Our regular round-up of new titles authored by Old Stoics.


A Divided Heart by The Rt Hon Lord Justice Mathew Thorpe (Chandos 56)

I have several copies of the hard back first edition of A Divided Heart, just released by the publisher. I offer them to fellow Old Stoics at half price (£12.50). This is for all who share my love of Austria. If you only know its snowy mountains, I will guide you along its great river valleys, Danube and Inn, Drau and Traun, following the paths to Compostela.

If you would like a copy of the book, please email Matthew on

The Long Covid Sessions Emily Kate Stephens (Nugent 96) and Noreen Jameel

An estimated 2.2 million people are currently living with long COVID in the UK. That‘s 3.4% of the population.

The Long COVID (TLC) Sessions is a podcast dedicated to the latest and least understood post-viral condition. Each week the hosts – journalists and long COVID sufferers Emily Kate Stephens (Nugent 96) and Noreen Jameel – sit down with the brightest and most forward-thinking minds currently pouring their expertise into this  new disease. From mechanisms and treatment strategies to management and global health policy, the pair endeavour to bring the latest science on the condition in a series of balanced, palatable and humorous in-depth interviews.

Trying to explore all aspects of the disease, episodes so far have included discussion of treatment trials and studies, long COVID clinics, immunology, rehabilitation, micro clots, the gut, the brain, endocrinology, nutrition, virology, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS), psychology, cardiology, the vasculature and the long-term outlook.

This series of informative shows, originally designed for sufferers, is fast becoming a go-to resource for medical practitioners who are desperately under-equipped and under-resourced to deal with what is speculated to be a ‘mass disabling event’. Whilst pushing the scientific agenda, Emily Kate and Noreen are also trying to make the long COVID community feel better equipped, informed and less alone.

“I wish I’d found this podcast a long while ago! So many great interviews and information from experts” long COVID sufferer.

Search ‘TLC Sessions’ on all good podcast apps (Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Deezer, TuneIn)

Website –

Twitter – @SessionsTlc

Instagram – @tlcsessions

Vilnius 1812: Ghosts of the Grande Armée through their artifacts by Paul Richardson (Cobham 79) and Dr Stephen Summerfield

In October 2001, construction workers in the northern outskirts of Vilnius in Lithuania came upon a mass grave of 3,269 skeletons. Given Lithuania’s troubled history,
it was feared that this could be
a crime committed within living memory. However, the discovery of brass regimental buttons and a silver 5 Franc coin dated 1805 confirmed these were from Napoleon’s doomed multinational Grande Armée of 1812.

The story begins in the summer of 1812 with Vilnius serving as a springboard for the invasion of Russia. For 19 days it was the centre of the French Empire as Napoleon stayed to run his affairs. The lavish celebrations of the liberation of Lithuania from recent Russian rule contrasted drastically when barely six months later the remnants of a beaten dying army poured into the same streets with the vengeful Cossacks close on their heels. The dead rapidly outnumbered the living and many first-hand accounts give testimony to the hellish conditions. When the Russians captured the city on 11 December 1812, the ground was too hard to dig graves and so over 30,000 corpses were thrown into artillery fortifications around the city, which had been dug by the French in July 1812.

The Pyrrhic victory at Borodino was followed by the occupation of Moscow and then the belated decision to withdraw after the Russians failed to seek terms. Without troopers, generals took on the role of captains and colonels became NCOs. The crossing of the river Berezina was a particularly horrific episode as evidenced by selected personal accounts.

Finally, we move on to the traumatic scenes in Vilnius as the vanguard of the Grande Armée arrives. Huge stockpiles of food had been gathered but as with medical provision, the distribution was incompetent and corrupt.

Our book concludes with an examination of Napoleon’s miscalculations that were political, egotistical, poor choice in commanders, administration and staffing. In June 2003 the remains of over 3,200 men and women were reburied in the Vilnius Cemetery with appropriate honours and monument.

Never before has the past been brought so vividly into the present on such an unprecedented scale and in so much detail, for no similar sites have previously been found.

Click here to purchase book. Fellow historian Old Stoics who are interested can apply a discount code ‘OSS’ in the comments section to receive 20% reduction to £30.00.