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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

Queen Elizabeth and the Spy in the Household/Channel 4

This was a typical Channel 4 documentary- long on revelation, short on evidence for it. The programme made two significant such revelations, namely that the Queen was complicit in the cover up of Anthony Blunt and his immunity from prosecution and, secondly, the spy delivered a hot dossier on the [...]

April 6, 2021 // 0 Comments

V2/Robert Harris

Popular historical fiction writer Robert Harris spent the lockdown researching this novel about the V2 rocket. There are two strands to the narrative. The novel begins with a V2 rocket hitting Warwick Court in London where Kay, a reconnaissance analyst for the RAF, is having an affaire with one of [...]

March 30, 2021 // 0 Comments

The Infiltrators /Norman Ohler

I have always been interested in the degree of complicity of the German people – das Volk – in Nazism and its crimes and conversely the resistance domestically to the regime. This readable and well-researched account of two such resistants – Harro Schultze-Boysen and his wife [...]

January 19, 2021 // 0 Comments

A first hand account

At noon midday this week on Thursday 17th December in Knightsbridge the auction house Bonham’s will be holding its latest auction of fine books, atlases, manuscripts and historical photographs. Included in the sale is the handwritten account of the famous siege of Rorke’s Drift in South [...]

December 15, 2020 // 0 Comments

In the Garden of Beasts/Erik Larson

This is the true story of the American Ambassador to Germany, William Dodd, appointed at the time of Adolf Hitler’s ascendancy to total power in 1933-44. Erik Larson (author) William Dodd was a mild-mannered history professor from Chicago who studied in Leipzig. He described himself as a [...]

December 9, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Dambusters /Channel 5

Last week Dan  Snow presented a three-part series on the World War Two raid on the dams that protected the Ruhr Valley the industrial heartland of Germany. Snow like his father Peter on election night with his swingometer is given to somewhat histrionic hand gestures. He is not a calm presenter [...]

December 5, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Nuremberg Trial

The 75th anniversary of The Nuremberg Trial was celebrated with a three part programme on Channel 5 in the week. It relied more on footage of the trial  than a narrator. Philippe Sands, a human rights barrister who wrote an excellent book on one of the main jurists present Eli Lauterpacht called [...]

December 4, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Crown/Netflix

Largely out of curiosity I watched the first two episodes of The Crown.   I was particularly curious to see whether my recollection of events tallied with those of the series. In one event, the murder of Prince Louis Mountbatten (played by Charles Dance), they did not. I recall feeling a deep [...]

November 17, 2020 // 0 Comments

World War One/PBS

There is a tendency in covering World War One to which I plead guilty of limiting our interest to the loss of young life in the trench warfare. This excellent series gave a much broader canvas and I was particularly interested in 1916-18. With war bogged down in the trenches of northern France and [...]

October 6, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Truth about Franco/PBS

This PBS documentary on General Franco was thorough enough but you could see it was not made by Ken Burns as it was not nearly as even-handed as his work. The two experts most used were Franco’s biographer Paul Preston, who is resolutely anti-Franco, and the distinguished writer historian Anthony [...]

September 6, 2020 // 0 Comments

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