Years of Living Dangerously
Christina’s 30 years living and reporting from the hotspots of the world, started by a wedding invitation to Karachi, which expanded into investigative journalism. Accolades include the award of an OBE and the Prix Bayeux, Europe’s top war-reporting award.
She has covered detention centres in Lybia, and she has recently reported on the refugee crisis across Europe and from camps for women enslaved by Boko Haram in Nigeria and ISIS in Iraq.
She has written eight books including the bestselling The Africa House and I Am Malala, and most recentlyThe Girl from Aleppo: Nujeen's Escape from War to Freedom.
The Night Sky and How to See It
Dr Michael Martin-Smith
Dr. Martin-Smith takes us on a journey through the history of mankind’s relationship with the sky during darkness and explains many of the phenomena which surround us. He also considers how the original applications of calendars, timekeeping and navigation continue to be of benefit.
He explores the paradox of the Dark Sky and takes us forward with the new perspectives opened up by rocketry and astrobiology. Practical contexts for stargazers are balanced against the concept of provisional truth, leading towards Citizen Science.
Michael is president of HERAS, the Hull and East Riding Astronomical Society.
The Pianist Who Transformed the Cold War
In 1958, a 23-year-old Texan pianist named Van Cliburn arrived in Moscow, to compete in the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition.
Cliburn’s triumph and subsequent celebrity status cast him as a musical ambassador to the world. He continued to play a part in pivotal Cold War events right up to the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in 1987.
Nigel Cliff attended Oxford University, where he was awarded a First in English and the Beddington Prize for English Literature. His award-winning books include The Shakespeare Riots, The Last Crusade: The Epic Voyages of Vasco da Gama, and a new translation of Marco Polo’s Travels.
Strange Tales and Ghosts from Buckingham Palace
Patricia Wright has investigated the history of the site on which Buckingham Palace now stands, uncovering many surprising and entertaining tales of (among others) a witch who once lived there, many scoundrels and fraudsters, some royal disasters and a lady with exploding bosoms.
Patricia qualified and practised as a chartered surveyor and land agent. However she also developed a career as a writer, initially of historical articles and then books, both fiction and non-fiction. One of these won the Bodley Head historical novel prize, and another was an alternate choice for the US Literary Guild.
The Hull Literary & Philosophical Society is registered as a Charity No 507226