Roger Casement's German Diary, 1914-1916
Edited by Jeffrey Dudgeon
This is the definitive version of Roger Casement’s German Diary covering the years 1914 to 1916 when, after the war started, he went to Berlin seeking support for Irish independence. With over 350 pages and 150,000 words, it is unabridged where another writer has edited out 20% of the original text. Those cuts are at times from the most sensitive of areas, including the behaviour of the German Army in Belgium and Casement’s increasing disillusionment with the Kaiser’s Imperial Government and Prussian militarism. The diary and many linked letters give a vivid impression of a man under stress in an alien environment who still manages to observe, describe and appreciate much of what he sees around him. He writes as an outsider of a nation at war with England and France. Casement’s growing frustrations however come to the point where his own mental health is destabilised. The final section describes his frantic attempts both to get sufficient arms shipped to the separatist Irish Volunteers and to travel by submarine to Kerry with a view to getting the Easter Rising called off. The book concludes with a series of appendices exploring aspects of his time in Germany, the part played by his accomplices in the Rising, and the role of British and German Intelligence. The continuing controversy over the authenticity of his earlier diaries is also addressed. This is a companion volume to the author’s 'Roger Casement: The Black Diaries – with a Study of his Background, Sexuality, and Irish Political Life' which was published in an extended 2nd edition (both paperback and Kindle) in early 2016.
Roger Casement: The Black Diaries
Edited by Jeffrey Dudgeon
In this revised and expanded second edition with more photographs, all Roger Casement's Black Diaries are, uniquely, again published together, including the never-before-seen erotically-charged 1911 Diary over which London threatened an obscenity prosecution. A number of new characters are introduced and some old mysteries solved.
The volume provides both a comprehensive view of the diaries' texts, with explanations for many of the cast of characters, famous, infamous, and fleeting, and a context for the author whose significance and seminal role in the political development of independent Ireland has been masked by the debates over the diaries' authenticity. This is a uniquely fresh and original look at the Irish patriot and humanitarian, hanged in 1916 for treason. It was the same Casement whose reports on rubber slavery and genocide in King Leopold's Congo and the Peruvian Amazon, in 1904 and 1911, reflected in two of his Black Diaries, that shocked Edwardian England.
The book also deals with the neglected sides of Casement's life, his involvement in Ulster politics, his family background in Co. Antrim, his Belfast boyfriend Millar Gordon, and his sociopathic companion, the Norwegian sailor, Adler Christensen, as well as a comprehensive view of the authenticity controversies, Casement's homosexuality, and his time in Africa and Brazil.
Roger Casement had iconic status in life and after death was sanctified and vilified in equal measure. His real self was consequently obscured. This book combines a rigorous academic study of Casement, the public and political figure (with over 1,000 references and an extensive bibliography, updated to 2016), alongside an account of his personal life, sexuality, and consular career, and an informed view of how they all interlocked and originated. It also provides a fresh assessment of the events leading up to the Easter Rising and British intelligence failings, and an up-to-date account of the controversies that have swirled around Casement to this day, including the attempts made in Dublin, from the 1930s, to threaten the truth about the Black Diaries.
'No Roger Casement - No Easter Rising': Casement groomed the key personnel who set about creating the Irish Republic, from 1904 to 1923. He commissioned the first arms for the IRA - on two occasions, in 1914 and 1916. To know about Roger Casement is to know why Ireland achieved independence and why Ulster stayed separate remaining in the UK after partition. This volume therefore provides an insight into the political conflict in the north and suggests how it could be diminished by both learning and respecting each other's stories and agreeing to disagree.