New book showcases ties between Luxembourg and UK

British ambassador John Marshall at the launch of the “#LuxUKLinks” book at the embassy residence on Thursday Jan Hanrion

British ambassador John Marshall at the launch of the “#LuxUKLinks” book at the embassy residence on Thursday Jan Hanrion

British ambassador to the grand duchy, John Marshall, unveiled the “#LuxUK Links” book at the embassy residency on Thursday.

The book, written by Marshall and produced by Delano publisher Maison Moderne, delves into the historical, diplomatic, cultural and business ties that the two countries share. It is, says the ambassador, “a celebration of the links between Luxembourg and the United Kingdom.”

Marshall began tweeting about links between Luxembourg and the UK on social media in September 2016. His first postings were about the 1839 and 1867 treaties signed in London that led to the grand duchy becoming an independent sovereign state.

“What I show through #LuxUKLinks is moments in time when the stories of our two countries have come together, or where people from one country have left a mark in the other,” says Marshall. But the book also highlights the contemporary links. “It covers the spectrum from important moments in European and global history to light-hearted and frivolous links we have in common.”

The positive feedback he received from those initial tweets led to an exhibition that ended up touring the grand duchy’s schools and town halls as well as being displayed in the Dräi Eechelen Museum and at the Henri Tudor Museum in Rosport. It also travelled to the UK, where it was shown at the Centre of Luxembourg Studies at the University of Sheffield and at the Luxembourg Embassy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

The exhibition inspired a book featuring 75 tweets, which largely replicated the texts and visual style of the displays.

But as the number of tweets continued to grow, Marshall began thinking about producing a second book with more in-depth context and a greater visual appeal. The result contains 150 links with text written by the ambassador and featuring historical photos and illustrations as well as some contemporary photography. The links range from Grand Duke Jean volunteering to serve in the British Army during World War II to Radio Luxembourg being the first radio station ever to play a record by The Beatles.

There is even mention of author J.K. Rowling including Luxembourg’s national Quidditch team in her book “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”--the Luxembourg team soundly beats Scotland, by the way.

“#LuxUKLinks” 150 stories connecting the United Kingdom and Luxembourg by HM Ambassador John Marshall is available from the Maison Moderne online shop and is also being stocked in Ernster bookstores.