Examining writing about the human experience of warfare. Evison discusses her award-winning account of the impact of the death of her young lieutenant son Mark, who had been serving in Afghanistan. Day’s novel Home Fires is a fictional account of two generations of a family dealing with the reality of war and loss. Chaired by Peter Florence and Steve Corry.
It’s now ten years since the invasion of Iraq, and the UK Armed Forces have been fully engaged in a decade of war. What has been the mental health impact? If you listen to many media accounts you might conclude that nearly everyone who has served in Iraq or Afghanistan ends up in a psychiatric clinic, on the streets or in prison. But what are the facts? What do we know about the actual impact of deployment now, and what can we expect in the future?
The TLS history editor chairs this elite unit of award-winning war reporters and authors of new books – Zero Six Bravo, Maverick One and Under The Wire. In an age of mobile-phone footage, embedded journalists and instant disinformations, the values of deep research, personal experience and intelligent analysis are more essential than ever to lend authority and understanding to writing about war.
Squadron Leader Roger Bushell masterminded an attempt to smuggle hundreds of POWs down a tunnel built right under the noses of the guards of Stalag Luft III, a top-security prisoner-of-war camp for captured Allied airmen in Lower Silesia. Great movie. The truth is stranger and more wonderful. Chaired by Mark Skipworth.
Told through the stories of 23 cities – Europe’s capitals at the height of their global reach, the emerging metropolises of America, the imperial cities of Asia and Africa, the boomtowns of Australia and the Americas – the historian presents a panoramic view of a world crackling with possibilities, from St Petersburg to Shanghai and from Los Angeles to Jerusalem.
The remarkable untold story of a group of POWs who, through a shared love of birds, overcame hunger, hardship and boredom to bring purpose and dignity to their lives behind barbed wire. Under the gaze of Nazi guards, they founded a secret bird-watching society, and their legacy lives on in institutions such as the RSPB and the British Wildlife Trust.
Warpaint by Alicia Foster is a compelling tale of truth and lies, tragedy and black comedy, loosely based on the lives of four painters of the time. The Sea Change by Joanna Rossiter is a haunting and moving novel about a mother and a daughter, caught between a tsunami and a war. In Francesca Rhydderch’s The Rice Paper Diaries, four interweaving accounts relate the intimate havoc wrought by military conflict on individual lives. Chaired by Lisa Dwan.
Dimbleby describes the political and strategic realities that lay behind the battle of November 1942 which inspired one of Churchill’s most famous aphorisms – ‘This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning’.
The story of Europe’s constantly shifting geopolitics and the peculiar circumstances that have made it both so impossible to dominate, and also so dynamic and ferocious. It is the story of a group of highly competitive and mutually suspicious dynasties, but also of a continent uniquely prone to interference from ‘semi-detached’ elements, such as Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Britain and (just as centrally to Simms’ argument) the United States. chaired by Jonathan Derbyshire.
The historian looks at both D-Day itself and the wider 77-day campaign and challenges some of the many myths that have arisen. In the 70th anniversary year, he draws on the perspectives and experiences of those who were there, as well as the latest academic thinking and his practical knowledge of the battlefield and the equipment used.
The Battle of Plataea in 479 BCE is one of world history’s unjustly neglected events. It decisively ended the threat of a Persian conquest of Greece. For the Spartans, the driving force behind the Greek victory, the battle was sweet vengeance for their defeat at Thermopylae the year before. Cartledge masterfully exposes the Athenian/Spartan rivalry that ‘rewrote the history books’.
Re-examining the differing impacts of WWI on Britain, Ireland and the United States, The Long Shadow throws light on the whole of the last century and demonstrates that the First World War is a conflict from which Britain, more than any other nation, is still recovering.
Behind Daniel lie the mud, barbed-wire entanglements and terror of the trenches. Behind him is also the most intense relationship of his life. Set during and just after the First World War, The Lie is an enthralling, heart-wrenching novel of love, memory and devastating loss.