Archive for the ‘History’ Category


A review of the book “Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991” by Orlando Figes

June 30th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This is a work that covers a century of revolutionary history in a main text of just over 400 pages written by the well-known British academic Orlando Figes who teaches at Birkbeck University in London. It has the strengths and weaknesses of any non-fiction book that seeks to cover so much ground in such concise […]

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A review of the newly-released film “Churchill”

June 23rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Winston Churchill had a long and complex military and political career but this film – it could just as easily have been a play – concerns a mere few days in that rich life: the last five days of preparation for Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings in June 1944. As a young minister, Churchill had […]

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MailOnline gives publicity to my book “Night Hawk”

June 12th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I recently did a blog posting about the reprint of my book “Night Hawk” – a biography of Karel Kuttelwascher, the RAF’s greatest night intruder pilot of the Second World War. The book is now starting to receive reviews and the MailOnline web site -the most visited English-language newspaper website in the world – has […]

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How old is humankind and where did it start?

June 10th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Until recently, the answers to these questions were that humans evolved around 200,000 years ago and originated in East Africa. As this article explains: “Scientists have long looked to East Africa as the birthplace of modern humans. Until the latest findings from Jebel Irhoud, the oldest known remnants of our species were found at Omo […]

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Today’s publication of the reprinted edition of my biography of the RAF’s greatest night intruder

May 30th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

The Czech Karel Kuttelwascher was the Royal Air Force’s greatest night intruder ace in World War Two. In all, he shot down 18 German aircraft – 15 bombers and 3 fighters – and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross twice in 42 days. I wrote his biography under the title “Night Hawk” which was published in […]

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A review of a book on the Sri Lankan civil war

May 21st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

“This Divided Island” by Samantha Subramanian (2014) I read this book about the Sri Lankan civil war before and during a two-week trip to the island in which I ensured that I visited the Tamil part of the country as well as the more general areas populated by the majority Sinhalese. It is an unconventional […]

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I join the start of the Russian Revolution – well, at least the exhibition

April 27th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

As a blogger, I was invited to this morning’s media preview at the British Library of the new exhibition “Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths” which opens to to the general public tomorrow and runs until 29 August. We were shown around the exhibition by the curators Katya Rogatchevshaia and Susan Reed. This fascinating exhibition tells […]

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Did you know about the mass rape of Italian women by Allied troops in the Second World War?

April 20th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I’ve been reading the novel “Where My Heart Used To Beat” by Sebastian Faulks. Part of the novel is set in southern Italy in the last years of World War Two and reference is made to an incident of which I had previously been totally unaware. Apparently it has been given the term ‘Marocchinate’. ‘Marocchinate’ […]

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A short history of the Easter egg

April 5th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

In the midst of the ridiculous row over whether the National Trust’s “Great British Egg Hunt” has neglected the religious significance of Easter, in this article the “Guardian” newspaper offers a potted history of the Easter egg as follows: “Eggs at Easter are thought to have their origins in pagan rather Christian traditions. Now the consumption […]

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The Experiment: Georgia’s Forgotten Revolution 1918-1921

February 23rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Yesterday evening, I was at the Georgian Embassy in London to hear a fascinating talk by my good friend Eric Lee. The subject of the address was the content of a book which he has written and will be published by Zed Books in September 2017. He told us about a particular period in a […]

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