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Strange quirks of history

A Shadowy Affair (part 2)

I felt the cloud thicken. I felt that I had fallen victim to a disease – at the time there so many about which we knew nothing. So the conviction was born inside me that I was to die young. All this is an image, you understand, but I imagined finding myself in the middle…

“A Shadowy Affair” ( Part 1)

Castle Beaumont La Ronce “This is my best friend’s parents’ castle,” my lovely little niece, Adelaide, told me, “It is haunted by a great lady who was murdered over questions of money. Those who were arrested and executed for the crime were, however, innocent and the true assassins were allowed to escape for they had…

Pont_d'Iéna_Bridge-Paris Bridge

Louis XVIII and Jena Bridge

Louis XVIII had a feel for France whatever regime it was ruled by. In the Paris occupied by the forces of the coalition, the place names, the avenues, and the bridges served as a constant reminder to the occupying forces of their defeats. L’Avenue d’Austerlitz, l’Avenue de Wagram, and above all the Jena Bridge, reminded…


One of the mysteries I recently uncovered has to do with how the Revolution would dispose of its victims, all these princes and dukes, these women, these young people. Until now, I believed that they would be thrown into mass graves and that their bodies would be doused in quicklime to render them unrecognizable. Apparently…


In the year 1794, the sultan Selim III reigned over the Ottoman Empire. He was young, intelligent and determined to reform, to modernize, to reinforce his empire. Most of all, he wished to thoroughly reorganize his army, the famous ottoman army which had conquered one of the biggest empires of the planet but which was…


A secret scandal: Zaraus part II

« In an old and lost time a great sage lived here, a man of knowledge and kindness. Seduced by the beauty and serenity of the place he came to settle here. He built a hermitage and every day through his prayer spread his blessing on this deserted site. After his death a few monks…

Palacio de Narros

A secret scandal : Zaraus

The seaside resort of Zaraus hardly seems the place to conjure up visions of the supernatural. Of course ghosts can settle anywhere but I hardly feared that they would be inspired by these modest, mundane seaside constructions dolefully aligned along rectilinear avenues or by the recent villas which have sprung up and that clashed with…

Charles II - king-of-spain


One of the chapters of the reign of Louis XIV concerns the succession of Spain. It fascinates me. It is the end of the year 1700 and we find ourselves in Madrid. King Charles II is dying. He was badly deformed, the result of so many marriages between blood relations in the family which had…

Lincoln assassinated flashback


One of the President’s friends saw the whole scene. He hurried after Booth, who, first withdrew his hunting knife, and then struck him. Then the actor climbed up the balustrade of the box and leapt onto the stage. His spur became caught in one of the flags that adorn the balustrade, and he lost his…

alexander gardner - abraham lincoln


On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln awoke in his room at the White House at seven o’clock, as usual. It promised to be a glorious, spring day. In the parks and gardens, the scent of the lilacs permeate throughout the garden, the willows shade the banks of the Potomac River with their great branches….