Author Archives: rimboval

About rimboval

Writer, thinker and proud grandfather

Battlefield prediction

For years I have tried to trace, but without success, the original source of this outstanding quotation, supposedly an aphorism of Moltke the Elder: the actual wording is as I recall it: “In war, the enemy will have three courses … Continue reading

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The fall of princes

For the best comment about Prince Andrew, recall this remark by Edward Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, written in 1764: “The generality of princes, once stripped of the purple and cast naked into the world, … Continue reading

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Whom to marry

Spurred on by family word-of-mouth, we have been streaming the hit TV show The Bachelor, in both its American and British versions, and enjoying it.  The experience is both weird and compelling: distasteful on first viewing, but full of benign, … Continue reading

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UK’s perfect storm

For British politics now, the truth is that we are living through a fivefold crisis, unfolding horrors every day; trapped in a nightmare from which there seems no escape. An existential crisis: the very concept of the Union is now … Continue reading

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Apocalypse soon

Accessing the media nowadays risks plunging into a sea of grime and gloom. At this stage in human history there appears to be so much to go wrong.  But this is true of any age.  The feeling has been personified … Continue reading

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The Russians are coming

My own take on the CBW attack in Salisbury is that it has three objectives and plays to three distinct audiences.  The first objective was to carry put a live-firing exercise to see if the Novichok agent could be used … Continue reading

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When the cars came

An interesting old picture postcard appears on the Hanslope village noticeboard this week.  It shows our High Street as it was in 1907: completely empty save for a family on bicycles, stopping to have their picture taken on a sunny … Continue reading

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Trump time

I am not an American citizen, so I have no right to criticise the choice of president the American people made in November 2016; except to take on the role of critical friend of the office whose holder has some … Continue reading

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Italian pride

Stendhal’s love of gossip, acerbic comment and piercing observation throw up a continual stream of delight. Here he is, in 1816, on Italian pride speaking truth to power. In Bologna, it would take more courage than I possess to hint … Continue reading

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The British abroad

Britain and Europe: an 18th century warning “Upon the whole, I think it is next to an impossibility for a young man of fortune to pass a year or two in Paris, the southern parts of France, Italy, &c. without … Continue reading

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