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The Snow men: a family history

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

From the Guardian:
Historian Dan Snow and his broadcaster father Peter have a joint fascination with politics and the past. But do they also share the same outlook on love? Interviews by Carlene Thomas-Bailey

Father and son enjoying a bike ride in the early 80s.

My dad: by Dan Snow, historian

Dad never made any allowances for anyone. From the age of four he was asking me, “Who do you think should win the next general election?”, just because I happened to be the only person in the room. He always wanted his kids to take part in his life, and share his passions, from a young age.

Dad had a very traditional British upbringing: he never had any physical contact with his dad, he only shook hands with him. But when Dad was bringing my siblings and I up, he was very hands-on. He was not typical of his generation: he didn’t stay out and play golf all the time, he talked to his kids and engaged with them.
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My nine to five: Dan Snow

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

From here:

The television presenter and historian on working from home in his PJs, researching a forthcoming book and hitting the road with a film crew

Today I was up at 6am. No two days are the same for me. Some days I’m in my PJs all day, reading and writing and spending too much time on Facebook, and other days I’m up at 4am and taking a flight to Scotland to talk about some Anglo-Saxon treasure or going to help out at the British Museum. ­Depending on what I’m doing – whether it’s research for my book, or something for the One Show, my working days will always be different.
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The Weekend’s Television: Empire Of The Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World, Fri, BBC2The Legacy of Lawrence of Arabia, Sat, BBC2 – Reviews, TV & Radio – The Independent

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Snow’s history began with ripping yarns of adventure at sea, of surprise attacks and raids by Barbary pirates on the unprotected fishermen of Cornwall (whose indignation at slavery seemed to be considerably sharper when it was they who ended up in fetters in the cargo hold). But it concluded with a kind of paragon of bureaucracy – Samuel Pepys, whose reforms of naval administration helped transform the Navy from a lucrative source of government peculation into something like a fighting force. Pepys never swashed a buckler in his life, but he was, in his way, one of our great naval heroes. Snow himself makes a pretty good presenter here, incidentally – a Boy’s Own type, happy to shimmy up the ratlines for a panoramic long-shot and gaze wonderingly out at the far horizon, as if dreaming of a Eldorado of foreign-territory sales.

via The Weekend’s Television: Empire Of The Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World, Fri, BBC2The Legacy of Lawrence of Arabia, Sat, BBC2 – Reviews, TV & Radio – The Independent.

Henley on Thames – Dan Snow review

Monday, October 12th, 2009

THE session with Dan Snow must rate highly in the minds of those who heard and saw him. His talk and the questions and answers format riveted everyone’s attention with his total commitment and enthusiasm.

Whilst his new book Death or Victory: Wolfe, Quebec and the Birth of Empire suggests a different lecture than one on the American conquest, his brilliantly constructed talk and book brings together in a comprehensive, colourful picture just how significant the defeat was of the French and local Indians at Quebec in 1759.

It was more than the defeat of the colonial French as it changed the nature of all of North America, of Britain itself and world history, the benefits of which abound.

Discussing the military nature of the seven years war, of which this was a part, Snow fervently believes that it was far more exciting than the more understood Napoleonic Wars and feels it is a much neglected area of British history. Perhaps his book will change that.

Because of his well recognised appreciation of military history, Snow described the logistics and battle plans of both sides and how the armies were disciplined, suffered, yet fought on.

His audience was captivated by his grasp and his ability to pass on his research in such an easy-to-follow style that left them queuing for his books at the end.

It is good to know he is now turning his attention to the British Navy.

Laureen Williamson

via Henley on Thames – Dan Snow review.

Daily Express | Books :: Death Or Victory – The Battle of Quebec and The Birth of Empire: Dan Snow

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

THE year 1759 was the decisive turning-point in the conflict between various European powers that later came to be known as the Seven Years’ War.

It resulted in the British occupation of Canada, formerly New France, and ensured that the cultural identity of the North American continent would be Anglo-Saxon rather then French. While battles would be fought in Europe, Africa and India, it had been the French incursion southwards into the Ohio Valley in 1754 that had already provoked the British to war.

via Daily Express | Books :: Death Or Victory – The Battle of Quebec and The Birth of Empire: Dan Snow.


Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

From BBC History Magazine:

How the mighty fall
History hasn’t been kind to Montezuma (also known as Moctezuma). Unfortunate enough to lead his people as the conquistadors eyed the riches of the New World, Montezuma is most often seen as a hapless traitor. But is this fair? Should we instead see him as a tragic figure, a man who played a game of psychological chess against his enemies but lost? As a new exhibition on the emperor opens at the British Museum, these questions are considerd by Dan Snow.

Henley on Thames – The history girls and boys prepare for festival

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Dan Snow, military historian and son of veteran broadcaster Sir Peter, is the last to take the stage, on Sunday. “History is the most exciting thing that has happened to anyone on this planet,” he says, and he has certainly experienced its thrills.

His hands-on approach to the past has seen him gassed, piloting Second World War aircraft, training as a sniper, and shovelling muck in London’s sewers. His visit to the literary festival takes him to the more elegant setting of Henley’s Town Hall where he describes the hardships faced by troops in the battle for North America 250 years ago, outlined in his book, Death or Victory.

via Henley on Thames – The history girls and boys prepare for festival.

Welcome to my world: Dan Snow

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

From here:

TELEVISION’S pin-up historian Dan Snow has teamed up with his father Peter and Peter’s cousin Jon to support Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (020 8222 7141,
But when the 30-year-old isn’t posing in his pants, he’s busy traipsing around the country investigating the life of Hadrian, reporting for The One Show and writing his forthcoming book on the Seven Years War. Around 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the UK, and one man dies of the disease every hour.
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Peter Snow and his son Dan

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

From here:

Peter: With Dan, I knew from the moment he was born that I was in for a son who would constantly surprise me. He was such an alert baby. I thought: “This is someone who will be successful at anything he tries.” We had such different childhoods. From the age of seven I was sent away to 18 different prep schools. But with Dan at day school, he and I developed a very close relationship, which I never had with my parents.

I have a serious problem finding anything negative to say about Dan. He’s never been difficult. Never had a moment of rebellious adolescence. And he shares so many of my enthusiasms — apart from my insatiable passion for model railways. He gets on with our friends. On Ann’s side, he loves Canada and his Canadian relatives, which has made us all, as a family, extremely happy. His sisters adore him. All five of his siblings love him, because he’s so good with everyone. He’s loyal, helpful and immensely kind.

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Snow go for Dan

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

From here:

Dan Snow may be happy not to be in the shadow of his father, the veteran television presenter Peter Snow, but he has clearly not yet convinced the BBC.

The 30-year-old historian was invited to travel with Peter, 71, through central Europe for the programme Around the World in 80 Days, as part of the BBC’s Children in Need coverage.

Mandrake hears that when Peter turned it down it was decided Dan could not be paired with anyone else, or present on his own. “Having Dan in another context wasn’t in the mix,”confirms a spokesman for the Beeb.

I heard about this programme earlier in the year and it seems a shame that Dan is not now involved – would probably have been pretty interesting!