Archive for the ‘History’ Category


What do you know about the Dead Sea Scrolls?

August 20th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I recently watched an interesting television documentary about the Dead Sea Scrolls and I realised how little I knew about them: how they were found, how many there are, what they say, why they are important, whether more are to be found … You can check out 6 things you may not know about the […]

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The rise and fall of the Weimar Republic

August 4th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

In the last couple of weeks, I have attended a set of two lectures at London’s City Literary Institute on the rise and fall of the Weimar Republic in Germany from 1919-1933 delivered by Alison Appleby. Below are some brief extracts from my notes: What were the achievements of the Weimar Republic by 1926? Attempted […]

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Does anyone else remember the “I’m Backing Britain” campaign of 1968?

August 1st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’ve recently attended two lectures at the City Literary Institute in central London which took a 50th anniversary look at some of the events worldwide in 1968 when I was a 20 year old university student. Those events included the Vietnam War (especially the Tet Offensive), the assassination of Martin Luther King & Robert F […]

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1976 and 2018: two exceptionally hot summers – but a lot of differences

July 28th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I remember the long hot summer of 1976. It was the summer I became a father and my life had never been sunnier. But, as explained in this article in the “Mirror” newspaper, there were lots of other things that made that year a better one than this year for so many people in Britain.

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How high can inflation go? Pity the people of Venezuela.

July 28th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Currently I’m doing a short course at the City Literary Institute on the Weimar Republic of Germany from 1919-1933. A defining feature of that country at that time was the hyper inflation experienced in 1923. At the start of the crisis in July 1922, one American dollar could be bought for 493 German marks. By […]

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The life and legacy of President Ronald Reagan

July 19th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This summer, as usual, I’m attending some short courses at the City Literary Institute in central London. The first one was a two and a hall hour session on US President Ronald Reagan delivered by college principal Mark Malcolmson who is incredibly knowledgeable and very fluent. These are some of my notes: Presidents tend to […]

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Commemorating the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela

July 18th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Nelson Mandela was born 100 years ago today on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in Umtata, then part of South Africa’s Cape Province. So today is a good time to remember this remarkable man and his wonderful achievements. You can learn a lot more about Mandeal’s life from his excellent biography “Long […]

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400 years ago, Europe’s Thirty Years’ War began

June 7th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This summer, four centuries ago, three characters were thrown out of a window in Prague – they all survived – and, from this bizarre incident, a war began than ran for 30 years and caused utter devastation throughout Central Europe. The Holy Roman Empire was convulsed by a bitter conflict between the Catholic Austrian Habsburgs […]

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“A Very English Scandal” was a very English success

June 4th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I spent part of this weekend watching all three one-hour episodes in the BBC1 drama series “A Very English Scandal”. This provides an account of the gay relationship between Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe and model Norman Scott and the trial of Thorpe and others on the charge of conspiracy to murder Scott. Although I […]

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Northern Ireland: 1968 and now

May 31st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

1968 was a momentous year around the world and there are all sorts of events marking its 50th anniversary. So, earlier this week, I was at the British Library in London for a talk sponsored by the Political Studies Association when the speaker was Bernadette McAliskey (nee Devlin). ¬†She came to fame with the outbreak […]

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