The History Girls: Standing Alone on the Edge of Europe by Julie Summers

Howick Hall was used as a convalescent hospital for Other Ranks from 1941-1945. Over 11 different nationalities were treated there including Finnish, Greek, Polish, Czech, Dutch and Commonwealth soldiers, sailors and airmen.

I woke up on Friday morning in a strange house in an unfamiliar county with that lovely feeling of being somewhere new and exciting. That was until I went downstairs, passing the magnificent 1828 portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence of the second Early Grey, the prime minister who introduced the Great Reform Act of 1832. In the kitchen a television was blaring and with a sense of growing disbelief I heard that British voters had opted to leave the European Union by 52% to 48%. My city of Oxford had voted…

Source: The History Girls: Standing Alone on the Edge of Europe by Julie Summers

3 thoughts on “The History Girls: Standing Alone on the Edge of Europe by Julie Summers

  1. I wonder where these enemy countries are that we will have to defend ourselves against, ‘standing alone.’ Since the end of WW2, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, it has not been the EU, or NATO that has secured the peace in Europe. Rather the fear that mutually assured destruction can be the only outcome of any twenty-first century world war. Russia has become a slave to its capitalist economy, and the radical nations in the east are hardly fit to fight civil wars, let alone war against England. So who is left to fight? Former Soviet republics, so poor that their people have to work abroad, in menial jobs? Is North Korea going to mount a campaign against mainland Britain? I doubt that. Where are these ‘enemy’ countries? I cannot see any myself.

    Oxford was accurately described as a ‘bubble’, so too Cambridge, and many other more comfortable and more ‘intellectual’ communities in the south-east. The country had lost its way, and become blind to the divisions, the hardships suffered in rural communities, former industrial towns in the north, and ruined areas in Wales. They sat reading their copies of The Mail on Sunday, or The Observer, and were startled to hear that ordinary people had finally taken the initiative. I can imagine the howls.
    ‘How dare they?’ ‘What do they know about anything?’
    Well, they showed us.

    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I live in fear of the unexpected. I worry about machinations among the secret elite that mean an unexpected combination might rear its ugly head and point towards the UK. As for the EU referendum, we’re probably never going to agree! There have been so many lies and so much nastiness on both sides that I fear an escalation in the divisions in the country. I don’t think many were startled, as you call it, that the Leave campaign won but simply, as I did, felt they were voting in an election and showing their disgust towards the Tories. Many seem to be realising that voting leave is not going to mean austerity etc is going go away or, indeed, money get poured into the NHS. It’s all a terrible, terrible mess. That’s my tuppenny-ha’penny-worth!


      • Fair enough. I have a lot of sympathy with some of the reasons to vote Remain, and a lack of sympathy for many of the reasons to vote Leave.
        Nothing could have made me put that cross in the other box though…x

        Liked by 1 person

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