Publication: March 2020
Ronald Koorm explores the complex relationship between Bletchley Park and its support codebreaking outstations, the background to the Enigma encoding machine, and how Eastcote became the largest codebreaking outstation during the war. He analyses the development of improvements on Alan Turing’s Bombe machine, the contribution of the WRNS (Wrens) in operating the machines, and some of the social history showing how those Wrens from varying social backgrounds displayed outstanding teamwork under immense pressure at the codebreaking sites.
Post-war, Eastcote became GCHQ prior to moving to Cheltenham, and there were multiple uses of the site, including Cold War counter-intelligence operations. The author explores the link between Alan Turing and others in terms of the quest for Artificial Intelligence, and how talented individuals during the war helped shape the future. Backing Bletchley includes previously unpublished diagrams, charts and illustrations of the story of the outstations, which shed further light on the extraordinary historic events that occurred at them.
Ronald Koorm ran his own surveying and design consultancy for many years. He has lectured in various subjects including codebreaking and outstations during the Second World War. His research over recent years has been on Eastcote, codebreaking and the development to GCHQ. His diary for talks on the subject for 2020‒21 is almost full. He is an active member of the Access Association, He has written articles for RICS and for other journals and blogs for bodies such as the Construction Industry Council.
Publication: January 2020
Isabella of France married Edward II in January 1308, and afterwards became one of the most notorious women in English history. In 1325, she was sent to her homeland to negotiate a peace settlement between her husband and her brother Charles IV, king of France. She refused to return. Instead, she began a relationship with her husband’s deadliest enemy, the English baron Roger Mortimer. With the king’s son and heir, the future Edward III, under their control, the pair led an invasion of England which ultimately resulted in Edward II’s forced abdication in January 1327. Isabella and Mortimer ruled England during Edward III’s minority until he overthrew them in October 1330.
A rebel against her own husband and king, and regent for her son, Isabella was a powerful, capable and intelligent woman. She forced the first ever abdication of a king in England, and thus changed the course of English history. Examining Isabella’s life with particular focus on her revolutionary actions in the 1320s, this book corrects the many myths surrounding her and provides a vivid account of this most fascinating and influential of women.
Kathryn Warner holds two degrees in medieval history from the University of Manchester. She is considered a foremost expert on Edward II and an article from her on the subject was published in the English Historical Review. She has run a website about him since 2005 and a Facebook page about him since 2010 and has carved out a strong online presence as an expert on Edward II and the fourteenth century in general. Kathryn teaches Business English as a foreign language and lives between Dusseldorf and Cumbria.