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History

What’s it all about?

My subject for today – illustrated by two examples – is the vexed one of how the human race copes with life on a planet with finite resources on the one hand and apparently infinite complications upon the other. I grant you that’s a hell of an opening statement but there’s no particular [...]

April 17, 2021 // 0 Comments

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

Normandy 2021

It is said that “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” – and it was certainly true when, as a young teacher on my first assignment, devoid of geography knowledge, I was given a textbook by my headmaster and told that – as long as I stayed one chapter ahead of the pack – [...]

April 4, 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

My Rembrandt

This is a Dutch documentary available on Amazon Prime which I watched last night. It’s about the ownership or acquisition of a Rembrandt. Rembrandt never went out of fashion unlike his peer Johannes Vermeer who had to wait 200 years for fame. Similarly Gustav Klimt and Sandro Botticelli would [...]

March 24, 2021 // 0 Comments

Defence is a no-win matter

Today is the anniversary of the imposition of the UK’s first lockdown – a milestone that I’m sure most of us will not be celebrating. During my overnight trawl of the newspaper websites I noticed a piece in The Independent detailing that apparently the nation’s total of 126,000 Covid-19 [...]

March 23, 2021 // 0 Comments

The human presumption

All species live life “in the moment” – in basic terms, each morning they awake, seek out food and sustenance, “do their thing” and eventually go back to sleep again, all against the background of what the specific conditions are on any given day. It is one of the crosses to bear of the [...]

February 5, 2021 // 0 Comments

Reflections upon an unwelcome milestone

Yesterday the UK had to come to terms with the sobering news that our total number of deaths so far due to the Covid-19 virus has just passed 100,000. From memory I can recall that one of our boffin masters – almost certainly either Professor Chris Witty (chief medical officer) or Sir Patrick [...]

January 27, 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

Woke frustration

One aspect of contemporary arts which consistently irritates me is the random woke application. A good example of this was a programme I saw recently on Channel Four entitled The 100 Greatest Musicals. I enjoy such programmes for the clips from the musicals and input from film historians and [...]

January 12, 2021 // 0 Comments

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