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  • Jonathan Drori - Around the World in 80 Plants

    Drori takes readers on a trip across the globe, bringing to life the science of plants by revealing how their worlds are intricately entwined with our own history, culture and folklore. From the seemingly familiar tomato and dandelion to the eerie mandrake and Spanish ‘moss’ of Louisiana, via the early histories of beer and the contraceptive pill, each of these stories is full of surprise. Drori wears his scientific knowledge lightly and writes with passion and humour. Lucille Clerc’s illustrations are utterly spellbinding. An illustrated talk
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 10.00 am
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
    Sponsored by: Georgia Langton
  • Peter Hain - A Pretoria Boy - The Story Of South Africa’s ‘Public Enemy Number One’

    Veteran, anti-apartheid activist, Peter Hain, tells his extraordinary journey from his native South Africa to the House of Lords. This powerful and timely account of Hain’s political life starts with his vivid description of his parents’ arrest in the early 1960s followed by his own enforced London exile in 1966. Narrowly escaping jail for disrupting all-white South African sports tours, he was framed for a bank robbery and nearly assassinated by a bomb. Later, using British parliamentary privilege, Hain exposed corruption in the Zuma administration which influenced the President’s resignation. In conversation with Clive Stafford Smith
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 12 noon
    Where: Electric Palace
    Sponsored by: Lindsay and Martin Bowdery
  • James Rebanks - An English Pastoral

    James Rebanks is the Winner of this year’s Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing for his Masterpiece: ENGLISH PASTORAL: An Inheritance

    “James Rebanks’s story of his family’s farm is just about perfect.  It belongs with the finest writing of its kind.” Wendell Berry

    A very personal book, ENGLISH PASTORAL is the story of an inheritance: one that affects us all. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. Yet this elegy from the northern fells of Cumbria is also a song of hope; of how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage his tiny corner of England. JAMES REBANKS is doing his best to restore the life that had vanished, to leave a legacy for the future for our green and pleasant land.

    James’s book is about what it means to have love and pride in a place, and how, against all the odds, it may still be possible to build a new pastoral: not a utopia, but somewhere decent for us all.

    In conversation with Elizabeth Wainwright
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 7.30pm
    Where: Electric Palace
  • Adam Nicolson - The Sea is not made of Water

    Few places are as familiar as the shore and few as full of mystery and surprises. Acclaimed nature writer, Adam Nicolson, explores the natural wonders of the intertidal and our long human relationship with it. The physics of the seas, the biology of anemone and limpet, the long history of the earth; all interconnect in this zone where the philosopher scientist and poet can meet. Twice a day, every day, change dominates its existence. Every part of life here is dedicated to surviving and thriving in a world of alteration. An illustrated talk
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 1.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
  • Polly Toynbee and David Walker - The Lost Decade - 2010 – 2020 and What Lies Ahead for Britain

    From two critically acclaimed authors and journalists, we have an authoritative survey of the last decade including this tumultuous year of change. From austerity to Brexit, food banks to Grenfell and ending with Covid 19 – the worst global pandemic in recent history, the decade has been gloomy and life-changing. Progress in renewable energy, legalisation in same-sex marriage and an awareness of environmental issues might be considered progress, but how can we gain optimism for the future. What went wrong? What went right? And where do we go from here? Both Toynbee and Walker want to share their views with the audience. An illustrated talk
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 3.00 pm
    Where: Electric Palace
  • Horatio Clare - Heavy Light - A Journey through Madness, Mania and Healing

    This is Horatio Clare’s very personal journey through mania, psychosis and treatment in a psychiatric hospital, and onwards to release, recovery and healing. This is a story of the intensity of manic experience as well as its peril and strangeness. It is also a story of love, kindness, humour and care of those who deal with someone who becomes so dangerously ill. At a critical time, when society is at last facing the issues of mental health that can affect each and every one of us, this is a timely memoir which can give compassion to those who suffer and support to those who care. In conversation with Jon Woolcott
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 4.30 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom
  • Christina Lamb - Our Bodies Their Battlefield

    With the recent, devastating and ongoing tragedy of Afghanistan, we have invited Christina to talk about her book: Our Bodies Their Battlefield – a searing and angry reckoning of the scale of assault against women as a weapon of war. Christina Lamb has worked in combat zones for over 30 years moving between conflicts that affect the livelihood and wellbeing of all women.  Her earlier book Farewell Kabul considers the longest war fought by the United States in its history and by Britain since the Hundred Years War.  Will the current plight of the nation under the Taliban regime lead to more worldwide terrorism?   Christina and Malala Yousafzai, Winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, combined to write I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, a fascinating insight into what has gone before and what could re-ignite. In conversation with Samantha Knights QC
    When: Saturday 13th November 2021 @ 6.00 pm
    Where: The Bull Ballroom

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