Book Review: Breaker Morant The Final Roundup by Joe West & Roger Roper.

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ISBN: 9781445659657

Format: Hardback.
Length: 400 Pages.
Published: Amberley 15 Dec 2016.
https://www.amberley-books.com/breaker-morant.html

The execution of Harry “Breaker” Morant and two other officers of the Bushveldt Carbineers is one of those controversy riddled debates that rumbles onwards wether or not the subject is in the public eye. Honestly I am unable to comment as to wether the evidence presented in this latest contribution alters the scale one way or the other. For this reviewer is one of those mentioned in the introduction; a newcomer to the subject, therefore in reading this I was at least blessed with an open mind. Continue reading

The Week in History,

A roundup of the week’s historical events, collected from my Twitter ramblings and expanded with contemporary and near contemporary descriptions.

Issue 1.  Mon. 13 Feb 1503. Challenge of Barletta. 13 Feb 1692. Massacre of Glencoe. 14 Feb 1779. Death of Captain Cook. 15 Feb Destruction of the USS Maine. 17 Feb Official Opening of Tut’s Tomb.

Continue reading

By harking back to Greece and Rome we are winking at the Spynx.

Common (ish) perceptions of the ancient world.

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What’s Your Civ?

Back in 2012 I offered my small pool of followers the chance to take part in a small experiment I called “What’s Your Civ?”. A kitch hashtag I thought up which tells you as much about my own social media naivety back then as it does anything else. But the idea was to then do a post about the results, highlighting people’s perceptions of past civilisations. Continue reading

Messages from the Alamo.

How the Texas Revolution was reported in Britain.

The first page of Travis' famous letter from the Alamo to the people of Texas and all Americans in the world. Little did he know his words would actually reach the world.

The first page of Travis’ famous letter from the Alamo to the people of Texas and all Americans in the world. Little did he know his words would actually reach the world.

Messages from the Alamo.

In the days before overseas telegraph, international news travelled as fast as the fastest ship. Although special correspondents and reporters played a part, unexpected stories required newspaper agents to gather the latest papers tie them up and send them home, where editors would either print verbatim or amalgamate stories to make up a column.

Delays in the relay of information, which filtered north and south through Texas into the United States, Mexico and then across the sea, meant that by the time some British readers heard about the fall of the Alamo, the defenders had been dead for nearly two months. Continue reading

Book Review: How Australia Became British by Howard T. Fry.

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ISBN 9781445664989
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288.
Publisher: Amberley 2016.

https://www.amberley-books.com/how-australia-became-british.html
In 1811 a book was published in France presenting the findings of a scientific exploration of southern Australia. But the name on the maps read, Terre Napoleon and the inlets and bays had names like Bonaparte and Josephine. It was a visual representation that showed how global the rivalry between France and Britain truly was. Newly discovered trade routes had made the east an area of great strategic interest. Continue reading

How Bailing out the East India Company lead to the Boston Teaparty.

In London, Benjamin Franklin could see trouble coming:

“It was thought at the beginning of the session that the American Duty on tea would be taken off. But now the scheme is, to take off as much tax here as will make Tea Cheaper in America than foreigners can supply us; and continue the duty there to keep up the exercise of the right. They have no idea that any people can act from any principle but that of interest; and they believe that 3d. In a pound of tea, of which one does not drink perhaps 10lb in a year is sufficient to overcome the patriotism of America!”

The East India Company had so far in its history survived storms, the Mughal emperors and hostile foreign companies. Further it had as yet survived a scale of corruption and self interest in its officials unheard of in the more than usually self serving world of 18th century commerce. Yet such recklessness could not continue for ever. Clive had returned with such a pile of loot (£234,000) that it offended the good taste of the old and often debt ridden aristocracy. Rapine was the word used by the Whigs and the King longed, for whatever reason be it administrative or monastery, to be able to clamp down on the running of the EIC. Their charter was indeed up for renewal.
In 1770 a massive drought hit Bengal plummeting the region into a state of famine. The monsoon had failed & the resultant hardship reduced the population of the state by almost a quarter. People were apparently selling their children, eating leaves, livestock & indeed each other to survive. The East India Company was blamed for hoarding resources. And indeed even though there is no proof of a deliberate plan of extermination they exacerbated the crisis by doing virtually nothing to aid Bengal’s plight. They were too busy looking at their account books with a concerned eye…

To read more, follow the link to Britannia Magazine Facebook Page.

http://fb.me/1F1wo7Lip

Josh.

Historyland’s Top Five History Books from 2016.

What a great year for history books! I was inundated with great titles from generous authors and publishers, and it was really hard to pick just five, but here they are, in no particular order a selection of my favourites from last year. Maybe they’ll be some of your favourites for 2017! Continue reading