Fragile Lives: A Heart Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table
Fragile Lives is an incredible and award winning memoir from one of the world’s most eminent heart surgeons. In his 35 year career, Professor Stephen Westaby took chances and pushed the boundaries of heart surgery to save hundreds of lives. Stephen details some of his most remarkable and poignant cases – such as the baby who had suffered multiple heart attacks by six months old, a woman who lived the nightmare of locked-in syndrome, and a man whose life was powered by a battery for eight years. Shortlisted for the Costa biography prize, winner of the BMA President’s Award 2017 and The Sunday Times number two bestseller, Fragile Lives offers an exceptional insight into the exhilarating and sometimes tragic world of heart surgery, and how it feels to hold someone’s life in your hands.
Other events on the 13th October 2018
One Wild Song: A Voyage in a Lost Son’s Wake
Paul Heiney set sail for Cape Horn, one of the bleakest and most dangerous places on earth. He was to experience the changing moods of the Atlantic Ocean, the...
The Making of an Immigration Judge
As the western world struggles to cope with the influx of immigrants fleeing tyranny and war, The Making of an Immigration Judge cuts through the hysteria of the headlines...
25 Years of Chelsea
Rosy and Rob Hardy
A potted history of Hardy’s and the lead up to successful RHS Chelsea Flower Show medals, how we ended up doing a RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden which then...
Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities
Cancelled All tickets will be refunded in due course. Istanbul has always been a place where stories and histories collide and crackle, where narrative and perception is as potent...
Caroline Sheldon and Emma Oulton
Leading literary agent Caroline Sheldon and top social media publishing publicist Emma Oulton will take you inside the modern publishing industry. Caroline will offer her top ten tips for...
The Dark Angel
Join bestselling crime writer Elly Griffiths as she talks through her career and influences. A wonderfully engaging speaker Elly will discuss how she got her pen-name Elly Griffiths, her...
The Shipwreck Hunter
David Mearns has discovered some of the world’s most fascinating and elusive shipwrecks. From the mighty battlecruiser HMS Hood to the crumbling wooden skeletons of Vasco da Gama’s 16th...
Too Many Pills
James Le Fanu
The number of prescriptions issued by family doctors has soared threefold in just fifteen years with millions now committed to taking a cocktail of half a dozen (or more)...
The Digital Ape: How to Live (in Peace) with Smart Machines
Sir Nigel Shadbolt
The smart-machines revolution is re-shaping our lives and our societies. Sir Nigel Shadbolt (one of Britain’s leading authorities on artificial intelligence) dispels terror, confusion, and misconception. We are not...
Among Bohemian Women: Lesley Blanch
Georgia de Chamberet
Lesley Blanch MBE was born in London in 1904. She spent the greater part of her life travelling to Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East. A bold and...
Happy as Harry
Happy as Harry is a guide to human happiness as narrated by a wise and always happy dog called Harry. A lighthearted book that deals with serious matters, author...
The King’s Witch: James I and the Gunpowder Plot
In this talk, inspired by her debut novel, Tracy will take us into the turbulent world of the early Stuart court, where King James I waged a war on...
From Blenheim to Chartwell
From Blenheim to Chartwell is a biography of Winston Churchill through the houses he lived in and the gardens he made. It culminates with the full story of his...
In her Forgotten Women series of books, Zing Tsjeng re-discovers the lost histories of influential women who have surmounted obstacles of life and times to shape the course of...
Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen
Eleven days after the bloody death of the Queen, Jane Seymour is dressing for her wedding to Henry VIII. She knows she must bear a son – or face...
War Stories: Gripping Tales of Courage, Cunning and Compassion
Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan
War Stories is a fascinating account of ordinary men and women swept up in the turbulence of war. These are their stories–many untold until now–of 28 individuals and three...
The Orchid Hunter
On one of the strangest pre-university gap years you’ve ever heard of, Leif Bersweden spent the summer of 2013 hunting down all 52 species of wild orchid native to...
Gardening Panel: Any Questions?
Stefan Buczacki, Rosy and Rob Hardy and Victoria Summerley
Trouble with pests? Looking for the perfect plant for that tricky location? Join our knowledgeable panel, eminent gardening expert and author Stefan Buczacki, multi gold medal winners plantsmen Rosy...
We Were Warriors
Johnny Mercer MP
Johnny talks about his journey from a troubled childhood, through to his reasons for joining the Army, finding his feet in the military and then finding his way from...
Vesna Goldsworthy will talk about and read from Monsieur Ka, recently named one of the Times best new novels for 2018. The Guardian described this “deft continuation of Anna...
From Concept to TV Series
Dominic Minghella leads us on a journey from the initial concept to the final production of a successful TV series with amusing behind the scenes anecdotes and stories. Amongst...
The Husband Hunters: Social Climbing in London and New York
Anne de Courcy
Towards the end of the 19th century and the first few years of the 20th Britain, the citadel of power, privilege and breeding was breached. The incomers were a...
Harry: Conversations With the Prince
Angela Levin had the privilege of following Prince Harry on his royal duties for a year, at the end of which she had private and exclusive conversations with him...
This inventive historical novel gives a gripping account of real Cold War espionage from a new perspective. An unassuming Communist and UN diplomat turned Cold War spy stands on...
Confessions of a Political Maverick
Austin Mitchell is a political maverick. For 38 years he was a fly in the parliamentary ointment, a recurring itch on the body politic. A maverick may annoy the...
The Truth Game
As a teenager Vanessa Nicolson plays a game with her father: they take turns to ask a question and the other must answer truthfully. One day Vanessa asks: ‘Apart...
Primate Change: How the World We Made is Remaking Us
Come join Vybarr Cregan-Reid for a whistle stop tour of the modern body looking at how the environment we have made is changing us all, inside and out. From the...
Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low Wage Britain
We all define ourselves by our profession. But what if our job was demeaning, poorly paid, and tedious? Cracking open Britain’s divisions journalist James Bloodworth spent six months living...
Going Further Cabaret
Oxford in the ’60s was one thing: rock ‘n’ roll another. Playing the lead role in Hair!, creating (and losing) Rock Bottom, the first ever all-girl rock band, ought to...