Parade’s End’s End.

So, Parade’s End has now ended.

Christopher Tietjens and his trademark Frog Smile

I have a love-hate relationship with BBC: love it for all it does, hate it for how little it does. Five episodes? That’s it? I could clearly see there was material enough for a whole season of drama. This is worse than Sherlock!

The first episode I skipped altogether at first, thinking “not another Edwardian drama… haven’t we got quite enough of that?” I was drawn to it, eventually, by Benedict Cumberbatch – nothing that man does is ever wrong – and the script writer, Tom Stoppard, of the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead fame. The combination of two promised the entertainment would be of the more cerebral sort. And I was not disappointed. Continue reading “Parade’s End’s End.”

Italo-Turkish War, 1911-1912

A hundred years ago today started negotiations that would eventually bring an end to the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-1912.

It was not, by any measure, a major war at the time. The Italian victory did have a certain strategic and geopolitical value – what with Italians gaining control of Libya (the repercussions of which we feel to this day) and the Ottoman Empire showing the signs of weakness that would eventually lead to its downfall in the Balkan Wars and World War I. But that’s not why the war is significant to us, or why I chose to write about it in this blog.

It is a war undeservedly forgotten. The Italo-Turkish War was the first real modern war. It was the first European war of the 20th century – and some might say it was the true end of the 19th century. Along with the Second Boer War, it marks a demarcation point between the old and the new ways of waging war, and between the old and new military aesthetics. In literary terms, I dare say it marks the definite boundary between the steampunk and dieselpunk.

Continue reading “Italo-Turkish War, 1911-1912”