Foreign Office Historians

A very British catastrophe: Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s final journey

Captain Robert Falcon Scott dressed in full military regalia

Captain Robert Scott’s legacy will forever be an irreconcilable contradiction. At times, he has been venerated as an icon of Edwardian masculinity: a stoical, humble pioneer whose Antarctic expeditions discovered the Polar Plateau and made many significant contributions to scientific …

What’s the context? The resignation of Anthony Eden, 20 February 1938

On Sunday, 20 February 1938, after two days of fraught Cabinet discussion, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain that he must resign rather than agree to enter into early talks with the Italian government led by Mussolini. …

What’s the Context? 20 December 1917: formation of the Cheka, the first Soviet security and intelligence agency

‘The Soviets would not last two days without the activities of the Cheka, but with the Cheka, the Soviet State was safe’: Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Defending the Revolution Before the October Revolution in 1917 that put the Bolsheviks in power …