Desmond Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless,’ – Nelson Mandela.

Raising money for African charities, our two local Cathedrals, and St Mary's Hay

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Yuval Noah Harari talks to Anita Anand

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Hay Festival 2015, 

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?

This event was recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books.

Yuval Noah Harari talks to Anita Anand

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Eric Hobsbawm and Niall Ferguson

After Versailles

Hay Festival 2009, 
The two historians discuss the Versailles Treaty of 1919 and its influence on the world today. Chaired by Philippe Sands.

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Carol Ann Duffy talks to Gillian Clarke

Hay Festival 2009, 
A conversation with the great poet.

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Peter Singer talks to Stephen Fry

Things That Matter

Hay Festival 2017, 

The Australian writer and thinker is often described as the world’s most influential living philosopher. He is known especially for his work on the ethics of our treatment of animals, for his controversial critique of the sanctity of life ethics in bioethics, and for his writing on the obligations of the affluent to aid those living in extreme poverty. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Most Good You Can Do, The Life You Can Save, Famine, Affluence and Morality, and most recently Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter. He talks to the Festival president.

Peter Singer talks to Stephen Fry

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Juan Gossaín and David Sánchez Juliao

Vallenato and Stories

Cartagena 2010, 
David Sánchez Juliao, many-time winner of the National Prize for Short Stories, and the writer and star journalist of RCN, Juan Gossaín, analyse the lyrics of the vallenato.

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Alain de Botton

Religion for Atheists

Hay Festival 2012, 
The essayist suggests that the supernatural claims of religions are entirely false, but that religions have much to teach the secular world.

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Brian Cox

The Royal Society Lecture 1: Wonders of the Universe

Hay Festival 2011, 
The laws of light, gravity, time, matter and energy that govern us here on Earth are the same as those applied throughout the Universe. Chaired by Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society.

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Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

Hay Festival 2015, 

Enter the magical mind of the bestselling author, whose recent books include the highly-acclaimed The Sleeper and the Spindle and Fortunately, the Milk. Find out where his genius ideas spring from and how he writes his books. From fairy tale twists to alien abductions over milk, there is a whole world to explore. He will be joined by Chris Riddell and his magical pens for some live drawing and book banter.

Please click here to prebook lunch at Relish Restaurant on site.

8+ years
Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

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Germaine Greer

Shakespeare’s Women

Hay Festival 2015, 

The inspiring and provocative writer and scholar talks about Juliet, Beatrice, Ophelia, Cleopatra, Ann Hathaway and the Dark Lady of the Sonnets with festival director Peter Florence.

Germaine Greer

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Hugh Dennis talks to Marcus Brigstocke

Britty Britty Bang Bang

Hay Festival 2013, 

The Now Show and Outnumbered star muses on a self-confident, pluralist Olympic Britain – a country where a major politician can dangle helplessly from a zip wire like a discarded straw dolly and gain in popularity, and whose Jubilee Queen can send herself up and then descend by parachute.

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Evan Harris, Joan Smith and Marcus Brigstocke vs Jo Glanville and Catherine Bennett

Press Regulation

Hay Festival 2014, 

In the light of what we know from part 1 of the Leveson Inquiry and from the trial of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, Hacked-Off campaigners debate the issue of how to regulate the press with the CEO of English PEN and the Observer columnist.

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Carl Bernstein

Hay Festival 2013, 

The legendary journalist who broke the Watergate story for The Washington Post discusses the second-term Obama administration, and the resonant American anniversaries of Gettysburg (150), the end of the Vietnam War (40) and JFK's assassination (50) with Peter Florence.

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Francesca Simon

Horrid Henry

Hay Festival 2014, 

Celebrate Horrid Henry’s 20th birthday with the bestselling author. Discover what led her to create everyone’s favourite naughty boy. Step into the world of Horrid Henry and relive 20 years of hilarious adventures with Horrid Henry’s Krazy Ketchup, the brand new Horrid Henry story. With a special appearance by Horrid Henry illustrator Tony Ross.

6+ years

Francesca Simon

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John Bishop talks to Dylan Jones

How Did All This Happen?

Hay Festival 2014, 

The late-onset superstar and stadium-rocking comedian discusses his extraordinarily happy memoir How Did All This Happen?

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John Niven talks to James Dean Bradfield

Merthyr Rock Presents: The Second Coming

Hay Festival 2011, 
JC is back, in NY and looking to reach the people through a TV talent contest. The satirist is in conversation with the Manic Street Preacher.

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Sarah Waters talks to Claire Armitstead

The Little Stranger

Hay Festival 2009, 
The author of Fingersmith, The Night Watch and Tipping The Velvet launches her mesmeric new novel.

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Paul Roberts

Life And Death In Pompeii And Herculaneum

Hay Festival 2013, 

An exploration of the lives of the ordinary people of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the two cities on the Bay of Naples that were buried by the catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The plaster-cast bodies of the victims are the most vivid and shocking reminders of the horrific event that made Pompeii famous, but who were these men, women and children so cruelly frozen in time?

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Carrie Fisher talks to William Sieghart

Metaphors Be With You All

Hay Festival 2014, 

A conversation about the star’s novels and her film career, from Warren Beatty and Star Wars to her current status as one of the most admired and sought-after screenwriters in Hollywood. Fisher wrote Postcards from the Edge.

Carrie Fisher talks to William Sieghart

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David Tickner, Homero Aridjis, Lyla Mehta and Daniela Schmidt

Water – The Basics of Life

Hay Festival 2009, 
How will climate change affect biodiversity and the way we manage freshwater supplies and the oceans as a resource? David Tickner, Head of WWF’s Freshwater Programme, Homero Aridjis, poet, Head of the Group of 100 and Mexico's Ambassador to UNESCO, Lyla Mehta of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, and Daniela Schmidt, Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Bristol.