In the 1880s the Ulster Protestant Roger Casement worked as one of HM Stanley's volunteers in the Congo, before joining the British consular service. In 1904 he produced a devastating report which showed how the Congo Free State, far from being the model colony Leopold II of Belgium claimed it to be, was a ruthless commercial enterprise run with unrelenting cruelty for Leopold's profit. Six years later he provided an even more horrifying report on how Amazonian Indians were exploited by the Peruvian Amazon company, a British-based rubber company. For this he was knighted in 1911. An Irish nationalist, when war broke out in 1914 he went to Germany to secure a treaty giving Ireland formal recognition of her nationhood. Upon returning in a u-boat to Ireland in 1916 he was captured, brought to London and sentenced to death as a traitor. To blacken his name further, rumours about his "black" diaries claimed that he was a practising homosexual. The author Brian Inglis was allowed access to the relevant files at the Public Record Office in order to help research this biography.
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Born in Dublin in 1864 and brought up as a Protestant, Roger Casement began his extraordinary career as one of Stanley’s volunteers in the Congo Free State. During his time in Africa, he exposed King Leopold II’s exploitation of the natives and went on to reveal the ruthlessness of the British in South America, for which he received a knighthood. In Germany after the outbreak of World War I, he claimed Ireland’s right to independent nationhood; he returned to Ireland in 1916, was captured, taken to London, tried, and hanged as a traitor. To further discredit him, the British government released what purported to be his diaries, which contained details of promiscuous homosexual activities. In this absorbing study, first published in 1973, Brian Inglis explores the contradictions—political, religious, and personal—of a man whose life posed questions that continue to be asked today.About the Author:
Brian Inglis was an historian and broadcaster. He is the author of 'The Story of Ireland' and 'The History of Medicine', and for over ten years wrote and presented 'All Our Yesterdays'.
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Book Description Penguin UK, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 141391278