Arts, Philosophy & History



MELISSA ASHLEY – The Birdman’s Wife

James Gould was famous as for his beautiful printed and hand coloured depictions of Australian birds. But it was his wife Elizabeth who produced the bulk of this wonderful work. In this first chapter she encounters Gould in his workroom and is fascinated by all she sees.

Recorded at the Sydney Writers Festival 2017



George Gittoes has used his talents in many art forms to draw attention to the plight of those in war zones- both civilian and army. Here he recounts ( with a few asides!) a series of incidents that typify his experiences in these areas.

Recorded at the Sydney Writers Festival 2017


A.C GRAYLING- The Age of Genius

Noted historian, philosopher and academic, Professor A. C Grayling claims that the 17th c was the greatest ever change in the mental outlook of humanity. Here he offers a small illustration of how the rise of occultism led to scientific methods that had far reaching effects.



david lovejoy David's book is a wonderful combination of fiction and philosophy. In this extract , his character  Arwel, is lost in the desert .


HUGH MACKAY -Beyond Belief

Hugh Mackay -Beyond Belief002 Hugh Mackay believes even if we don't define ourselves as religious we are all on this spiritual quest called 'life' – and we must find ways to relate to each other ethically and compassionately.

Recorded at Sydney Writers Festival 2016


SEBASTIAN SMEE - The Art of Rivalry

It should be no surprise to learn that artists influence each other, but it is fascinating to learn to what extent and how this has shaped the last 200 years of what we view in our galleries.

Recorded at the Sydney Writers Festival 2017


ASHLEIGH WILSON - Brett Whiteley: Art, Life and the other Thing.

In this moving extract Ashleigh writes an account of Brett Whitely using his art to help him cope with the unthinkable – the loss of his friend the artist Joel Elenberg.
Recorded at the Sydney writers Festival 2017

authors in their own words