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Tag Archives: war

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 [...]

Brue meets gel

About the Bruegels on my bedroom wall. – For The Oldie

Intelligence review

‘For centuries before the Second World War, educated British people knew far more about intelligence operations recorded in the Bible than they did about the role of intelligence at any moment in their own history.’ Nowadays, one might think, few would even know that. But that’s where Christopher Andrew – Emeritus Professor of Modern and [...]

Creation-ism

This weekend I will be joining a local choral society for their performance of Haydn’s The Creation – and what better way to welcome Spring now that it’s finally arrived. An avowed and much-loved masterpiece from its earliest performances – Vienna, 1798 – ‘whose appeal [I read from A Peter Brown's DECCA sleeve-notes] was irresistible [...]

Around the world in 60 minutes

On microlecturing, the RGS, and a whistlestop tour around the Jaffna peninsula. – For The Oldie

A hero’s welcome

Dunkirk – THE UNTOLD STORY!! – For The Oldie