## Roger Casement

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Fri, 23 May 2014 21:35:26 -0400

Reading WG Sebald's Rings of Saturn, I was drawn to his description of ROger
Casement, about whom I knew nothing.  Turns out that he was the first white
person Conrad met in the Congo, and was reponsible for writing an official
report on the abuses there.  He then got shipped off to Peru, about which he
wrote another report.  On returning to the UK (he was Protestant Irish) he
became involved in the Irish independence struggle and made an unsuccessful
visit to Germany to raise help for the Easter Rising in 1916.  Arrested on his
return from Germany he was tried for treason and executed.

That's an amazing enough life.  But things get stranger.

He was alleged to have kept two diaries (the white and the black).  The white
recording his official doings and the black his sexual experiences with men -
in particular, what he paid and the size of their penises(!).  The British
government use the black diaries to smear his reputation and so reduce appeals
for clemency.

Of course, there were allegations that the diaries were fake.  An analysis in
2002 concluded that they were genuine, but seems to have focussed only on the
handwriting and so is open to question.

In 2010 Varas Llosa wrote a fictionalised account of his life - the book is
called El Sueno del Celta (The Dream of the Celt).

While there do seem to have been some biographies of Casement, there doesn't
seem to be anything particularly modern that attempts to address homosexuality
in a sympathetic and coherent way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Casement
Andrew