The ‘Whitsun’ Bank Holiday means that the Hay Festival is underway – for the thirty-fourth time. For a second year running, Covid means a virtual event with sessions ‘broadcasting for free online’, available afterwards on ‘Hay Player’.

Hay is one of the big players of book festivals, along with Edinburgh and Cheltenham. They should be applauded for their ability to adapt and thrive even when deprived of what seemed to be their unique selling point: in-person contact between authors and audience.