An exploration of C18th social networks looking at the Johnstone family, the Scottish siblings at the heart of her book The Inner Life Of Empires, and an interconnected group of French families in the first ‘age of information’. Rothschild is Professor of History and Economics at the University of Cambridge.
On an autumn day in 1686, 18-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. The novelist discusses her multi-award-winning debut novel.
Despite recent assertions to the contrary, the Professor of Legal and Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge argues that there can never be any moral justification for torture. Chaired by Philippe Sands, author of Torture Team.
Come and discover the secret world that lives in your garden, with RSPB Cymru. Grab a net and see what amazing creatures are hiding in the leaves and lurking underwater. Make a Bee and Bug B&B to take away, to give nature a home in your garden.
Photo: Eleanor Bentall
Vanessa Feltz will be presenting the Jeremy Vine Show live from Hay Festival. As well as reporting on the highlights of the festival she will be interviewing a leading author as part of the popular series What Makes Us Human.
Broadcast weekdays on BBC Radio 2.
In this drawing session participants will draw from a clothed model, exploring approaches to drawing the figure as well as clothes and costume. We will explore how dress and posture give character and help breathe life into our drawings. Students are encouraged to draw texture, pattern and weave, making inventive marks using colour. Models are actors and dancers and we refer to literature, poetry and opera.
Suitable for all ages and abilities
What do the Charlie Hebdo murders and the rise of the Islamic State owe to Islam? It would be comforting to insist, as many have done, that they owe nothing at all; but Holland, in the inaugural Christopher Hitchens Lecture, argues that the truth is more complex. The best way to combat jihadism, he proposes, is to recognise the centrality of Muhammad to Islam – and that he comes in many forms. There is the moral leader who swallowed abuse peaceably; and there is the war leader who ordered people who insulted him put to death. How best, then, to de-radicalise the Prophet? Tom Holland is author of In The Shadow of the Sword, Rubicon, Persian Fire, Millennium and the new translation of The Histories by Herodotus. Chaired by Katrin Bennhold of the New York Times.
The frontline photographer discusses her memoir of post-9/11 photo-journalism and shows her pictures. She travels with purpose and bravery, photographing the Afghan people before and after the Taliban reign, the civilian casualties and misunderstood insurgents of the Iraq War, as well as the burned villages and countless dead in Darfur. She exposes a culture of violence against women in the Congo and tells the riveting story of her headline-making kidnapping by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war.
Two international superstars read and discuss their stories with Daniel Hahn. Kehlman presents his new novel F: the Friedland brothers have nothing in common. Martin is a priest with no faith. Ivan is an artist with no integrity. Eric is a financier – now, with no money. Each, in their own way, a fake. Each about to step into the abyss. Nors introduces her glitteringly funny and acute stories of Danish life collected in Karate Chop / Minna Needs Rehearsal Space. Blending compassion with dark delight, Nors conjures up a flawed, unsettlingly familiar world with each cautionary glance as fresh moments of wonder, romance and frail beauty are unexpectedly infiltrated by depravity, isolation and despair.
This year’s lecture is given by the Nobel Prize-winning economist, author of The Idea of Justice and Identity and Violence – The Illusion of Destiny. Chaired by Nik Gowing.
It is 1948 and the young and beautiful Marguerite Carter has lost her parents and survived a terrifying war, working for the SOE behind enemy lines. She returns to England to be one of the first women to receive a degree from the University of Cambridge. Now she pins back her unruly auburn curls, draws a pencil seam up her legs, ties the laces on her sensible black shoes, and sets out towards her future as an English teacher in a girls’ grammar school. Outside the classroom Britain is changing fast, and Miss Carter finds herself caught up in social upheaval, swept in and out of love and forging deep, enduring friendships. The first novel from the actress and award-winning author of The Two of Us and Just Me.
What is the point of working so hard? What can replace the shortage of soulmates? What else can one do in a hotel? Zeldin, the author of Conversations and An Intimate History of Humanity, shows how our lives can be enriched by the realisation that it is only by truly relating to others that we get a taste, even just a nibble, of what it is possible to experience as a human being.
Memories are not only about the past; they also affect the future. Nicola and Clive, a scientist and a fine artist respectively, explore the complex relationships between memory and human experience. Join them for a fascinating discussion incorporating science, literature, magic and dance.