Reblog of A Distant Mirror

August 4, 2021 at 10:34 pm (Geopolitics and International Relations, Gothic, History, International Intrigue, News, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , )

It was on August 4th 1914 that the First World War began when Great Britain and her Empire declared war on Germany.

The evening before, August 3rd 1914, British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey did everything he could to prevent war.

Sadly he didn’t succeeed.


The Lakota Sioux Princess Tanaka

Dracul Van Helsing

A Distant Mirror

The Lakota Sioux Princess Tanaka standing in front of a mirror in her London apartment over a 100 years ago.

Back in 1912, the immortal Lakota Sioux Princess Tanaka had obtained a job as a stenographer to Britain’s Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey.

Grey’s career as UK Foreign Secretary lasted exactly 11 years from December 10th 1905 to December 10th 1916.

When Sir Edward Grey went to receive his seals of office as Foreign Secretary from King Edward VII on December 11th 1905, a dense fog hung over London; a fog so thick that Grey had to use the pavement kerb to feel his way from Buckingham Palace back to the Foreign Office.

Eleven years to the day, he was back at the Palace, this time to relinquish his seals of office to King George V.

And London was once again shrouded in fog.

It was as…

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A Distant Mirror

May 28, 2020 at 10:43 pm (Geopolitics and International Relations, Gothic, History, International Intrigue, News, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , )

A Distant Mirror

The Lakota Sioux Princess Tanaka standing in front of a mirror in her London apartment over a 100 years ago.

Back in 1912, the immortal Lakota Sioux Princess Tanaka had obtained a job as a stenographer to Britain’s Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey.

Grey’s career as UK Foreign Secretary lasted exactly 11 years from December 10th 1905 to December 10th 1916.

When Sir Edward Grey went to receive his seals of office as Foreign Secretary from King Edward VII on December 11th 1905, a dense fog hung over London; a fog so thick that Grey had to use the pavement kerb to feel his way from Buckingham Palace back to the Foreign Office.

Eleven years to the day, he was back at the Palace, this time to relinquish his seals of office to King George V.

And London was once again shrouded in fog.

It was as if the fog at the start was a foreshadowing of what was to come and the fog at the end were teary mists rising from the earth at the cataclysmic event which transpired when Grey was Foreign Secretary.

That cataclysmic event occurred on what otherwise felt like a beautiful summer day in early August 1914.

The date was August 3rd.

Tanaka had a desk in Grey’s office where she was close at hand to take notes and then write letters and dispatches.

It had been a busy month in the British Foreign Office starting with the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian ArchDuke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hercegovina on June 28th 1914.

That assassination exacerbated tensions among the Great Powers throughout Europe.

Austria had issued an ultimatum to Serbia on July 23rd.

Sir Edward Grey himself had tried to put together a group among the Great Powers to mediate the crisis on July 24th and July 25th.

But from July 25th to August 2nd, Russia, Germany and France were already starting to mobilize their troops.

Austria herself declared war on Serbia on July 28th.

Grey worked around the clock to stop an Austro-Serbian War from becoming a Pan-European War.

And even worse a world war.

Which would be what would happen if Germany invaded Belgium to attack France.

For in the 1839 Treaty of London, Britain had agreed to support Belgian neutrality and would come to Belgium’s defence if attacked.

Of course Britain was not just the United Kingdom.

Britain was an Empire.

Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa were self-ruling in terms of home internal affairs but their foreign and defence polices were still determined by London (and would be the case until the Statute of Westminster in 1931).

And of course that was also the case for Britain’s numerous other non self-ruling colonies.

So if Britain were to enter this war, a quarter of the globe would follow.

It would be a world war.

But Grey was working around the clock night and day to stop that possibility.

Tanaka sat at her desk on stand-by.

Never had she dreamed that she would be so close to history being made.

That evening of August 3rd 1914, a friend of Grey’s the journalist John Alfred Spender the editor of the Westminster Gazette came to join the Foreign Secretary in his office.

Just as the sun was going down, the phone rang.

“It’s the German Ambassador to London,” Grey whispered to Spender as Tanaka read his lips.

Grey listened and said nothing.

Then he hung up the phone.

His face turned ashen white and he stood up and went to the window and looked out saying nothing.

Spender, concerned about his friend’s health and mental state, decided to break the silence by pointing out that beyond Saint James’ Park (which the Foreign Office window faced) “the first of the gas lights along the Mall are being lit.”

Whatever Grey was meditating on was broken by the statement.

Grey turned to look at his friend, blinked and said, “What was that?”.

Spender repeated, “It’s dusk. And the first of the gas lights along the Mall are being lit.”

Grey turned to look and then remarked sadly, “The lights are going out all over Europe. And we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

Tanaka had gone home that night.

She stood looking down at the sink below her mirror.

And as her own light shone brightly below her mirror, Grey’s words came back to haunt her, “The lights are going out all over Europe. And we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

-A vampire novel chapter
written by Christopher
Thursday May 28th
2020.

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Cold Night: A Poem

November 16, 2015 at 8:27 pm (Commentary, News, Poetry) (, , , )

Cold Night: A Poem

Cold night
winter has arrived
Chilly air surrounds
A few places have put up Christmas lights
adding a cheery warmth to the air

Lights here
but two nights ago
the lights in the Eiffel Tower were out
signifying lives lost

Over a century ago on the eve of the First World War, Sir Edward Grey the British Foreign Secretary said,
The lights have gone out all over Europe
And we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.

It is 101 years later and looking back at the history of Europe and the world since then,
we are still waiting for those lights extinguished on that August night of 1914 to be lit again.

-A poem written by Christopher
Sunday November 15th
2015.

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