Category Archives: BOOK REVIEW

The Ideas of 1914

The Ideas of 1914


The comparatively static nature of the front line in the west for much of the war meant that, after the first three months, most of France and Belgium was not directly in the fighting zone. But for those trapped in the areas of German occupation the war took on another meaning. Some were interned in concentration camps and others held as hostages. For the remainder, the pattern of the day was set by German time; they required passes in order to go about their daily business; family life was disrupted as women were deported as labourers; class was reversed as bourgeois families found themselves short of food and humiliated by the invaders.

New France (1534 – 1763)

New France (1534 – 1763)

France was England’s principal rival in the race to found colonies in North America in the 17th and 18th centuries. French adventurers were at the forefront of exploration of the New World and soon established control over extensive territories. Yet despite having a larger population than England, France was far less successful in encouraging emigration to its colonies.

Who was Ada Blackjack?

Who was Ada Blackjack?

On 16th September 1921, four young men, Americans Lorne Knight, Milton Galle, and Fred Maurer; and Allan Crawford, a Canadian, were despatched to the remote, uninhabited Wrangel Island, off the coast of Siberia, in order to claim it as Canadian territory. Accompanying them was one woman – an Iñupiat Inuit named Ada Blackjack, hired as a seamstress. In a dictated statement, printed in Stefansson’s book, Blackjack wrote: “When we got to Wrangel Island, the land looked very large to me, but they said that it was only a small island. I thought at first that I would turn back, but I decided it wouldn’t be fair to the boys. Soon after we arrived I started to sew.”

Book review: A Fine Brother: The Life of Flora Sandes by Louise Miller

Book review:  A Fine Brother: The Life of Flora Sandes by Louise Miller

Author: Louise Miller
Publisher: Alma Books
Reviewed by: Elaine di Rollo
Price (RRP): £25

Do we need another book chronicling women’s experiences of the Great War? Perhaps. Are not library shelves groaning under the weight of such worthy publications? Undoubtedly. 

John Hawkwood: An English Captain in Italy

John Hawkwood: An English Captain in Italy

The way in which armies and garrisons were recruited during the Hundred Years War ensured that when peace broke out in 1360 there were large numbers of soldiers, unemployed and without prospects, loose in the realm of France. These banded together, forming independent companies who made war on their own account, seeking to keep themselves fed and paid.