Tales of History and Imagination.

Three Short Tales…

Hey folks the internet tells me you all like lists, so I thought I’d fill a gap in the schedule with a short list, of short tales. This week’s tale is a triptych – a little like the Francis Bacon piece I borrowed for the featured image today… One – Pirates! Our first tale takes […]

The Strange Death of Dorothy Kilgallen (Part Three)

Content warning! This episode mentions sudden death, multiple suicides… and may have turned out to be one great big shaggy dog tale in itself. Reader discretion advised. Hi all welcome back, let’s do part three of the Dorothy Kilgallen Tale. Parts one and two can be found on the links. To state categorically John F […]

The New Colossus

Hi there folks, I’m doing something different this week. The tale of Dorothy Kilgallen goes on a short pause till I get a chance to review what I still had to cover about John F Kennedy, in the light of day. I still need to speak a little on why some people wanted a sitting […]

The Strange Death of Dorothy Kilgallen (Part Two)

Warning! This tale contains more shaggy dog tales. It also contains a description of the JFK assassination which might upset some people. Reader discretion is advised. Today, dear readers, we pick up our Tale on Dorothy Kilgallen, on the morning of Friday 22nd November 1963. The location, the Hilton, Fort Worth Texas. President John Fitzgerald […]

The Strange Death of Dorothy Kilgallen (Part One)

If she was just trying to get to sleep, and took the overdose of pills accidentally, why was the light on? Usually people sleep better in the dark. – Dorothy Kilgallen on Marilyn Monroe. Warning! This Tale begins with a shaggy dog tale involving YouTube and my recurring insomnia. I’ve no idea why YouTube algorithms […]

Reader Challenge: On J.F.C Fuller

Hi everyone, this week I’m doing things a little differently. I think this will be a one off, but the process was fun. A few weeks before this will publish I got a message via the portal from WordPress follower Tom Doberman – Hi Tom. His question, have I thought of picking a date then […]

Tipu’s Tiger

Local legend in the Kingdom of Mysore tells the following tale. One day, a young prince named Tipu went out hunting in the jungle with a friend – sometimes portrayed as a French mercenary in the service of the prince’s father – the fearsome Hyder Ali. While tracking a local deer or antelope the two […]

Charles Lightoller’s worst night ever

Today’s tale is set in the North Atlantic ocean, around 400 miles off the coast of the then Dominion of Newfoundland. The date 15th April 1912. The time, around 2.30am. Picture our subject, a 38 year old former Navy officer named Charles Lightoller. Tonight may well be his worst day on the job. Sitting in […]

The Wreck of the Batavia (Part Seven: Wiebbe Hayes)

Hi all welcome to the final chapter of the Batavia saga. Apologies to the readership for the delay in finishing this tale… I had to move out of a house I’d lived in and rented for a little over a decade (the Coronavirus pandemic gave the owners time to rethink priorities, one decision was to […]

Repost: Spring Heeled Jack: The Terror of London.

One: Backward and Forward He Switched His Long Tail…. Over the hills and over the dale, And he went over the plain, And backward and forward he switched his long tail, As a gentleman switches his cane. Samuel Taylor Coleridge “The Devil’s Thoughts” “Murderers are not monsters, they’re men. And that’s the most frightening thing […]

Repost: The Gombe Chimpanzee War

From 1974 to 1978 a vicious, sometimes cannibalistic war raged between two tribes in Gombe National Park,Tanzania. On one side was the Kasakela, the other side, the much larger Kahana tribe from the south of the region. They once were one large tribe, but a falling out in 1971 set the stage for this guerrilla […]

Marsha Albert’s Letter

Edward Bulwer Lytton, a man of letters, once wrote ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. He wrote several other memorable phrases, one of which has led to his name adorning an annual competition, the goal of which is to write the most hilariously bad, convoluted opening sentences ever written. Just go and download an […]

Hannibal in Bithynia

Today’s tale is set in the Asiatic town of Libyssa, in Bithynia – on the periphery of what is now Turkey. The date, some time around 182 BCE. Hannibal Barca, perhaps one of the all time great generals in world history is pacing the room like a caged Barbary Lion. His life, from the age […]

Andrew Jackson’s parrot.

Hi all just a quick update across all the socials. The final episode of the Batavia saga has been waylaid by needing to move home. The house I’ve been living at for close to 12 years has recently been sold, although I do have a new house to move to in the coming weeks. I’ve […]

The Wreck of The Batavia (part 6 – Water, water everywhere…)

Hi all this is part six of a seven part series, to pick up anywhere along the way click one, two, three, four Five. This week we’re going to stop and rewind a little. Much of Cornelisz’ actions were predicated on his assumption he was a dead man if Pelsaert and Jacobsz survived the 3,000 kilometer journey from the […]

The Wreck of The Batavia (part 5 – The Massacre)

Hi all this is part five of a seven part series, to pick up anywhere along the way click one, two, three, four. Today we pick up where the first episode left off. If you recall, Jacobsz and Pelsaert had evacuated most of the survivors on to one of two islands in the Abrolhos. They […]

The Wreck of the Batavia. (Part 4 – The Turn of the Screw)

Hi all welcome back. We just left the tale in the wake of the public embarrassment of skipper Ariaen Jacobsz for his drunken pleasure cruise around the bay. This incident would escalate quickly, in a way that no-one expected. Furious over being chided by Upper-merchant Pelsaert; Jacobsz, with aid by Jeronimus Cornelisz began to plot […]

The Wreck of The Batavia (part 3 – The Voyage to the Cape)

Hi all welcome back to the second part (third blog) of my podcast on the wreck of the Batavia, this is Tales of History and Imagination. My name is Simone. Before we delve into the voyage itself it bears talking quickly about why the Dutch sent ships 15 thousand miles out to South East Asia, […]

The Wreck of the Batavia (part 2 – The Heretic)

Hi all welcome back, this is part 2 of a six part series. Part one can be found here. By way of a little background, Jeronimus Cornelisz was born sometime around 1598 in the remote Northern Dutch province of Friesland. Friesland would have been quite the culture shock to Dutch visitors at the time. It […]

Before Rock and Roll – A Playlist (part two)

Hi all, sorry for the delay. For part one, which includes the Spotify playlist itself, Click Here Hi all, let’s put that playlist to bed. Apologies for missing the Thursday timeline two weeks running – if the worst thing to happen to me from COVID is having to suddenly find a new home I’ll consider […]

Two: Ozymandias.

Originally posted on Moonlight Disquisitions:
“I met a traveller from an antique landWho said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stoneStand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,Tell that its sculptor well those passions readWhich yet survive, stamped on these…

The Wreck of The Batavia (part 1 – The Wreck)

Today’s tale begins in all but uncharted territory somewhere out in the Indian Ocean, at around 3am, 3rd June 1629. Aboard the Dutch East Indies new flagship – the Batavia – two men are having a furious disagreement. Launched 211 days earlier in the icy waters of Northern Europe; sailing southwards around the coast of […]

Before Rock and Roll – a playlist (part 1).

Hi all welcome back for the fifth installment of my early rock and roll, Thursday series- I know it’s a little late, I’ve suddenly had to look for a new home, and as such lost a few evenings to flat hunting. Sorry everyone. This week I’m just going to drop a playlist of songs – […]

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