The stepping stone between Europe and Africa, the gateway between the East and the West, at once a stronghold, clearing-house and observation post, Sicily has been invaded and fought over by Phoenicians and Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, Goths and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Germans, Spaniards and the French for thousands of years. It has belonged to them all – and yet has properly been part of none. John Julius Norwich was inspired to become a writer by his first visit in 1961 and this study is the result of a fascination that has lasted over half a century. In tracing its dark story, he attempts to explain the enigma that lies at the heart of the Mediterranean’s largest island.
Emma Bridgewater’s patterns are as quintessentially British as marmalade on toast – and they have made her distinctive homewares best-sellers across the world. Her inspiration is often deeply personal – a plate of belonging to her mother’s, a favourite children’s book – and as she tells the stories of each pattern’s creation, she reveals the intricate processes of research and collaboration behind the familiar designs she has stamped on our kitchenware – and our hearts – for the past 30 years. Chaired by Kitty Corrigan.
Are governments trying to 'get us out of our cars'? Is better public transport the solution to congestion in cities? Does Britain have a shortage of family housing and what has that got to do with transport? This book dispels myths and presents a sustainable vision for the future. Steve Melia from the University of the West of England talks to the Hay on Earth Director.
The true story of a lethal spy triangle with three men at its centre – a brilliant, ruthless, British secret agent called Roger Landes; the Gestapo counter-espionage officer Friedrich Dohse, who was charged with finding him; and French Resistance leader André Grandclément, who was responsible for the most controversial betrayal that took place in wartime France. From 1942 until 1944 these three enemies were drawn into a lethal dance in which comrades, Allied agents and downed pilots were sold to the Germans as casually as crates of wine. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
Time-travelling adventures and evil plots abound with Damian Dibben’s The History Keepers – a secret society that travels through the centuries to prevent history being changed.
They say she has been banned in Bognor and censored in Solihull. Here to hellraise in Hay for one day only, the creator of the world-conquering Georgia Nicholson and Tallulah books and Queen of Comedy – Louise Rennison – will give you a sneak preview of The Taming of the Tights.
Duration 60 mins.
The acclaimed novelist of the Italian Renaissance takes on the era’s most infamous family – the Borgias.
China’s Unfinished Revolution – the challenges that confront the looming superpower after its leadership transition. Chaired by Nik Gowing.
The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon. Was her union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy Royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts, and the allure of an ambitious woman? The best-selling popular historian and novelist evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment.
When the winter floods receded, they left behind a changed political landscape: one in which we began at last to discuss the treatment of the land and how that affects us. In Feral Monbiot explored the destruction of the uplands and the astonishing, restorative potential of rewilding. Now he extends that analysis, explaining how disastrous agricultural policies strip the soil and exacerbate flooding, and arguing that they can be reversed.
The high-energy duo are back to share their comic book genius. Discover all the secrets you need to create your own adventures in words and pictures.