Lola Montez and the King of Bavaria

Lola Montez and the King of Bavaria

Lola Montez was one of the most famous dancers in Europe in the 1840s. Her love affair with the King of Bavaria brought him crashing down before she embarked upon a new life running a literary and social salon in California. This tale follows the rise and fall of this...
The Premiere of Handel’s Messiah – Dublin, 1742

The Premiere of Handel’s Messiah – Dublin, 1742

The German composer sat back on the sofa of Mrs. Vernon’s drawing room in Clontarf Castle and exhaled noisily. His ears were still ringing with the exultant voices of the boy’s choir he had conducted earlier in the day. His hostess smiled across the room. ‘It is a...
Bill Harrington, 11th Earl of Harrington (1922-2009)

Bill Harrington, 11th Earl of Harrington (1922-2009)

Old soldiers are like old fishermen and sometimes the size of the catch increases dramatically. This story followed my meeting with Bill in 2005 in which he told me he had personally arrested Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, Hitler’s successor as President of the...
The Butcher of Culloden

The Butcher of Culloden

‘There stood in a square in our fair, old town, Begirt by a deep moat of water, A column to Cumberland, damned to renown; whose statue on top…. Still seemed to gloat on slaughter’. John de Jean Frazer, Birr, Co Offaly (1809-1852) For more on the Duke and his monument...