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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 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

The Plot Against America

I promise you this is the last review you will have to read of HBO’s Plot Against America but the editor asked me to put it in a historical context. I have to start with the observation that this was not a documentary but a drama based on the fiction of Philip Roth. This said, a number of [...]

July 30, 2020 // 0 Comments

Our NHS is a wonderful thing

Yesterday, as it turned out, I didn’t have a procedure at my local hospital in order that a biopsy could be taken of a small blemish in the centre of my forehead in order to check whether it might be something serious – or hopefully confirm that it wasn’t. At my age and getting older by the [...]

July 25, 2020 // 0 Comments

Going ‘off piste’ for a moment

One of the Rust’s engaging features to my mind – consistent with comments made by many of its readers that write to me – is its unique and somewhat haphazard approach to its mission. I’ve lost count of those I fall into conversation with – especially those with connections to marketing [...]

June 22, 2020 // 0 Comments

A man on a mission

Michael (Lord) Ashcroft, 74, is a British born entrepreneur/businessman estimated in March 2020 to be worth £1.7 billion and a man of many parts. He officially lives ‘off shore’, retains dual citizenship with Britain and Belize, and his tax status has been a source of controversy most [...]

May 3, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Battle of the Atlantic/Jonathan Dimbleby

There is a new type of historian about – one who is not an academic but in the media, like Sir Max Hastings or Jonathan Dimbleby who has written the above account which I read as an audio book  narrated by him. Like most history books it is far too long and would benefit from editing. It is [...]

April 29, 2020 // 0 Comments

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

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