Friday, 19 August 2011

Foreign Office Podcast

The British Foreign Office currently have a podcast Podcast entitled 'Britain, Bolívar & the independence of Latin America', in which Richard Smith discusses Simon Bolivar’s links with Britain and the role played by many hundreds of British volunteers who fought alongside him. It is interesting to see the way that the present British Foreign and Commonwealth Office - the heirs to the governments who turned a blind-eye to the departure of thousands of adventurers from British ports, despite public proclamations of official neutrality in the conflict - remember the events of two hundred years ago. 

Bolivar's Triumphal March

The British Library currently has a page devoted to 'Bolivar's Triumphal March', a composition for Piano
made by Thomas Simspon Cooke in 1819. In addition to images of the sheet music there is also an audio file of the music being performed by Jonathan Summers.

It can provide an aural sense of how London dining rooms dreamed of the Americas at the beginning of the 1820s. Another example of how Londoners imagined the lands where British and Irish adventurers were headed to help Bolívar is the anonymous novel Solders of Venezuela (London: T. Egerton, 1818), a copy of which is held in the British Library, and which is coming out in Spanish translation for the first time later this year (watch this space for details).