History and Travel

Miscellaneous unpublished historical pieces and travel writing and the Dobrzynski Archive (in progress).

Alert: New box of 2017 articles on Railways in the War of Independence, 1920-1, and Irish Free State's international diplomacy, 1922-32

The past is dead until the historian transforms it by giving it the kiss of life.
William L. Warren, The Historian as 'Private Eye', Historical Studies, IX, 1984

Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all; the conscientous historian will correct these defects
Herodotus, The History of Herodotus

(I believe) no proposal for seeing any part of the world I had never seen before could possibly come amiss
William Dampier (1640-1705),

And I don't doubt, before the journey's done
You mean to while the time in tales and fun
Indeed, there's little pleasure for your bones
Riding along and all as dumb as stones

Geoffirey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, c. 1386 (trans. Nevill Coghill, 1951)

Some favourite links
John Hawks, Anthropologist
Turtle Bunbury & Wistorical
Roundwood and District Historical & Folklore Society
Twisted Twigs On Gnarled Branches Genealogy
Chitral Today
Brian Bwesigye, Kampala
Bwindi Researchers
Medievalists
World Community Grid
Galiwango

Dobrzynski Archive: Wacław Tadeusz Dobrzynski (1883-1962) was Polish Consul General to Ireland from 1929 to 1954. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, he qualified as a Barrister and was music and drama critic for the Kievan newspaper Dziennik Kijowski until 1915 when he was called up into the Russian army. In Kharkov he witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution and later became involved in the transfer of Polish soldiers serving in the Russian army to Poland culminating with the evacuation of Odessa and march to Warsaw, 1918.
He joined Ministerwo Spraw Zagranicznych (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and served as Chief of Personnel, Envoy to Estonia, later Envoy Extraordinary, and chief of Secret Communications before 1929 when he came to Ireland. From 1931 he was Honorary until 1940 and thereafter represented the exiled Polish Government in London until retirement. Subsequently he was a political commentator on the Cold War for Irish newspapers.
The first three articles (in Polish) are a 1909 critical essay on Richard Wagner, a pre-1914 history of Dziennik Kijowski, and an entry on Ireland published by the Encyklopedja Nauk Politycznych, 1937. The next four unpublished articles cover Irish constitutional and political history (1921-49). His 1943 book, Poland - Lights and Shadows of an Ancient Nation, Talbot Press, is based on lectures before and during WW2.
Finally there are selected pre-war newspaper interviews and lectures, and post-war articles that include analyses of the the perils of 'limited warfare' and the importance of European union for its fundamental political and cultural security and welfare.
His daughter, Krystyna (1924-2012), published his biography, An Unusual Diplomat in 1998 with the Polish Cultural Foundation. She was posthumously awarded the Order Zasługi Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej in May 2016

Copyright © 2017 Ian Cantwell