Category Archives: Events

Jaap Scholten talks about Comrade Baron

Dutch writer Jaap Scholten knows a good story when he hears one. In the early 1990s, when his Hungarian wife’s grandmother began telling him about life before communism, he was entranced. This was the beginning of the road to writing “Comrade Baron: A Journey Through the Vanishing World of the Transylvanian Aristocracy,” Scholten’s first work of non-fiction and the first to be published in English, launched May 5th.

“I have enjoyed this book so much – such a great tale, with brilliant original research and source material, and so many stories, tragic, humiliating, painful, yet all engrossing and highly readable” Petroc Trelawny, BBC presenter and journalist.

“This is a classic in the lines of Patrick Leigh-Fermor and it should be on the shelves of anyone interested in Mitteleuropa.” Norman Stone, Professor of Modern History, Oxford.

You can buy Comrade Baron: A Journey Through the Vanishing World of the Transylvanian Aristocracy here.

The launch event for the book, hosted by Petroc Trelawney will take place on Wednesday 4 May 2016 at 7pm at the Hungarian Cultural Centre, 10 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7NA. Attendance at the event is free but booking is required on


Celebrating Bletchley Park

DSCF0441-1024x768Sent this by Gabriella Bullock who thought that this event may appeal to some of you. Celebrating Bletchley Park is a two-day festival of expert speakers including Bletchley Park veterans, demonstrations, questions and answers, rare archive, and a chance to meet like-minded people in a beautiful village in the English countryside.

You will hear from: veteran codebreakers, historians researching the lives of workers sworn to secrecy forever; the people who rebuilt Bletchley Park’s secret code-breaking computers; Alan Turing’s nephew Sir Dermot Turing; and from a collection of authors and broadcasters who are all authorities on how the enemy’s codes were broken.

There will also be lots of stories about what life was like for the women and men, from all walks of life, who put in countless hours to give the Allies the information needed to outwit an enemy and thereby shorten World War II.

The event takes place over the weekend of 19-20 March at Firle Place in Sussex. Further details can be found on the event website.

Event – Paddy Leigh Fermor and Friends: Explorations in his Archive

An illustrated lecture by Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith (former UK Ambassador to Greece 1996-9)

Thursday 25 February, 7.15 pm at Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington St, London.

Free entry. Further information and bookings on 020 7862 8730 or at Organised by the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies.

Event – Hazardous operations: British SOE agents in Nazi-occupied Greece and the strain of clandestine warfare

During the Second World War, small teams of elite Allied soldiers were dispatched into Occupied Greece to fight alongside local guerrillas. Most were agents of the Special Operations Executive, a secret British organisation tasked with encouraging resistance
and carrying out sabotage behind enemy lines. From Crete to Thessaly and Thrace, SOE personnel shared the dangers and straitened circumstances of the Greeks they had come to help – and suffered accordingly. Illustrated with images from declassified files, this lecture discusses the nature and impact of the mental and physical stresses and strains to which SOE agents in Greece were exposed.

Dr Roderick Bailey is a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at Oxford University’s Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine. A specialist in the study of the Special Operations Executive, he is currently researching the medical aspects of SOE’s work. His particular focus is the processes by which candidates were recruited and screened for this high-risk, high-strain, unconventional employment, the psychological stresses inherent in SOE work, and the procedures in place for diagnosing and treating survivors who returned from the field with psychological problems.

Monday 8 February, 6.30 -8 pm at Anatomy Lecture Theatre (K6.29), King’s Building, Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS. Free to all.

Venice to Istanbul – An Evening with Harry Bucknall

12552903_10153972425026209_1376961373577387968_nIt is all “events” at the moment, it must be something to do with emerging from the depths of the dark days of winter. Why not try a little bit of sunshine by joining with me and my good friend Harry Bucknall to celebrate the tenth anniversary of his first travelogue – In the Dolphin’s Wake – his description of his 5.500 mile journey around the islands of the Greek Archipelago?

Harry is very entertaining and his book was endorsed by Paddy. The evening will be held at Waterstones Piccadilly at 7.00 pm on 3rd February. See photo for booking details.