Edith Tudor-Hart, Photographer | Spitalfields Life

Edith Tudor-Hart, self-portrait 1936

Mark Richards explores the controversial work of photographer Edith Tudor-Hart and her secret life as a Soviet agent in London during the Cold War…

Source: Edith Tudor-Hart, Photographer | Spitalfields Life

A Very Dangerous Woman: Baroness Moura Budberg – Wonders & Marvels

Spy, seductress, aristocrat, Baroness Moura Budberg was a mystery to everyone who knew her, even her closest friends and her children.

In London in the 1950s, she was a renownedMoura in Moscow 1918 saloniste; nobody else had the magnetic charm or the air of danger and mystery that surrounded Baroness Budberg, and her soirées attracted Graham Greene, Laurence Olivier, Guy Burgess, Bertrand Russell, David Lean, E. M. Forster, Peter Ustinov – all came to drink …

Source: A Very Dangerous Woman: Baroness Moura Budberg – Wonders & Marvels

I have just finished reading the book co-authored by Deborah McDonald and Jeremy Dronfield and it’s excellent.  Sarah Vernon

The Intrepid ’20s Women Who Formed an All-Female Global Exploration Society – Atlas Obscura

Journalist and explorer Marguerite Harrison shares a meal with a group of Bakhtiari men. (From the documentary A Nation’s Battle for Life by Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack) BETTMANN/GETTY IMAGES

In August 1923, Marguerite Harrison sailed from New York bound for Constantinople. The 44-year-old had returned just five months earlier from Russia where she had been imprisoned, for a second time, on suspicions of espionage. A widowed mother of a teenage boy, Harrison had thought she would…

Source: The Intrepid ’20s Women Who Formed an All-Female Global Exploration Society – Atlas Obscura

May 10, 1941, Prisoner #7 – Today in History

At the end of WWI, Rudolf Walter Richard Hess enrolled in the University of Munich.  He’d been wounded several times in the Great War, serving in the 7th Bavarian Field Artillery Regiment. As a student, Hess studied geopolitics under Karl Haushofer, an early proponent of “Lebensraum” (“living space”), the philosophy which later became…

Source: May 10, 1941, Prisoner #7 – Today in History

A Fond Farewell to England’s Prefab WWII Bungalows – Atlas Obscura

For decades, residents of the Excalibur Estate, London’s last community of post-World War II, prefabricated houses, have been fighting against property developers and hostile local authorities to save their lovely bungalows from demolition.

This fight has proven to be in vain, as, driven by rising land values, Lewisham Council started to pull them down in…

Source: A Fond Farewell to England’s Prefab WWII Bungalows – Atlas Obscura

N.B. I’m not currently responding to comments or visiting blogs because of ill-health but I much appreciate your support.

April 11, 1970  Houston, We’ve had a Problem – Today in History

For four days and nights, the three-man crew lived aboard the cramped, freezing Aquarius, a landing module intended to support a crew of 2 for only 1½ days

Source: April 11, 1970  Houston, We’ve had a Problem – Today in History

N.B. I’m not currently responding to comments or visiting blogs because of ill-health but I much appreciate your support.

American Traitor: The Tokyo Rose – fyeahhistory

So what or who is a Tokyo Rose and how are they/it a traitor? Spoiler alert – Tokyo Rose is not a new racially appropriated perfume from a global beauty powerhouse who should know better, the return…

Source: American Traitor: The Tokyo Rose – fyeahhistory

Stanisława Leszczyńska: Auschwitz’s Jewish Midwife That Delivered 3000 Babies.

When Stanisława Leszczyńska completed her midwifery degree never could she have imagined the impact it would have or the legacy it would leave. She was a Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz and she…

Source: Stanisława Leszczyńska: Auschwitz’s Jewish Midwife That Delivered 3000 Babies.

The Publican & The Historian | Spitalfields Life

Portrait of Sandra Esqulant & Dan Cruickshank by Sarah Ainslie

In this extract from his newly-published book SPITALFIELDS, The History of a Nation in a Handful of Streets, Dan Cruickshank reflects on his friendship with Sandra Esqulant, landlady of the Golden Heart, and the changes they have seen in the neighbourhood over the last forty years…

Source: The Publican & The Historian | Spitalfields Life

Greek Tragedy and the “Twinkie Defense” | Theory Of Irony

tragedyIf you were to think politics has evolved a long way from the rough and tumble time of Sophocles, consider the Greek tragedy that unfolded when a former marine, Oliver Sipple, saved the life of American President Gerald Ford on a fall San Francisco day in 1975.  By complete coincidence, this man happened to notice an assassin leveling a gun at Ford and he lunged at the assailant, resulting in the bullet just missing its target, but striking someone else.  Sipple, suddenly a hero to a hero-hungry nation, got a letter from the President acknowledging this unique act of courage and personally thanking him.  But as unwanted media attention continued to grow, Sipple…

Source: Greek Tragedy and the “Twinkie Defense” | Theory Of Irony

The Forgotten Secret Language of Gay Men

After a heyday in the ’50s and ’60s, Polari all but vanished.

These days, very few people know what it means to vada a chicken’s dolly eek.

Vada (“look at”), dolly eek (a pretty face), and chicken (a young guy) are all words from the lexicon of Polari, a secret language used by gay men in Britain at a time when homosexuality was illegal. Following a rapid decline in the 1970s…

Source: The Forgotten Secret Language of Gay Men