Category Archives: History

Stripes

[I posted this at The Times’ First Edition Facebook page] Andrew Bacevich, an academic with a rare insider’s understanding of the American army (he was a senior officer and lost a son in the Iraq war) has written a good … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, World War 2 | Tagged , , ,

Notebook

All of the documents through 1938 that survive among Gould’s papers give his surname as “Gold”, but beginning at least as early as June 1939 the family name was almost always printed “Gould” in newspapers, programmes, and other sources… Xenophobia … Continue reading

Posted in History, Music, Notebook, World War 2 | Tagged , , ,

On the bench

For the last few days I’ve been reading “Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories”, a biography of sorts of one of the most celebrated defence lawyers of the last century.  (He’s still  alive, and turned 102 this year.) One chapter is devoted … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Media | Tagged , , , ,

Notebook

By 1815, memories of the 1790s were fragmented and confused, varying greatly according to the divergent memories of individuals, families and regions. Some of the most famous mythical symbols of the Revolution had yet to be propagated. Building barricades – … Continue reading

Posted in France, History, Notebook | Tagged , , ,

Notebook

Macaulay , like Burke, was an intellectual MP who harnessed history to politics. He was a literary celebrity of forceful personality and decided opinions – “I wish I was as cocksure of anything as Tom Macaulay is of everything,” remarked … Continue reading

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Marooned

Well, I went in with my expectations set reasonably low – the swooning and gasping from many of the critics automatically put me on my guard. (Remember how they tried to convince us that “Skyfall” was the best Bond film … Continue reading

Posted in Film, History, Reviews, Uncategorized, World War 2 | Tagged , ,

Notebook

St Stephen’s Chapel was the seat of the House of Commons from 1550 until it was destroyed by fire in 1834. Parliament’s authority was enhanced by this spectacular setting, and from it the English developed the habit of housing important … Continue reading

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Notebook

Desperate to regain royal favour, Lenthall had sent £3,000 as a gift to the new King. The money was banked, but resulted in no encouraging signs from the Crown. Lenthall now offered himself as a witness against Scott, claiming to … Continue reading

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The circus brothers

My Times review of Truevine, Beth Macy’s account of the lives of the black albino brothers, George and Willie Muse, star turns in American freak shows: As minor celebrities they appeared in the pages of The New Yorker — usually … Continue reading

Posted in History, Race, Reviews | Tagged , , , ,

Truth and lies

I have a feature in the Express on “Denial”, the compelling new film about the David Irving vs Deborah Lipstadt libel trial. When Richard Rampton rose to deliver his opening statement he was blunt: “My Lord, Mr Irving calls himself … Continue reading

Posted in Film, History, World War 2 | Tagged , , , , ,