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Our Man in New York by Henry Hemming

Posted on: 18/09/2019

The gripping story of a propaganda campaign like no other: the covert British operation to manipulate American public opinion and bring the US into the Second World War. When William Stephenson – “our man in New York” – arrived in the United States towards the end of June 1940 with instructions from the head of MI6 to ‘organise’ American public opinion, Britain was on the verge of defeat. Surveys showed that just 14% of the US population wanted to go to war against Nazi Germany. But soon that be…

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Who was Susanna Horenbout?

Posted on: 17/09/2019 with tags: alison weir, Anna of Kleve, Anne of Cleeves, henry viii, Six Tudor Queens, Susanna Horenbout, Tudor

Of about two dozen female artists working in the sixteenth century, Susanna Horenbout is one of the least known. In fact, no work can be attributed to her with confidence. Nevertheless, she is accounted as the first woman painter to have worked in England. She was actually Flemish and came from an artistic family of Ghent. Her father was the artist Gerard Horenbout (or Hornebolt), court painter to Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Netherlands, and her brother was the miniaturist Lucas Horenbout…

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Andrew Williams: Was Peter Wright a wrecker or saviour for Britain’s Security Service?

Posted on: 13/09/2019 with tags: Cambridge Five, Witchfinder, 20th Century, Cold War

In my first days at the BBC, more than thirty years ago, the struggle between Her Majesty’s Government and a frail pensioner down under was at the top of the running order nearly every night. Poor old Peter Wright limping to an Australian court on a stick, the last of his white hair just visible beneath a bush hat. He was an elderly David challenging an army of lawyers. Always a genial smile for the cameras as if he was relishing a contest that was viewed in many places around the world as one o…

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5 things you didn’t know about the former Soviet Republic…

Posted on: 09/09/2019

In Autumn 1991 the fifteen republics that had together constituted the Soviet Union, also known as the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, broke out of the union to become independent states, more or less overnight. In the course of a few months, Eastern Europe acquired six new countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova. Central Asia got five new countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. And three new countries emerged in the Caucasus r…

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