Tales of History and Imagination

Strange, eccentric tales from History by musician, academic and former Mastermind contestant Simone T Whitlow

One: Martial Bourdin

December 2nd, 2020

Martial Bourdin

At 4:45pm precisely, GMT, on 15th February 1894 the grounds of Greenwich Park, London – home of the Royal Observatory, and a clock we’ll discuss later – are shaken by a resounding boom. Staff at the observatory recalled a “sharp and clear detonation, followed by a noise like a shell going through the air”. They peered out the windows in trepidation attempting to work out what just happened. A park warden and a group of students ran towards the epicenter of the blast – where a solitary young man lay dying. The young man, who died not long after in a local hospital, was identified as 26 year old Frenchman Martial Bourdin.

Why was the young anarchist carrying a bomb through the park on a winter day? Simone discusses.

The script of this episode is based on a blog post on Tales of History and Imagination (Blog) published April 7th 2020. You can read it Here.

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About the Author: Simone Whitlow is a musician, songwriter, academic and former Mastermind contestant from New Zealand. Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns. Simone is an avid collector of strange tales from history and old guitars.  

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