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The Art of Fireworks

In a talk given at The Sage Gateshead as part of the 2011 Free Thinking Festival, Alexandra Harris discusses the history of fireworks, through music, painting and literature.

Alexandra Harris, one of Radio 3's New Generation Thinkers, gives a talk on the history of fireworks, recorded at the Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival at The Sage Gateshead in November.

Roman Candles, rockets, peonies of fire... on New Year's Eve the skies are lit up with ever more ingenious effects, but where did it all begin, and what have fireworks meant across the centuries?

Alexandra Harris won the 2010 Guardian First Book Award with Romantic Moderns. Her most recent work is a short biography of Virginia Woolf.

In her talk entitled The Art of Fireworks, Alexandra Harris draws on music, painting and literature to explore our love affair with pyrotechnics.

Available now

20 minutes