The Norwegian writer’s six-volume autobiographical novel My Struggle is one of the great masterpieces of contemporary literature. He discusses volume 3, Boyhood Island. ‘It’s unbelievable. I need the next volume like crack. It’s completely blown my mind.’ – Zadie Smith. He is the winner of the 2014 Hay Festival Medal for Prose.
Just because you can say funny things doesn’t mean you can write funny things. Three of the best comedy writers spill the beans on what makes a good script. The writers Will Smith (The Thick of It and Veep) and Steve Punt (The Now Show, The Mary Whitehouse Experience) talk to Marcus Brigstocke.
Sister to Anne Boleyn and seduced by two kings, Mary Boleyn has long been the subject of scandal and myth. Her affair with Henry VIII fuelled the shocking annulment of his marriage to Anne, and Mary is rumoured to have borne his child in secret. Chaired by SJ Parris.
The independent discovery of evolution by natural selection by Darwin and Wallace is one of the most famous episodes in the history of science. Wallace’s story has been told many times in recent years, but almost always by amateurs rather than historians. Alarmingly, almost everything you have heard about Wallace is wrong. The image of a cheated working-class hero whitewashed from history by the patrician Darwin and his establishment supporters may be irresistible, but it is also pure myth.