The gardening historian and travel writer embarks on extraordinary journeys through Italy, exploring the curious past and present of citrus fruit, uncovering the origins of the Mafia among Sicily’s lemon groves and meeting Orthodox Jewish citron merchants in Calabria.
Did Britain stumble blindly into two world wars? The war historian compares preparations for both conflicts and argues that the lessons learned from the First were crucial to survival in the Second.
Food security and housing an expanding nation should be priorities for Britain. Both are being thwarted by record land prices. In the past 10 years, farmland value has risen by almost 200 per cent - with feeding the population secondary to speculators buying up thousands of acres to avoid tax. If planning permission is given for new housing, prices may rise 50-fold - making home ownership a distant dream for many. Journalist Peter Hetherington argues that Britain needs much stronger action by the government. Chaired by Andy Fryers.
Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth is an idiosyncratic journey in the company of Gustavo ‘Highway’ Sanchez, an eccentric auctioneer on a mission to replace all his teeth. Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another (in this case Mexico to the United States), especially when there’s no going back. Busquets’ This Too Shall Pass is a lively, sexy and moving novel about a woman facing life in her forties, set on the idyllic Spanish coast.
Why is the current monetary system broken and how can it be fixed? At the heart of the ongoing economic crisis is the fact that governments across the world have given the power to create money to the private corporations that we know as banks. It doesn’t need to be this way – the founder and director of Positive Money explains.
The economic crisis offers an opportunity for capitalism to re-imagine itself again, to maximise efficiency, entrepreneurship and new sectors for growth. Chaired by Jesse Norman.
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.
Our panel examine the ethics and legalities of assisted dying and ask – who makes the final decision?
The newly-conserved Roskilde 6 ship from Denmark measures over 37 metres. It is the longest Viking ship ever discovered and forms the core of the British Museum exhibition Vikings: Life and Legend. The Vikings used their shipbuilding skills to command the sea; their famous ships permitted the exploration, the colonisation and the raids with which they built their wealth. The curator explores the evolution of their sea-going vessels and celebrates this outstanding feature of the Viking Age.
Join Blue Peter and Book Trust to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Blue Peter Book Awards. CBBC presenter and former Awards judge Katie Thistleton will host this special event, with appearances from this year’s winners Pamela Butchart and Thomas Flintham (The Spy Who Loved School Dinners) and Andy Seed (The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff).
Not for broadcast.
The Pike: Gabriele D’Annunzio, Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War
The biographer talks about her riveting, genre-breaking and multi-award-winning portrait of the Italian poet, fascist and utopian. Introduced by Stuart Proffitt.
Join Jacqueline Wilson as she introduces her new book, set in the Second World War. She will also discuss how she started her writing career and created some of her best-loved characters including Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather.
There will be no book signing after this event but printed bookplates with Jacqueline’s signature will be available with every book bought in the Festival Bookshop.
The particle physicist explores the science and the history of the elusive void: from Aristotle, who insisted that the vacuum was impossible, via the theories of Newton and Einstein, to our very latest discoveries and why they can tell us extraordinary things about the cosmos.