In August 1814 the United States’ army is defeated in battle by an invading force just outside Washington DC. The US president and his wife have just enough time to pack their belongings and escape from the White House before the enemy enters. The invaders tuck into the dinner they find still sitting on the dining-room table and then set fire to the place.
Mark will probably but not necessarily be talking about some or all of these things: giant tortoises, nuclear war, bats, glaciers, Benjamin Britten and the naming of craters on the moon.
WINNER OF THE 2015 BOLLINGER EVERYMAN WODEHOUSE PRIZE FOR COMIC FICTION
A conversation with the prolific master storyteller whose latest books are the comic masterpiece Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party, The Novel Habits of Happiness in his Isabel Dalhousie series, the 15th Ladies No.1 Detective Agency book The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Café and the gorgeously romantic The Forever Girl.
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.
This year’s Hay Festival International Fellow spent the last year as Artist in Residence with the WRU and has produced this astonishing book about sport, about myth, about nationhood and identity. He is joined by the rugby columnist, author of Wales Play In Red. Chaired by Jasper Rees, author of Bred Of Heaven.
In this first of Hay Festival's 2014 sessions celebrating the 450th birthday of the playwright, the Renaissance scholar explores Shakespeare’s relationship with the Islamic world in the history plays and in his tragedies.
How do we measure how we’re doing, economically and demographically? What are the ‘facts’ about migration and the tax base, National Debt, growth, borrowing and GDP and how should they be interpreted? The Chief Economist and the Director of Population Statistics at the Office of National Statistics give us the un-spun skinny on what the numbers mean and where the truth lies… Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
Paris at the time of the French Revolution was the world capital of science. Its scholars laid the foundations of today’s physics, chemistry and biology. They were true revolutionaries, agents of an upheaval both of understanding and of politics. The Eiffel Tower, built to celebrate the Revolution’s centennial, saw the world’s first wind tunnel, first radio message and first observation of cosmic rays. Perhaps the greatest Revolutionary scientist of all, Antoine Lavoisier founded modern chemistry and physiology, transformed French farming, and hugely improved the manufacture of gunpowder. His political activities brought him a fortune, but in the end led to his execution. The judge who sentenced him claimed that “the Revolution has no need for geniuses”. Chaired by Dan Davis.