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Articles by Henry Elkins

About Henry Elkins

A keen researcher of family ancestors, Henry will be reporting on the centenary of World War One. More Posts

The Mirror and the Light/Hilary Mantel

In these extraordinary times I feel entitled in reviewing a book that I have not read and am not going to read. It’s the third book in Hilary Mantel’s trilogy on Thomas Cromwell. Reviewers I respect have criticised it for being too long and needing editing. Why the fuss? It’s rather like [...]

March 24, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Splendid and the Vile/ Erik Larson

This an engaging and well-researched account by an American author and journalist of the Blitz. My initial reaction on reading the reviews was “Do I need this?” Over the last year I had read Andrew Roberts’ biography of Churchill, Appeasing Hitler, Nicholas Shakespeare’s Six Minutes [...]

March 17, 2020 // 0 Comments

The small gap between certainty and the opposite

It’s a funny old world we live in. Yesterday I travelled by train into central London to lunch with some old mates who on the face of it have nothing more in common than a past in the sense that we all went to the same school at roughly the same time. At least that’s one way of looking at it. [...]

March 14, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Vietnam War /Ken Burns

One of the advantages of seniority, as most Rusters are, is our very personal memories of chronicled events. Thus in watching the 10 disc set of Ken Burns’ superb documentary on Vietnam my own memories flooded back. I can recall the school debates, the domino theory that all South East Asia [...]

February 21, 2020 // 0 Comments

Trial of Christine Keeler/The Profumo Affaire

I did not watch the final episode of the trial of Christine Keeler though old-fashionedly I recorded it (I’m the over 50 generation the BBC no longer want) but I did see Tom Mangold’s documentary Keeler, Profumo, Ward and me. This was more about him – as its title suggests – than [...]

January 31, 2020 // 0 Comments

The importance of realism

Let us be blunt – despite all its special camaraderie and virtuous trappings rugby union is no different to any other sport at the highest elite level. Without donning the rose-tinted glasses, down through its illustrious amateur history those who played the game, and its many fans, wallowed in a [...]

January 23, 2020 // 0 Comments

Those Angry Days /Lynne Olson

The subtitle of this book is Roosevelt,Lindbergh and America’s Fight over World War Two. Thus it is an account of the years and events leading up to America’s entrance into World War Two. It’s seen through the prism of two of the most significant personalities of the era, Franklin Delano [...]

January 12, 2020 // 0 Comments

The American Civil War/ Ken Burns

Having enjoyed Ken Burns’ documentary on The Roosevelts I bought two more of his on The American Civil War and Vietnam. I decided to watch the US Civil War over the festive period and completed the 9 episode (11.5 hour) series last night. It took Burns five years to make and it features over [...]

December 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

The study of history – not an exact science

Yesterday as a ‘token’ Christmas present from my daughter I received a small paperback book entitled Churchill in Quotes – Wit And Wisdom From The Great Statesman, produced by Ammonite Press with images provided by the Press Association, first published in 2011. To appropriate a [...]

December 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

They keep on coming

Apart from taking the opportunity to wish readers of the Rust all the very best for the festive season and indeed 2020, my purpose today is – in keeping with my ‘brief’ as a columnist – to provide them with links to three media stories of potential historical/archaeological [...]

December 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

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