Archive for the ‘History’ Category


“Presidents & Prime Ministers: What Makes Great Leaders In Times Of Crisis?”

September 16th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

This was the title of a talk given this week by Mark Malcolmson, Principal of the City Literary Institute in London, which I was able to attend online. Mark structured his address around three principles of leadership. Having a clear sense of what is right He cited as examples of this Gerald Ford’s pardoning of […]

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What did you do in the coronavirus lockdown, granddad? Well, one of the things I did was deliver over 30 online history lessons.

July 22nd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

When the country was suddenly plunged into lockdown and schools had to close their doors to most of their students, I was asked if I would help out with my nine year old granddaughter by doing an online history lesson with her once a week. When a young friend heard about this, she asked if […]

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Should Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia be a church, a mosque or a museum?

July 11th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

There are some locations which are so special that, although they are in a particular country, the world is concerned about them. Examples which I might suggest would include Stonehenge in Britain, St Mark’s Square in Italy, Auschwitz in Poland, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Giza pyramids in Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India, Uluru […]

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The world understands so little of the history of Persia and Iran

July 7th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I’ve very much enjoyed watching the three-part BBC Four documentary series “Art Of Persia” presented by Samira Ahmed. I learned so much. For instance, I knew nothing about the lost city of Merv where an estimated 700,000 were slaughted. However, I do know something about the history of Persia/Iran from my reading of a couple […]

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A review of a 2001 biography of Winston Churchill by Roy Jenkins

June 9th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

In a public poll organised by the BBC in 2002, which generated more than one and a half million votes, Sir Winston Chuchill (1874-1965) was voted the greatest Briton ever. Certainly he was a remarkable man with some outstanding accomplishments, but he was a complex and controversial character. The son of a British Lord and […]

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Most people have never heard of the Treaty Of Trianon – but Hungarians have never forgotten it

June 4th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The Treaty of Trianon was signed on 4 June 1920 – 100 years ago today – at the Trianon Palace at Versailles in France. It was part of the settlement of the First World War and it was signed by representatives of Hungary on one side and the Allied Powers on the other. Why did […]

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Al Capone was finally brought down because of his tax affairs. Could the same thing happen to Donald Trump?

May 14th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

This is an extract from the Wikipedia page on American gangster Al Capone: “The federal authorities became intent on jailing Capone, and prosecuted him in 1931 for tax evasion. During a highly publicized case, the judge admitted as evidence Capone’s admissions of his income and unpaid taxes, made during prior (and ultimately abortive) negotiations to pay […]

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How often are British general elections?

May 5th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

In theory, they are held every five years but, in practice, they tend to be held after about four years. The longest interval was occasioned by the Second World War: 1935-1945. Sometimes, however, general elections have been held with surprising frequency. I was reminded of this from my current lockdown reading of the 900 page […]

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Who were King Henry VIII’s six wives and what happened to them?

April 29th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

During this lockdown when children cannot be at school. I’ve been doing online history lessons for two youngsters aged nine years old – one is granddaughter no 1 and the other the son of a good friend. We started with Victorian Britain and I did four sessions on this period. To keep things fresh, we’ve […]

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Happy St George’s Day – but he was not the character you might have thought

April 23rd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

There is nothing more English than St George, right? And today we celebrate him and all things English. St George might be hailed as a national hero, but he was actually born – in the 3rd century AD – more than 2,000 miles away in Cappadocia (modern day Turkey). He is thought to have died […]

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