Retail and brand communication guru Mary Portas discusses her recently released memoir, Shop Girl, and shares her memories of growing up in Watford in the 70s and her first steps into the world of retail at Harvey Nichols and Harrods in the early 80s.
Born into a large Irish family, Mary’s childhood is full of love, laughter, fun and mischief. However when Mary is 16 tragedy strikes and her world is blown apart. New responsibilities at home mean her ambitions to act are pushed to one side. But things play out unexpectedly: after vowing she doesn’t want to work in a shop for the rest of her life Mary takes to the camp and glamour of dressing displays in Harvey Nichols and Harrods like a duck to water, and Mary, Queen of Shops is born.
She talks to Gaby Wood, the Telegraph’s Head of Books.
Three of the best of the luckiest generation in history are still learning, still leading the way and still at the top of their game. They talk with Emma Soames.
The campaigning journalist argues for the mass restoration of damaged ecosystems, the reintroduction of wolves, lynx, beavers, moose and boar to Britain, and a life richer in adventure and surprise. Chaired by Horatio Clare.
Can delusional beliefs and distorted memories have redeeming features? Psychologists have consistently found that we are more optimistic than is warranted by the evidence. This form of ‘unrealistic optimism’ leads to mild distortions of reality but it has been shown to contribute to good mental health, motivation and productivity. Bortolotti is Professor of Philosophy at University of Birmingham.
Europe, the richest economic area in the world, faces unprecedented challenges: a protectionist US administration, Russian interventions, a Chinese leader who has defied succession planning, and the parliamentary success of the far-right in Germany, Italy and Austria. And then there’s Brexit. Something must be done. But what? And how? And by whom? The distinguished diplomat Gourdault-Montagne is now Secretary General of the French Foreign Ministry, Mountfield is a British QC, Schama is an historian. Chaired by the BBC’s Europe Editor.
Angie Sage, author of the internationally bestselling Septimus Heap series takes up the story of TodHunter Moon seven years on and so begins a magykal new adventure in Pathfinder. She is joined by the highly acclaimed Catherine Fisher, a Welsh writer and broadcaster whose latest book The Door in the Moon continues her Chronoptika Quartet, weaving science, myth and time travel. They are two of our best fantasy writers. Join them for a conversation about creating fantastical worlds, mixing good and bad magic and bringing superlative storytelling to lucky readers.
This year’s INSPIRE/ASLE-UKI Literature and Sustainability lecture is given by Richard Kerridge, nature writer, critic and author of Cold Blood. The lecture is followed by a discussion with the 2013 INSPIRE winners, Dr Jayne Archer and Prof Richard Marggraff Turley, and the chair of ASLE-UKI, Adeline Johns-Putra, chaired by the director of INSPIRE, Jane Davidson.
FREE BUT TICKETED
On 31 May 1922 the Hay solicitor was hanged, having been found guilty of murdering his wife with arsenic. To celebrate the republication of Martin Beales’ Dead Not Buried three QCs examine his conviction. You, the jury, will decide.
lThe former MI5 chief discusses The Geneva Trap, the latest of her Liz Carlyle spy novels, and the fictions and facts of espionage.