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This information relates to the 2013 Festival; updates about the 2014 Festival coming soon.

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Programme at a glance

  Theatre Woods-Scawen (Conference) Room Helen Martin Studio

National Grid Room

10am Ben Macintyre Ronan Fanning Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine  
11am Paula Byrne Alex Danchev Giorgio Riello  
12pm The Warwick Prize for Writing - cancelled Lucinda Hawksley Literary Clubs and Societies  

Bletchley Park


The Warwick Review


Pamela Cox 


Writing Wildness

at Warwick (-2.30pm)

2.30pm Mike Dash Angie Hobbs Ian Sansom Writing Historical Fiction (-4pm)
3.30pm Patrick French Jerry Brotton The Lessons from History  


Richard Holmes Louise Foxcroft A Year of Shakespeare  


Nicholas Roe Michael Scott Writing Emotion  
6.30pm Spies and Secrecy Katy Price

Nicola Gardini 



Ben Macintyre: Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies
10-11am, Theatre

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Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies is the story of five key D-Day spies: a bisexual Peruvian playgirl, a tiny Polish fighter pilot, a Serbian seducer, a wildly imaginative Spaniard with a diploma in chicken farming, and a hysterical Frenchwoman whose obsessive love for her pet dog very nearly wrecked the entire deception. Their enterprise was saved from catastrophe by a shadowy sixth spy whose heroic sacrifice is revealed for the first time in this widely acclaimed story.

Ben Macintyre is a columnist and Associate Editor on The Times. He is the author of nine books including Agent Zigzag (2007) shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and the Galaxy British Book Award for Biography of the Year 2008, and the number 1 bestseller Operation Mincemeat (2010).

Paula Byrne - The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things
11am -12pm, Theatre

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The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things is a new biography exploring the forces that shaped the interior life of Britain’s most beloved novelist. Using objects that conjure up key moments or themes in Austen’s life and work - a silhouette, a vellum notebook, a topaz cross, a laptop writing box, a royalty cheque - Byrne builds up a picture of a writer who is far tougher, more socially and politically aware, and altogether more modern than the conventional picture of ‘dear Aunt Jane’ would allow.

Paula Byrne is a bestselling biographer and Fellow of Oxford University's Harris Manchester College. Her books include Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead (2009) and Perdita: The Life of Mary Robinson (2005), which was long-listed for the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize.

The Warwick Prize for Writing: featuring Peter Forbes with Ian Sansom

12-1pm, Theatre

This event has now been cancelled

The Warwick Prize for Writing is an innovative literature prize that involves global competition, and crosses all disciplines. The Prize was launched in 2008 and is awarded every two years for an excellent and substantial piece of writing in the English language, in any genre or form.

This panel features Peter Forbes, winner of the 2011 Prize, reading from his winning work Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage. Professor Ian Sansom, chair of the 2013 judging panel, will lead the session which will include the announcement of the longlist for the 2013 Prize.

Peter Forbes is a science writer with a special interest in the relationship between art and science. He initially trained as a chemist and worked in pharmaceutical and popular natural history publishing, whilst writing poems, and articles for magazines such as New Scientist and World Medicine. He has written numerous articles and reviews for newspapers and magazines, many specializing in the relation between the arts and science; his books include The Gecko's Foot: How Scientists are taking a leaf from nature's book T(2005) and Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage (2009).

Ian Sansom is a Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick and teaches on the Warwick Writing Programme. He is the author of nine books, including The Truth About Babies (2002), Ring Road (2004), and the popular Mobile Library series of novels. Ian Sansom writes for The Guardian and is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4.

Bletchley Park: featuring Sinclair McKay, Michael Smith and Richard Aldrich
1-2.30pm, Theatre

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Intelligence specialists Michael Smith, Sinclair McKay and Richard Aldrich will speak on this panel about Bletchley Park, the historic site of secret British codebreaking activities during WWII and birthplace of the modern computer.

Sinclair McKay writes for The Telegraph and Mail on Sunday, and is the author of the bestselling book The Secret Life of Bletchley Park: The History of the Wartime Codebreaking Centre by the Men and Women Who Were There (2010). This is the first history for the general reader of life at Bletchley Park, and an amazing compendium of first-hand accounts from people now in their eighties who lived and worked there during the war; it has been praised as an "an eloquent tribute" (Mail on Sunday) and a "remarkably faithful account" (The Guardian).

Michael Smith is a number one bestselling author of books on intelligence and special operations. He served in the British Army before becoming a journalist, working for the BBC, the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times. He is now a full-time writer, whose publications include The Secrets of Station X: How the Bletchley Park Codebreakers helped win the War (2011), The Emperor's Codes: Bletchley Park and the Breaking of Japan's Secret Ciphers (2002) and The Spying Game: The Secret History of British Espionage (2003), which revealed details of how MI6 and members of the British Special Boat Service were operating inside Basra throughout the 2003 war in Iraq.

Richard J. Aldrich is Professor of International Security at the University of Warwick. His main research interests lie in the area of intelligence and security communities, and related issues of cyber security, liberty and privacy, set against a background of accelerating globalization. He recently lead the AHRC project "Landscapes of Secrecy: The Central Intelligence Agency and the Contested Record of US Foreign Policy, 1947-2001", a team of eight scholars at the universities of Nottingham and Warwick examining the creation of the public record of the CIA in realms such as history, memoirs, novels and film. His publications include GCHQ: the Uncensored Story of Britain's Most Secret Intelligence Agency (2010), a gripping exploration of the last great unknown realm of the British secret service.

Mike Dash on Writing history
2.30-3.30pm, Theatre

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In a weekly history essay for the Smithsonian, Mike Dash writes "history with all the interesting bits left in", covering such diverse topics as slave rebellions in the Caribbean, Chilean witch trials, and hermits in the Siberian taiga. In this talk, Mike will reflect on different forms of writing history for popular audiences.
Mike Dash is the author of books including The First Family: Terror, Extortion and the Birth of the American Mafia (2009) and Satan's Circus: Murder, Vice, Police Corruption, and New York's Trial of the Century (2007), both of which were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for History.

Patrick French: India: A Portrait
3.30-4.30pm, Theatre

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India: A Portrait is an intimate biography of 1.2 billion people, telling the story of how India emerged from a turbulent struggle for independence to become a vibrant democracy with one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Patrick French travelled across the country talking to everyone from political leaders to mafia dons, from chained quarry workers to self-made billionaire entrepreneurs, to tell the story of post-independence India as never before.

Patrick French is the author of several books including Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer (1994), and The World Is What It Is: the Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul (2008) which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in the United States of America.

Patrick French will be in conversation with David Hardiman, a professor in the Department of History at the University of Warwick who specialises in the history of modern India.

Richard Holmes: Falling Upwards: How we took to the Air
4.30-5.30pm, Theatre

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Falling Upwards: How we took to the Air is a compelling adventure story following the pioneer generation of balloon aeronauts, from the first heroic experiments of the Montgolfiers in 1780s to the tragic attempt to fly a balloon to the North Pole in the 1890s. Why they did it, what their contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet in unexpected ways, is the subject of this account.

Professor Richard Holmes is an award-wining author best known for his biographical studies of major figures of British and French Romanticism. His works include The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science (2008), Dr Johnson and Mr Savage (1993), which won the James Tait Black award for biography in 1993, and Coleridge: Darker Reflections (1998).

Nicholas Roe: John Keats: a New Life
5.30-6.30pm, Theatre

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John Keats: A New Life is a landmark biography of the celebrated Romantic poet which explodes entrenched conceptions of Keats as a delicate, overly sensitive, tragic figure. Roe reveals the real flesh-and-blood poet: a passionate man driven by ambition but prey to doubt, suspicion, and jealousy; sure of his vocation while bitterly resentful of the obstacles that blighted his career; devoured by sexual desire and frustration; and in thrall to alcohol and opium. Visit John Keats: A New Life on Facebook.

Nicholas Roe is Professor of English Literature at the University of St Andrews and author of acclaimed biographies and critical studies including Fiery Heart: The First Life of Leigh Hunt (2005), John Keats and the Culture of Dissent (1997) and Wordsworth and Coleridge: The Radical Years (1988).

Spies and Secrecy: featuring Peter Hennessy, Christopher Moran and Calder Walton

6.30-8pm, Theatre

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“Spies and Secrecy” brings together three leading intelligence experts - Peter Hennessy, Calder Walton and Christopher Moran – whose ground-breaking works have revealed compelling new insights into British state history.

Peter Hennessy is Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary, University of London and was recently elected a Fellow of the British Academy. Before joining the Department in 1992, he was a journalist for twenty years with spells on The Times as a leader writer and Whitehall Correspondent, The Financial Times as its Lobby Correspondent at Westminster and The Economist. He was a regular presenter of the BBC Radio 4 Analysis programme from 1987 to 1992. His book The Secret State: Whitehall and the Cold War (2002) offered a sensational account of Cold War Britain, drawing on recently declassified intelligence and war-planning documents, and interviews with key officials, to reveal a chilling behind-the-scenes picture of the corridors of power when the world teetered on the brink of disaster.

Christopher Moran is an Assistant Professor in US National Security and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) at Warwick University. His research concerns the relationship between President Richard Nixon, his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, and the Central Intelligence Agency. He has recently published Classified: Secrecy and the State in Modern Britain (2013), a fascinating account of the British state's long obsession with secrecy and the ways it sought to prevent information about its secret activities from entering the public domain. The book reveals new insights into seminal episodes in British post-war history, including the Suez crisis, the D-Notice Affair and the treachery of the Cambridge spies, identifying a new era of offensive information management, and putting the contemporary battle between secret-keepers, electronic media and digital whistle-blowers into long-term perspective.

Calder Walton is a leading intelligence historian who has worked on British intelligence history at Cambridge University as a doctoral and postdoctoral researcher. He was a Research Assistant on Christopher Andrew’s unprecedented authorized official history of MI5 Defence of the Realm (2009). His book Empire of Secrets: British Intelligence, the Cold War and the Twilight of Empire (2013) offers a compelling new chapter in Britain's imperial history, revealing the largely untold activities of British intelligence in the last days of Empire and adding to our understanding of the Cold War and the history of international relations since 1945. It has striking resonances for today, uncovering the use and abuse of intelligence by governments in the past, ‘rendition’ during the Second World War, the use of torture during interrogations in counter-insurgencies, and the balance that western countries struck between security and civil liberties.

Nicola Gardini: Le parole perdute di Amelia Lynd (The Lost Words of Amelia Lynd)

8pm, Theatre

This session is no longer running.

The poignant, absorbing story of a 13-years-boy who struggles to save and educate himself in a narrow-minded, petit-bourgeois environment. In a Milan suburb in the early 1970s, Chino is trying to grow up. His school is the apartment building where his mother Elvira works as a concierge: a grotesque seedbed of meanness and selfishness, against which Elvira heroically stands up with her good heart and dreams of social redemption. One day, a new, utterly bizarre tenant appears, a lady of superior sensibility and education: Amelia Lynd, an aged idealist, a faded grande dame of cosmopolitan heritage, the author of a mysterious dictionary and the keeper of an unimaginable secret. Guided by his “second mother” and by Elvira’s benevolence, Chino undertakes a restorative journey of discovery into the complexities of words, ideas and human relations.

Nicola Gardini teaches Italian Literature at the University of Oxford. He published essays, poetry collections and novels. Among them: Così ti ricordi di me (Sironi 2003), Lo sconosciuto (Sironi 2007) and I baroni (Feltrinelli, 2009 and 2013). He edited the Meridiano Mondadori of Ted Hughes’ Poems and published Per una biblioteca indispensabile. Cinquantadue classici della letteratura italiana (Einaudi 2011) and Rinascimento (Einaudi, 2010). Le parole perdute di Amelia Lynd won the Viareggio Prize (2012) and the Zerilli Marimò – City of Rome Prize (2012).

Ronan Fanning: Fatal Path: British Government and the Irish Revolution 1910-1922

10-11am, Woods-Scawen Room (Conference Room)

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Fatal Path: British Government and Irish Revolution 1910-1922 is a magisterial narrative of the most turbulent decade in Anglo-Irish history: a decade of unleashed passions that came close to destroying the parliamentary system and to causing civil war in the United Kingdom. It was also the decade of the cataclysmic Great War, of an officers' mutiny in an elite cavalry regiment of the British Army and of Irish armed rebellion. It was a time, argues Ronan Fanning, when violence and the threat of violence trumped democratic politics.

Ronan Fanning is Professor Emeritus of Modern History at University College Dublin. Among his books are the definitive history of the Irish Department of Finance and a biography of Eliza Lynch (2009).

Alex Danchev: Cezanne: A Life
11am -12pm, Woods-Scawen Room (Conference Room)

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Cézanne: A Life is the first comprehensive assessment of the revolutionary work and restless life of Paul Cézanne to be published in decades. Danchev's account shows how Cézanne was the exemplary artist-creator of the modern age who changed the way we see the world. Cézanne is not only the fascinating life of a visionary artist and extraordinary human being but also a searching assessment of his on-going influence in the artistic imagination.

Alex Danchev is Professor of International Relations at the University of Nottingham. His publications include a biography of the military historian Basil Liddell Hart (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998) which was listed for the Whitbread Prize for Biography and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

Lucinda Hawksley: March, Women, March
12-1pm, Woods-Scawen Room (Conference Room)

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March, Women, March explores the women's movement in Britain, from the passing of the Marriage and Divorce Act in 1857 to women attaining the vote in 1928. Published to commemorate the centenary of the death of the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, who threw herself under King George V's horse during the Derby and thus sustained fatal injuries, this fascinating book uses anecdotes and accounts by both famous and hitherto lesser known suffragettes and suffragists to explore how the voice of women came to be heard throughout the land in the pursuit of equal votes for females. Using diary extracts and letters, the main protagonists of the women's movement are brought back to life as Lucinda Dickens Hawksley explores how they were portrayed in literature and art as well as the media reports of the day.

Lucinda Hawksley's interest in the history of the women’s movement increased after researching the lives of several fascinating women of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Her biographies of women include Lizzie Siddal, The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel; Katey, The Life and Loves of Dickens’s Artist Daughter, and an upcoming biography of the sculptor Princess Louise (November 2013). Lucinda is a lecturer in literature and art history and is a regular speaker at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The Warwick Review: featuring Kirsty Gunn, Lesley Saunders and Michael Hulse

1-2.30pm, Woods-Scawen Room (Conference Room)

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The Warwick Review is published four times a year from the English Department at the University of Warwick. It is international in scope, including poetry, prose fiction, essays and reviews, symposia and thematic sections. It is interested in history and politics, and hospitable to emergent as well as established writers. As Sean O'Brien writes, "curiosity, imagination and readiness to encounter the unfamiliar are qualities the Review asks of the reader, and in turn does much to embody."

In March 2013 The Warwick Review celebrates its silver jubilee issue. To mark the occasion, this event features readings by two electrifying Review contributors, award-winning novelist Kirsty Gunn and acclaimed poet Lesley Saunders, and by the Review’s editor, poet Michael Hulse.

Kirsty Gunn’s first novel, Rain, was praised by Edna O’Brien and Faye Weldon when it appeared in 1994, and since then her fiction has been acclaimed by Jayne Anne Phillips, John Carey and many more around the globe. Widely translated and anthologised, her work has been turned into film and dance theatre and has won numerous awards. Her latest novel, The Big Music (Faber, 2012), was hailed by Michael Bywater in The Independent as “a masterpiece”. She is Professor of Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee.

Lesley Saunders has published several books of poetry, most recently Cloud Camera (Two Rivers Press, 2012), and has performed her work at literary festivals and on the radio. She has worked on collaborative projects with artists, sculptors, musicians, photographers and dancers, and has held several residencies including, in 2013, at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford. She works as an independent researcher in education and is a visiting professor at the Institute of Education, London.

Michael Hulse’s most recent collection of poetry is The Secret History (Arc, 2009) and his latest publication the anthology The Twentieth Century in Poetry (Ebury, 2011), co-edited with Simon Rae. He has translated over sixty books from the German, and with Donald Singer co-founded the Hippocrates initiative for poetry and medicine, which took a Times Higher Education Award in 2011. A new book of poems, Half-Life, is published shortly.

Angie Hobbs - The Erotic Magus: Socrates, Eros and Magic
2.30-3.30pm, Woods-Scawen Room (Conference Room)

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In Plato’s dialogue on erotic love, the Symposium, Eros is portrayed, amongst many other things, as a magician and a daimôn, a necessary intermediary spirit between mortal and divine realms, both revealing and strengthening the usually hidden harmonies in apparently disparate subject matter. As Eros is also said to be a philosopher, and as the character of Socrates is depicted in the dialogue partially as a representative of Eros, Plato is clearly inviting us to reflect on the relation between magic and the rational, philosophic life, an aspect of this thinking which current fashions in philosophy either deliberately ignore or unconsciously overlook. With the help of the Renaissance philosopher Ficino, I explore all these issues in this talk and argue that a true understanding of the Symposium entails a profound review of the nature of reason itself.

Angie Hobbs is Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield. Her chief interests are in ancient philosophy and literature, ethics (both theoretical and applied) and political theory, and she has published widely in these areas, including Plato and the Hero (Cambridge University Press 2000; paperback 2006). She contributes regularly to radio and TV programmes, newspaper articles and philosophy websites; she lectures and gives talks around the world. She also engages in a variety of public and political work in the U.K., promoting the role of philosophy in schools and adult education and advising on academic public engagement. She is currently writing a book on heroism, courage and fame and producing a new translation of, and commentary on, Plato’s Symposium, a vivid dramatic dialogue exploring different views on the origins, nature, aims and effects of erotic love.

Jerry Brotton: A History of the World in 12 Maps
3.30-4.30pm, Woods-Scawen Room (Conference Room)

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A History of the World in Twelve Maps examines the significance of 12 maps, from the mystical representations of ancient history to the satellite-derived imagery of today. He vividly recreates the environments and circumstances in which each of the maps was made, showing how each conveys a highly individual view of the world - whether the Jerusalem-centred Christian perspective of the 14th century Hereford Mappa Mundi or the Peters projection of the 1970s which aimed to give due weight to 'the third world'.

Jerry Brotton is a Professor in the Department of English at Queen Mary, University of London. His books include Trading Territories: Mapping the Early Modern World (1997) and The Sale of the Late King’s Goods (2006), and he has been shortlisted for prizes including the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction in 2006. He is a regular broadcaster, critic and feature writer, most recently presenting the BBC 4 series Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession in 2010.

Louise Foxcroft: Calories and Corsets: A History of Dieting over 2000 years
4.30-5.30pm, Woods-Scawen Room (Conference Room)

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Calories and Corsets: A History of Dieting over 2000 years tells the epic story of how we have tried - and failed - to battle the bulge, and how the fashions and fads of body shape have changed over time. Drawing on material from letters, medical journals and the dieting bestsellers we continue to devour, Foxcroft reveals the extreme and often absurd lengths people will go to in order to achieve the perfect body.

Louise Foxcroft writes about medical perceptions of the human body and the ways these are related to present human experience. Her books include The Making of Addiction: the "use and abuse" of opium in nineteenth-century Britain (2007), Hot Flushes, Cold Science: a history of the modern menopause (2009), which won the Longman/History Today Book of the Year Award 2009, and she writes for publications including The Times, Independent, and New Scientist online.

Michael Scott: Delphi: Bellybutton of the Ancient World
5.30-6.30pm, Woods-Scawen Room (Conference Room)

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Michael Scott's new work bringstogether the historical and archaeological evidence for the oracle and sanctuary of Delphi over its 1000+ year life-span, presenting the very latest scholarship in order to understand how and why this small remote community became, and managed to remain, a crucial centre of the ancient Mediterranean world for so long.

Michael Scott is an Assistant Professor in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick. His publications include From Democrats to Kings: the brutal dawn of a new world from the downfall of Athens to the rise of Alexander the Great (Icon 2009). Michael has written and presented a number of BBC programmes including Guilty Pleasures: Luxury in the Ancient Greek and Medieval Worlds (BBC 4, 2011). He is currently working on new series for BBC 4 and BBC 2.

Katy Price: Loving Faster than Light: Romance and Readers in Einstein's Universe
6.30-7.30pm, Woods-Scawen Room (Conference Room)

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Loving Faster than Light explores the popular reception of Einstein's theory of relativity in Britain, demonstrating how abstract science came to be entangled with class politics, new media technology, changing sex relations, crime, cricket, and cinematography in the British imagination during the 1920s. Blending literary analysis with history of science, Price reveals how cultural meanings for Einstein's relativity were negotiated in newspapers with differing political agendas, popular science magazines, pulp fiction adventure and romance stories, detective plots, and esoteric love poetry.

Katy Price is a lecturer in modern and contemporary literature at Queen Mary, University of London. She has also published on William Empson, and on music technology, and is currently researching precognitive dreams as a site of negotiation between cultural authority and popular experience in Britain from 1925-1970.

Hippocrates Initiative for Poetry and Medicine: featuring Wendy French, Michael Henry, Jane Kirwan, Michael Hulse and Donald Singer
10-11am, Helen Martin Studio

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The Hippocrates Initiative began in 2009 as the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine for an unpublished poem on a medical subject. Since its launch the annual prize has attracted over 4000 applicants from 44 countries, and now includes annual international symposia at which the Hippocrates awards are presented, an international research forum for poetry and medicine, and The Hippocrates Press. In 2011 the initiative was awarded the Times Higher Education award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.

This panel session will be led by founders of the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine Michael Hulse and Donald Singer, and feature award-winning poets Wendy French, Jane Kirwan and Michael Henry presenting their work.

Wendy French won the Hippocrates Prize in the NHS category in 2010 (and second prize in 2011, with two further poems commended by the judges). She lives in London and facilitates writing in healthcare and educational settings. She has published two full collections of poetry, most recently surely you know this (tall-lighthouse press, 2009). Her collaborative book on the NHS, co-written with Jane Kirwan, is published this year by the Hippocrates Press.

Jane Kirwan’s poetry collections, Stealing the Eiffel Tower (1997) and The Man Who Sold Mirrors (2003), were published by Rockingham Press. She won an English Arts Council Writer’s Award in 2002. In 2011, a prose and poem collaboration with Aleš Machácek came out in English and Czech. She was placed third (NHS category) in the 2012 Hippocrates Prize, with four further poems commended by the judges, and recently completed a book about the NHS written with Wendy French.

Michael Henry has published four collections of poetry with Enitharmon Press, the latest being After the Dancing Dogs (2008). George Szirtes has praised his “poignant elusive poetry full of surprises” and David Constantine has applauded his “honest, sympathetic and enquiring” verse. He won the Hippocrates Prize in the open category in 2011.

Donald Singer has been Professor of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics in the Warwick Medical School since 2003. He has published widely, and since 2007 has been President of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine. Since 2010 he has been Secretary of the European Association for Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and Chair of the Heads of Pharmacology and Therapeutics (BPS). In 2009 he co-founded the Hippocrates initiative with Michael Hulse.

Michael Hulse’s most recent collection of poetry is The Secret History (Arc, 2009) and his latest publication the anthology The Twentieth Century in Poetry (Ebury, 2011), co-edited with Simon Rae. He has translated over sixty books from the German, and with Donald Singer co-founded the Hippocrates initiative for poetry and medicine, which took a Times Higher Education Award in 2011. A new book of poems, Half-Life, is published shortly.

Giorgio Riello: Cotton: the Fabric that Made the Modern World
11am-12pm, Helen Martin Studio

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Cotton: the Fabric that Made the Modern World explores the early globalised economy of the cotton trade and its transformation after 1750 as cotton led the way in the industrialisation of Europe. By the early nineteenth century India, China and the Ottoman Empire switched from world producers to buyers of European cotton textiles, a position they retained for over two hundred years. This fascinating and insightful story ranges from Asian and European technologies and African slavery to cotton plantations in the Americas and consumer desires across the globe.

Giorgio Riello is a Professor in the Department of History at the University of Warwick; recent work includes The Spinning World: A Global History of Cotton Textiles, 1250-1850 (ed. with Prasannan Parthasarathi, 2009) and How India Clothed the World: The World of South Asian Textiles, 1500-1850 (ed. with Tirthankar Roy, 2009).

Literary Clubs and Societies
Helen Martin Studio, 12-1pm

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This panel will trace the histories of literary clubs and societies from the eighteenth century to the present day. Jon Mee, researcher into late 18th-century literary clubs, will be joined by Matthew Sangster talking about the Royal Literary Fund, and John Burton, chair of the George Eliot Fellowship.

'Networks of Improvement: Literary Clubs and Societies, 1760-1840' looks at the role of clubs, societies, and other forms of association in the circulation of knowledge in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In this talk, Jon Mee looks as the take off in book clubs and reading societies in the late eighteenth century - why they formed, what they did, and how they related to each other - discussing case studies from across the country, including local examples in Birmingham and Coleshill.

The George Eliot Fellowship was founded in 1930 to further interest in the writer. In those days membership was largely local but it now has members all over the world, but especially in Japan and America. It runs study days, outings, readings and performances and does whatever it can to raise interest in George Eliot the person and the writer. Next year it hopes to open a George Eliot Visitor Centre at Griff House, her home until she was 21.

The Royal Literary Fund, founded in 1790, has operated continuously for over two centuries, providing confidential aid to writers in financial difficulties. As well as assisting prominent figures including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Claire, Joseph Conrad and James Joyce, the Fund has provided support for hundreds of less famous writers. Their travails are recorded in detail in its extensive archives, which document both the persistence of writers and their networks and the enduring difficulties of living by the pen.

Matthew Sangster recently completed his PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, submitting a thesis entitled 'Living as an Author in the Romantic Period: Remuneration, Recognition and Self-Fashioning'. As part of this project, he catalogued the archive of the Royal Literary Fund at the British Library, where he also co-curated the 2011 exhibition 'The Worlds of Mervyn Peake'. He is currently conducting research on eighteenth-century reading habits at the University of St Andrews.

John Burton was a secondary school English teacher and Head of Department in Coventry and Nuneaton schools. He has been chairman of the George Eliot Fellowship since 2008. He also helps to run Heritage centres in Bedworth and Nuneaton, takes many photographs and writes local history books when he has spare time.

Jon Mee is a Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick. He researches culture and politics in the long romantic period (1760-1832) and has recently published Conversable Worlds: Literature, Contention, and Community 1762-1830 (Oxford University Press) which was nominated for the Louis Gottschalk Prize of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Pamela Cox: Servants: the True Story of Life Below Stairs
1-2pm, Helen Martin Studio

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In the recent BBC 2 series Servants: the True Story of Life Below Stairs, Pamela Cox revealed the history of Britain's domestic workers throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, from the grand houses of the Victorian elite to the decline of domestic service in the 20th century. The series links to her book Bad Girls in Britain: Gender, Justice and Welfare, 1900-1950, which traces the history of delinquent and destitute girls and explores the central role of domestic service training as a means of reforming them.

Pamela Cox is a senior lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex, teaching and researching across social history, social policy and criminology. She has published widely on female delinquency and is currently developing a new project on crime history.

The talk will be chaired by Dr Laura Schwartz, Assistant Professor in Modern British History at the University of Warwick, who appeared on the BBC series.

Ian Sansom – The Norfolk Mystery
Helen Martin Studio, 2.30-3.30pm

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Ian Sansom’s new novel The Norfolk Mystery begins a thrilling new detective series, The County Guides.
It is 1937 and disillusioned Spanish Civil War veteran Stephen Sefton is stony broke. So when he sees a mysterious advertisement for a job where ‘intelligence is essential’, he applies. Thus begins Sefton’s association with Professor Swanton Morley, an omnivorous intellect. Morley’s latest project is a history of traditional England, with a guide to every county. They start in Norfolk, but when the vicar of Blakeney is found hanging from his church’s bellrope, Morley and Sefton find themselves drawn into a rather more fiendish plot. Did the Reverend really take his own life, or was it – murder?

Ian Sansom is a Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick and teaches on the Warwick Writing Programme. He is the author of nine books, including The Truth About Babies (2002), Ring Road (2004), and the popular Mobile Library series of novels. Ian Sansom writes for The Guardian and is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4.

The Lessons from History: with Alex Danchev, Andrew Mumford and Louise Sullivan

3.30-4.30pm, Helen Martin Studio

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Can we learn from history? What does it have to teach us? How do we know that we've learned well? This panel considers various approaches to the vexed question of 'the lessons of history' in public and in private, in government policy and in pursuit of the good life. Alex Danchev, Andrew Mumford, and Louise Sullivan will discuss these engaging questions in an hour-long panel.

Alex Danchev is Professor of International Relations at the University of Nottingham; his publications include a biography of the military historian Basil Liddell Hart (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998) which was listed for the Whitbread Prize for Biography and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

Andrew Mumford is a Lecturer in Politics & International Relations at the University of Nottingham; his main area of research is state responses to sub-state violence, explored in his recent book The Counter-Insurgency Myth: The British Experience of Irregular War (Routledge, 2011).

Louise Sullivan is a doctoral student in the School of Politics & International Relations at the University of Nottingham. Her research examines historical learning within British overseas security, seeking to address why learning from history is important and how historical learnings are identified, stored and utilised.

A Year of Shakespeare: Re-living the World Shakespeare Festival with Erin Sullivan, Will Sharpe and Peter Kirwan

4.30-5.30pm, Helen Martin Studio

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A Year of Shakespeare: Reliving the World Shakespeare Festival gives a uniquely comprehensive, expert and exciting overview of the largest Shakespeare festival the world has ever known: The World Shakespeare Festival, 2012. The book fully documents all 74 productions which formed part of the Festival in 2012, from a Lithuaninan Hamlet, an Israeli Merchant of Venice and Jonathan Pryce's King Lear.

This panel will feature editor Erin Sullivan and contributors Will Sharpe and Peter Kirwan discussing the highlights and legacy of the Festival.

Erin Sullivan is a Lecturer and Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. She was the principal organizer of the Year of Shakespeare project, an online forum featuring reviews, discussion, and debate about the more than 70 Shakespearean productions staged in the UK as part of the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival and Cultural Olympiad. She is one of the editors of the subsequent book from Arden / Bloomsbury A Year of Shakespeare: Re-living the World Shakespeare Festival.

Peter Kirwan is Lecturer in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama at the University of Nottingham, and was awarded his PhD by the University of Warwick in 2011. He is a prolific theatre and book reviewer for a number of academic journals and websites. His theatre review blog The Bardathon was begun at Warwick in 2006 and is read widely. He contributed four reviews to A Year of Shakespeare, as well as to other books and websites on the World Shakespeare Festival.

Will Sharpe is a visiting lecturer at the Shakespeare Institute and a contributor to the Year of Shakespeare project. He is associate general editor of the RSC Shakespeare series, as well as associate editor of the forthcoming RSC volume Collaborative Plays by Shakespeare and Others published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Writing Emotion: featuring Katherine Angel and Julie Walsh

5.30-6.30pm, Helen Martin Studio

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In what ways do experiences of pain and pleasure come together in the act of writing? How does a writer's desire to write express itself on the page? Why might we read a writer's emotional investment in her text through the lens of gender? In conversation with Julie Walsh, writer and academic Katherine Angel will be exploring such questions and sharing her experience of writing her book Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell.

Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell is an incisive, moving, and lyrical work that allows us to think afresh about desire. Touching on experiences of desire and pleasure, as well as grief and pain, the book probes the porousness between masculine and feminine, thought and sensation, self and culture, power and pliancy.

Katherine Angel is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Centre for the History of Emotions, Queen Mary. She has been published in academic publications, and written for the Independent, Prospect, and the New Statesman. Unmastered is her first book.

Julie Walsh is a Global Research Fellow at Warwick University where she works on the topics of narcissism, shame and contemporary identity practices. Part of Julie's project entails a psychoanalytic examination of ‘Shame and the Act of Writing’.

Writing Wildness at Warwick: poetry workshop with Yvonne Reddick

1-2.30pm, National Grid Room

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This innovative poetry workshop will help participants to create their own poem inspired by walking in wild places. A half-hour 'fieldwalk' through the scenic surroundings of Warwick's campus will provide a starting point for participants to experiment with form, rhythm and shape. The workshop will explore humanity's fascination with journeys, our love of favourite places and our own personal narratives of travelling in the outdoors. A creative and fun way to be inspired.

Dr. Yvonne Reddick is a scholar and poet based at Warwick University, where she is a postdoctoral researcher. She teaches at the Warwick Writing Programme and the Department of English, and publishes research on mankind and literature's long fascination with landscape. Her poetry pamphlet LandForms was published in 2012.

Please note: this workshop will include a short walk around campus lakes, so please wear suitable shoes.

Writing Historical Fiction: Workshop with Tim Leach

National Grid Room, 2.30-4pm

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Aimed at the aspiring writer of historical fiction, this workshop offers an exploratory overview of the novel writing process. Through discussion and exercises led by a published author of historical fiction, learn how to approach research with a novelist's eye, refine your ideas into a workable plan of action, and to draft and edit your manuscript.

Attendees are encouraged to bring notes and ideas for projects they would like to develop. All levels of experience are welcome.

Tim Leach is a novelist and teacher of creative writing. His first book, 'The Last King of Lydia', is set in the ancient world, and was published in Spring 2013 by Atlantic Books. He has taught fiction at undergraduate level on the Warwick Writing Programme, where he also studied for his MA Writing. He now writes full time, and is currently based in Sheffield.

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