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Tag Archives: history

Hat trick ball

My mate Howard has found a cricket ball in his aunt’s attic… – For The Critic

Strength and honour

A love letter to 20 years of watching Gladiator. – For The Critic

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. One’s past is what one is. It is the only way by which people should be judged. — The Nelson Evening Mail, Wednesday, August 29 1906 . Globalisation is going into reverse. The (great) auk became extinct because he forgot how to fly. Your underpants contain cellulose. In the medieval period, walking through a labyrinth or [...]

Selassie come home

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste Canongate, £16.99, pp. 428 . In 1935 the troops of Benito Mussolini’s sinister-clownish Roman Empire II invaded Ethiopia, in large part out of spite for Italy’s embarrassing defeat there 40 years before. Initially largely uncontested – thanks both to emperor Haile Selassie’s desperate faith in international brotherhood and to [...]

You want appease of me?!

The Hitler Years: Triumph 1933-1939 by Frank McDonough Head of Zeus £30 . In the early- to mid-1930s my grandmother (Irish, South African, later Australian) lived for a few years in the east of Germany, as a language assistant/housemistress in a boarding school. Her one recorded comment about Hitler’s accession to power was that he [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. There are more kilts in London than in Scotland. — The Nelson Evening Mail, Thursday, May 9 1907 . At 45% of the population, white Christians are a shrinking demographic in America. Hermal eggings are so leek. No sensitive person would choose to be the historian of the Irish asylums in the first part of the [...]

Islamic cities

Review of Justin Marozzi’s Islamic Empires: Fifteen Cities that Define a Civilization. – For Geographical

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. The Paris Louvre is in future to be guarded by watch-dogs. — The Nelson Evening Mail, Monday, July 13 1908 . The human population has almost doubled since we landed on the Moon. Genital preferences are transphobic. The third umpire will have the final say on the snatch. It is against the rules to take a [...]

Hit and miss

Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943 By Max Hastings William Collins £25 . By 1943, after nearly four years of war ‘ameliorated [only] by a thin gruel of successes,’ Britain and her western allies had little to boast in terms of their offensive victories; the lion’s share of the burden was very clearly being shouldered by [...]

Great Man history

On Andrew Roberts’ Churchill: Walking with Destiny. – For The Oldie