Welcome to our Early Bird programme. The full programme will be released at the end of March.
A message from the Finnish embassy launches Horatio Clare on a voyage around an extraordinary country and an unearthly place, the frozen Bay of Bothnia, just short of the Arctic Circle. Finland is an enigmatic place, famous for its educational miracle, healthcare and gender equality – as well as Nokia, Angry Birds, saunas, questionable cuisine and deep taciturnity. Aboard the icebreaker Otso Clare gets to know the crew, and explores Finland’s history and character. His most recent books include Down to the Sea in Ships and Myths and Legends of the Brecon Beacons. Chaired by Peter Florence.
Webb has been a male for his whole life. As such, he has been a boy in a world of fighting, pointless posturing, and the insistence that he stop crying. As an adult man, he has enjoyed better luck, both in his work as the Webb half of Mitchell & Webb as an acclaimed actor and comedian, and as author of this part memoir, part call to arms.
The never-before-told story of radical suffragette Kitty Marion. The historian Fern Riddell finds a hidden diary and uses Kitty's own words to tell the story of her sensational life and explosive actions. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.
On the morning of 6 October 1536, a frail scholar was taken from a dungeon in the castle at Vilvoorde, just north of Brussels. Armed guards kept the crowds at bay as he was led through the streets of the small town. He was to be burned. He was allowed a few moments of prayer. As a priest, prayer had been the keystone of his faith. After the brief pause, he walked up the steps to be tied to the cross. As he waited for the flames, he called out, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!” This was Willi Tyndale, the man whose translation of the New Testament and much of the Old Testament was to bring about more profound changes to the English-speaking world over the next five centuries than the works of any other man in its history.
Worldwide survival inspiration, best selling author and Chief Scout Bear Grylls talks to the editor of GQ magazine about a lifetime of adventure.
Where are you really from? You’re British. Your parents are British. You were raised in Britain. Your partner, your children and most of your friends are British. So why do people keep asking you where you are from? Brit(ish) is about a search for identity. It is about the everyday racism that plagues British society. It is about our awkward, troubled relationship with our history. It is about why liberal attempts to be ‘colour-blind’ have caused more problems than they have solved. It is about why we continue to avoid talking about race.
Ansell is Dean of Liberal Arts at Emerson College, and author of New Right, New Racism: Race and Reaction in the United States and Britain.
A searing modern polemic on race in the UK, from the MOBO award-winning poet, musician and outspoken political commentator, founder of The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company. In his memoir Natives he speaks directly to British denial and squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race and class that are at the heart of the legacy of Britain’s racialised empire. Chaired by Claire Armitstead.
When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown-up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart-themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you've ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. Alderton’s captivating memoir is about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough.
Since the days of Adam Smith, economists have grappled with a series of familiar problems but often their ideas are hard to digest, even before we try to apply them to today’s issues. Yueh is renowned for her combination of erudition, as an accomplished economist herself, and accessibility, as a leading writer and broadcaster in this field. She explains the key thoughts of history’s greatest economists, how our lives have been influenced by their ideas and how they could help us with the policy challenges we face today.
Who? What? When? Where? What?? Seriously??? Wolff’s scathing, hilarious and terrifying revelations about the crazy chaos of the Trump White House are likely to run and run.
The South African-born, anti-apartheid campaigner and politician chronicles the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, from lawyer to ANC freedom fighter, from political prisoner to President of the Rainbow Nation. He charts Madiba’s post-office humanitarian campaigns and gives an intimate and revealing portrait of the beloved global icon. The legacy is more complex, and Hain examines the state of the RSA today after Zuma’s corruption, and as Ramaphosa accedes to power. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
This is the story of the man born Clifford J. Price – jungle’s most streetwise ambassador who went on to collect an MBE from Buckingham Palace. As one of Britain’s most influential DJs, producers and record-label owners, Goldie’s contribution to the UK rave scene in the 1990s with Metalheadz provided the blueprint for dubstep and grime. Here is the memoir of an extraordinary life, an explosive story of abuse, revenge, graffiti, breakdancing, gold teeth, sawn-off shotguns, car crashes, hot yoga, absent fatherhood and redemption through reality TV.
A conversation between the winners of the 2016 and 2017 Baillie Gifford Prizes for non-fiction. France tells Sands the riveting, powerful and profoundly moving story of the AIDS epidemic and the grass-roots movement of activists, many of them facing their own life-or-death struggles, who grabbed the reins of scientific research to help develop the drugs that turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease. Around the globe, the 15.8 million people taking anti-AIDS drugs today are alive thanks to their efforts.
Mary Shelley was brought up by her father in a house filled with radical thinkers, poets, philosophers and writers of the day. Aged 16, she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, embarking on a relationship that was lived on the move across Britain and Europe, as she coped with debt, infidelity and the deaths of three children, before early widowhood changed her life for ever. Most astonishingly, it was while she was still a teenager that Mary composed her canonical novel Frankenstein, which was published exactly 200 years ago. In this fascinating dialogue with the past, Sampson sifts through letters, diaries and records to find the real woman behind the story.
Westover’s memoir Educated is fast achieving the status of a contemporary classic. She grew up in a remote corner of the American West preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. According to the state and federal government she didn’t exist. As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At 16 Tara decided to educate herself. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from the Idaho mountains, over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled too far. If there was still a way home.
A conversation about how her Quaker faith has informed the life and work of one of the world’s greatest scientists, celebrated for her discovery of pulsars when she was a postgraduate student in 1967, and now the Oxford Professor of Astrophysics.
The former Observer editor and the politician and writer say the EU is a success story despite its frailties. It has guaranteed fundamental human freedoms and provided economic prosperity and order. They argue that Britain is abandoning four centuries of being part of the European diplomatic order for illusory gains and actual losses.
How does the culture of our past shape and speak to the present? And how might a richer understanding of where we have come from help us discover where we're heading now? The novelist and playwright Barney Norris and the pianist, composer and broadcaster David Owen Norris explore these questions in The Wellspring, a new book of interviews on music and cultural inheritance. Uniquely placed, as father and son artists, to engage with the question of how things are passed on, they meet at Hay to explore the way a life is formed by what has come before, and the way we form that past as we go through our lives.