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Tag Archives: war

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. The diamond, in sufficient heat, will burn like a piece of charcoal. — The Nelson Evening Mail, Saturday, November 17 1906 . Podcasts will soon be like porn. The first three volumes of TS Eliot’s letters have been remaindered. Confidence travels. The door is a jar. Roken is dodelijk. Humans’ rubbish is the filthiest stuff [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. The King has a collection of 170 curious walking sticks. One is made from one of the piles of old London Bridge. — The Nelson Evening Mail, Wednesday, April 10 1907 . All the best people are born in October. In Moldova (and Czechoslovakia), ‘carp’ is spelled ‘crap’. In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost [...]

Islamic cities

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

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. Football was a crime in England during the reign of Henry VIII. — The Nelson Evening Mail, Tuesday, October 2 1906 . The moon is up for longer than the sun. Your antivirus expires in 29 days. The Dogmata Theologica of Petavius are a work of incredible labour and compass. The steep limestone walls of 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 [...]

Black samurai

Yasuke: The True Story of an African Samurai by Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard Sphere £20 (hardback) . In late July 1579, an enormous, well-dressed and well-armed African bodyguard stepped off a boat into the southern Japanese port of Kochinotsu. Yasuke – perhaps from ‘Isaac’ in Amharic – had (probably) been abducted as a child [...]

NEWS AT A GLANCE

. Thomas King was fined 12s, or eight days’ hard labour, at the Thames Police Court for intoxication. While in this state he asked a pawnbroker to advance 2s on a baby. — The Nelson Evening Mail, Wednesday, April 10 1907 . There are 2000 non-functioning satellites in space. Lord Reith did not want people to enjoy [...]

Extracts from the letters of Gerald Spence Smyth, Capt., 1st South African Irish Regt., Abyssinian campaign, 1941

6.2.41 I am given to understand that this is the 6th day of Feb. but for the life of me I don’t know what day of the week it is. Anyhow it doesn’t make any difference here. Excuse the dirt. A.A.¹ has just spilt some tea on my pad. The journey from the forest² to these [...]

Great Man history

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

Did The English Patient send me to Afghanistan?

Two nights from now, by way of (ahem) a birthday present, I will be attending a live-orchestra screening of The English Patient at the Albert Hall. I had invited an old friend, a raven-haired young lady (named in Debrett’s) of impossibly romantic tendency, who first exposed me to the film in, I’d say, about 1998 [...]