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5x15 - 5 speakers, 15 minutes each - Great Lives

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£0 – £16.76

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Join us for an inspirational journey across seven centuries as our speakers tell the true stories behind five extraordinary lives.

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Linda Colley is an award-winning historian, academic, author and broadcaster and Professor of History at Princeton University. She joins us to talk about Catherine the Great, the bold, brilliant and guileful empress of Russia, who was experimenting with constitutional techniques decades before the Founding Fathers framed the American constitution. Linda Colley's award-winning books include Britons: Forging the Nation, Acts of Union and Disunion and her new book The Gun, the Ship and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World.

Mixing biography with a searing analysis of our present, Professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr. tells us about his acclaimed book: Begin Again - asking what urgent lessons James Baldwin, known as ‘the poet of the revolution’, can teach us about today. Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is a Professor and chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. Begin Again is a New York Times best seller: “A powerful study of how to bear witness in a moment when America is being called to do the same.” (Time)

Ed Caesar tells a story of heroism, adventure, madness and thwarted love in his new book The Moth and the Mountain about Britain’s most mysterious mountaineering legend, Maurice Wilson, who in the 1930s conceived an incredible plan to crash land his Gipsy Moth on Everest and conquer its summit alone. Ed Caesar is a contributing writer for the New Yorker and winner of eleven major journalism awards including a British Press Award, PPA Writer of the Year and the 2014 Foreign Press Award for Journalist of the Year.

Polly Samson joins us to talk about the extraordinary life of the Australian writer Charmian Clift, who was an inspiration to Leonard Cohen, and the centre of a bohemian artists’ colony on the Greek island of Hydra in the 1960s - a world reimagined by Polly in her best-selling novel A Theatre for Dreamers. Polly Samson’s work has been shortlisted for numerous prizes, translated into several languages and has been dramatised on BBC Radio 4. She has written lyrics for four Number One albums, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

In Albert and the Whale Philip Hoare sets out to explore the enduring art of the German Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer, whose hyper-real images changed the way nature was seen. Along the way he encounters medieval alchemists and modernist poets, eccentric emperors and queer soul rebels, ambassadorial whales and enigmatic pop artists. Philip Hoare is a professor of creative writing and author of books including Leviathan, or the Whale, which won the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize.

With thanks for your generous support for 5x15's online series.

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