Notes From the Margins…

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist, living in Sheffield England.  I’m the author of six non-fiction books: My Father’s House (Penguin 1997);  The Infernal Machine: a History of Terrorism (New Press 2007), also published in the UK as The Infernal Machine: an Alternative History of Terrorism (Hurst & Co 2011);  Blood and Faith: the Purging of Muslim Spain (New Press 2009, Hurst 2010);  Fortress Europe: Dispatches from a Gated Continent (New Press 2012), available in the UK in paperback as Fortress Europe: Inside the War Against the Immigration (Hurst 2015),  Sherman’s Ghosts: Soldiers, Civilians, and the American War of War (New Press 2015), and The Savage Frontier: the Pyrenees in History and the Imagination, (The New Press/Hurst 2018).

My first novel The Devils of Cardona, was published in 2016 by Penguin Random House in the US.  My latest novel Black Sun Rising has just been published by Pegasus Books.


As a journalist, I’ve written for various print and digital publications including The Observer, The Guardian, The New York Times, History Today, Race & Class,  Geographical magazine, BBC World Histories, the Huffington Post and IPS News.  I’ve also appeared on British, Irish, American and Canadian radio as a guest contributor.  I’ve lectured and given seminars in a number of British universities, schools and cultural and educational institutions, including Derby, Newcastle and Nottingham universities and the Cervantes Institute in London.  I was a co-founder of the 1 Day Without Us campaign in solidarity with migrants in the UK, which organised two national days of action in 2017 and 2018.

I blog about politics, books, history, cinema, music and other things that interest me.


  1. Helena Cobban

    4th Oct 2011 - 3:12 pm

    Hi, Matt. I just found your site because your fabulous review of Rami Zurayk’s book came up in my Google Alert. Thanks for penning a truly moving and smart review!

    I’d love to be in touch, if you could send me your email address. Including, to ask how you found out about Rami’s book. Angry Arab’s mention, maybe?

    Thanks! ~ Helena.

  2. Muhammad Lawal

    6th Feb 2012 - 12:51 pm


    your article on ‘Syria and The International Community’ is commendable. Excellent job.

  3. Janet King

    26th Mar 2012 - 11:14 pm

    If there is any way you can help Aziz Hussini there are many people who would be grateful. Sometimes writers can help to get an appeal as in the case of Lydia Besong and Bernard Bateyfrom Cameroons. Juliet Stephenson and Michael Morpurgo managed to get a judicial review for them. Aziz should stay in the UK and marry Gemma (I guess you know the distressing circumstances of his arrest).

    • Matt

      27th Mar 2012 - 5:06 am

      Hi Janet. I would love to, but I’m not nearly as famous as the people you mention and I don’t think I would have that kind of clout. I have written to UKBA and apart from the blog post I’ve already written, I don’t know what else I can do.

  4. Julie Clare

    18th Jan 2013 - 10:09 pm

    Hi Matt,

    Just wanted to thank you for saying such lovely things about my father.


    • Matt

      18th Jan 2013 - 10:57 pm

      Thanks Julie. I was bowled over by his writing, in both Last Waltz and Berlin Days.

  5. Cranky Canuck

    16th Apr 2013 - 4:57 pm

    Great piece on Glenda Jackson with the reminder on the Beanfield. Here in the colonies it’s a steady stream of ARSLIKHAN for Maggie. Thanks for keeping it real.

  6. Nik H.

    9th Jul 2013 - 6:50 pm

    Hi there Matt!
    I wrote about this ( at my job today. Guess you’ll get the jist of it even with just your wartime german equipped!

    Thought you might be interessted in it, though you might have already learned about this video ( created by Mos Def and Reprieve.

    • Matt

      9th Jul 2013 - 7:34 pm

      Thanks Nik. Looks interesting, but my German isn’t that good…I just saw the video. v. powerful.

  7. Richard Carter

    7th Dec 2013 - 10:40 am

    Matt I’m sure you’ll have seen it but just in case… The Daily Mail is currently running a campaign in support of that murdering bastard Sgt Blackman ( They even have the gall to present him as a Casualty of War!!! Well, I suppose that’s what they mean by bringing civilised values to Afghanistan….

    This, and the whole Facebook/Twitter campaign in support of Blackman might make for a good post by you? I hope so!

    • Matt

      7th Dec 2013 - 11:21 am

      Good idea Richard.

  8. Nik

    12th Dec 2013 - 11:48 pm

    Matt! Was that a GCHQ job on your blog or what happened 😉

    • Matt

      13th Dec 2013 - 8:31 am

      LOL. No, it was me Nik. Much as I liked the old Max Ernst image, I felt like a new look, with a more reader-friendly font and layout. So I’ve balanced a dystopian header with anarcho-syndicalist red and black, sort of ying and yang. Hope you like it, and that GCHQ do too!

      • Nik

        13th Dec 2013 - 5:36 pm

        Ahhhh ok 🙂

        Well yesterday the picturere didn’t show properly. Was sort of blury. Now that I can see it I like it!

  9. Martin Francis

    23rd Dec 2013 - 5:26 pm

    Hi Matthew,
    I am writing in the hope that you are the same Matthew Carr who wrote about Palestinian education during the Intifada for the anti-racist teachers group ALTARF with Graham Usher. We published it in our newsletter in November 1989. I have been asked to write something about Graham following his death and would like to use some paragraphs from the article. Could you let me know if this is okay.

    Martin Francis

    • Matt

      23rd Dec 2013 - 7:36 pm

      Absolutely Martin. No problem at all.

  10. Richard Carter

    22nd Jan 2014 - 6:36 pm

    Matt, I’m currently reading “The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI” by Betty Medsger. It’s the story of the break-in at an FBI office by a group of anti-Vietnam war protesters in 1971 and how it revealed that he FBI had secretly been spying on dissidents and, apart from being a good read, it has very striking parallels with the Edward Snowden affair. Absolutely fascinating!

    • Matt

      24th Jan 2014 - 6:40 pm

      It does sound interesting Richard. I wasn’t aware of it. Will check it out.

  11. Nik

    27th Feb 2014 - 9:27 am

    Hello Matt!
    I was wondering what your take on the developments in the Ukraine is. Do you think McCain et al. are also going to rush in support to Syntagma-Square in Athens once it is properly occupied and defended with catapults, molotov cocktails and folks dressed in improvised riotgear shouting right wing slogans? 😉

    • Matt

      27th Feb 2014 - 10:04 am

      You and I both know the answer to that question Nik. I’ve been thinking of writing about Ukraine, but I’ve been really busy on other stuff the last week or so. I might get round to it.

  12. Sunniva Myrvold

    20th Mar 2014 - 7:56 pm

    Hi Matt! I am doing my bachelors degree at Oslo University College on migration, mainly from North Africa to the EU. I already read your book “Fortress Europe”, but I have some questions and was wondering if there were any chance connect with you on e-mail or so? Sunniva

  13. Chris Mannings

    23rd Mar 2014 - 3:31 pm

    Hi Matt, Good to see you in November at Graham’s memorial. I got ‘The Infernal Machine’ and bought it as a Christmas present for a number of people (so if there was a sudden improvement in your standard of living, probably down to me). Just wanted to say it was brilliant.

  14. fromtheisland0

    23rd Apr 2014 - 8:45 pm

    Hi Matt, really enjoying your book Fortress Europe which I’m just getting round too. Had to write to tell you about From the Island, which is trying to link space exploration and migration in order to change attitudes. It’s another angle inspired by being in the canary islands, where space and migration collide! Would be great if you like it. Best wishes.

    • Matt

      23rd Apr 2014 - 8:59 pm

      Hi. Will definitely check it out. And glad to hear you’re enjoying the book!

  15. Bren

    26th Apr 2014 - 10:23 am

    Hi – I don’t have a twitter or facebook account. Can you add my email address to your mailing list please?

    • Matt

      27th Apr 2014 - 9:43 am

      Hi Bren. I’m not sure how to do this from my end. Most subscribers simply write in their details on the ‘subscribe by email’ button, or add their details to the RSS feed by clicking on that button. Why don’t you try that and see how it works out. If it doesn’t let me know.

  16. Shameela

    25th May 2014 - 9:11 am

    Dear Mr Carr,

    I have just read your article In the Country of the Blind and find it inspiring to read your thoughts. Though I do not have an in-depth understanding of politics I have seen that the state of this country, and the general public views of migrants becoming worse and worse. I actually find it quite scary and contradictory to the fact that when my parents came to this country in the 70s they were actually invited by the UK government to work for the NHS, did their exams in their home country and were given loans to start off in the UK (which they eventually paid off because the wages and work allowed them to do so back then). And now look at the situation on migration and work in the UK…

    As a visual communicator (I am a photographer) I have always had a fascination with creatives who make their work with words. Inspired by your writing, I would like to take your portrait. This would help me to build on my portfolio of portraits (as much of my work is based on land and architecture) and you would get a print for personal use.

    I hope that you will consider my proposal and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind regards


    • Matt

      25th May 2014 - 2:12 pm

      Hi Shameela, Thank you for your kind words about my piece. Regarding you portrait request, I would be very happy to do it. I’m away in Spain for the next week, so let’s talk about it when I get back, shall we?

  17. firoz osman

    6th Jul 2014 - 11:25 am

    Agree with your point on violence associated with settler colonialism. the context in which events take place, e.g. the killings in occupied Palestine, is often omitted

  18. Alicia

    9th Jul 2014 - 5:29 pm

    Hi Matt!

    My name is Alicia, and I work with the National Writers Union as website admin. A cursory look at our website,, provides a basic idea of what we’re about. Your important article, ‘Israel, Censorship and The Huffington Post,’ appeared in our Daily Links section for today, July 9th.

    Here’s the link: Here’s our FaceBook page:

    We are in the process both of building an organization that can contribute to ongoing struggles for social justice and people power, as well as creating a union that serves as widely diverse a group of progressive communicators as anyone could imagine. In that context, developing relationships and having conversations is essential. In any case, I or the At Large Chapter chair, Jim Hickey, (spindoctorjimbo AT, hope to hear from you.

  19. Danielle

    7th Oct 2014 - 2:42 pm

    Dear Matt
    I am currently writing my undergraduate dissertation, focusing on migrants in Calais. I was hoping to interview migrants in Calais directly, and I wondered if you had any pointers as to how I can make contact with them in a professional and dignified way.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Kind regards

    • Matt

      7th Oct 2014 - 3:14 pm

      Hi Danielle. I’ll contact you via your email with some suggestions shortly.

  20. Mark Fitzgibbon

    15th Nov 2014 - 3:27 pm

    what did you think of Russell Brand’s book?
    quite like it so far – he comes across as someone who seems pretty honest and genuine – and that goes a LONG way in today’s world I think.

  21. patrick

    4th Jan 2015 - 7:13 am

    Hi Matt, would you be interested in having a Skype talk with our school in Prague on some of the issues which you write about? We spoke to Noam Chomsky in December which, naturally, was thought-provoking and proved successful with our students. Alternatively, if you happen to plan a visit to Prague it would be great to speak with you in person. If you’re interested, could you please write to [email protected]? Thank you kindly, Patrick

  22. Richard Carter

    4th Jan 2015 - 10:46 pm

    Hi Matt,

    I don’t know if you’ve come across Frank Ledwidge’s “Investment in Blood: The True Cost of Britain’s Afghan war,” but it’s a terrible indictment of the whole shambles – and that from a military (well, naval) man. Loads and loads of quotable material, but I thought this was one of the most striking. It’s from a former NATO spokesman there:

    “[The Taliban] pose no threat to Britain and *not one Afghan* has ever been involved in any terror attack in Europe or the US. It is simply rubbish to assert that British soldiers are fighting impoverished opium farmers and low grade US$10 a day gun-for-hire insurgents in Helmand province to protect the British people from terror attacks. These Afghans are fighting our soldiers because they just don’t like foreigners and infidels. They never have and they never will.”

    Strongly recommended!

    • Matt

      6th Jan 2015 - 11:11 pm

      That’s one of the books Meek reviews and it does sound good Richard. Have you read An Intimate War? I reviewed it last year and it is brilliant and revelatory.

  23. poppy

    30th Mar 2015 - 7:09 pm

    Hi Matthew
    I am a script editor working on a development for a drama series that examines the murky world of immigration in Europe. Myself and the writer would love the opportunity to talk to you – it would be great to hear from you so I can explain further.

    Many thanks

  24. eddie stinson

    3rd Apr 2015 - 8:48 pm

    enjoy your work

    • Matt

      3rd Apr 2015 - 9:41 pm

      Thanks Eddie. Much appreciated!

  25. eddie stinson

    13th May 2015 - 4:24 pm

    Good stuff. Your take would certainly apply in the good ole USA if money and ignorance should allow the GOP to buy our 2016 so called election.

  26. mark

    22nd Jul 2015 - 4:01 pm

    Your post on facebook about suruc. Your pick of Joans song. Good pick. Mark.

  27. scenesofreason

    17th Sep 2015 - 10:01 am

    Hi Matt,

    I came across your blog whilst helping research an article on the current refugee crisis. Really enjoyed “Save a Refugee – Bomb ’em all to Hell” – great analysis of the current situation and how the government is trying to spin it.

    I also liked your Corbyn analysis, and agree that we need a new politics of (dare we say) hope.
    I currently work for Scenes of Reason ( a new media start-up explaining the news. We’re currently released a series of content about the refugee crisis and the UK’s immigration debate.

    I’d love to have a chat to you about how we could potentially collaborate in the future. For now, here’s our piece on why the debate about Immigration in the UK is rigged from the start:

    Would love to chat so do get in touch.


  28. dan rochman

    20th Sep 2015 - 10:03 pm

    Hi Matt, really liked your book, The Infernal Machine. Feel it’s still the best book on state and group terrorism. Curious, came across a Cocteau play by same title; were you aware of this at the time?

    • Matt

      21st Sep 2015 - 7:28 am

      Hi Dan. Thanks very much. Yes I was aware of the Cocteau title,but I named my own book in reference to the nineteenth century century description of bombs as ‘infernal machines’.

  29. Rob W

    6th Oct 2015 - 12:36 pm

    Hey Matt, hoping to get in touch with you about a possible interview – our number for you seems out of date. Perhaps you could email me back on the email I entered, thanks

  30. Bill H

    26th Feb 2016 - 10:22 pm

    Matt, Having heard an odious bloke called Brendan O’Neill on “Any Questions” today, I did a websearch and came to your excellent blog posting on this fellow back in 2012. His behaviour was exactly as you describe. Here it was leftists “putting down the working class”, saying they shouldn’t “drive nice cars or live in nice houses”. No names or organisations given of course. Also saying that the dominance of the privately educated having being due to the “dumbing down” of state education, and people should stop criticising public schools.

    O’Neill is in a libertarian “think” tank, called, with ineffable pretentiousness, “The Institute of Ideas. The funding for this organisation is opaque, but I’m sure being a shill for the rich wouldn’t go amiss when attracting money.

    • Matt

      27th Feb 2016 - 6:19 am

      That sounds like O’Neill’s schtick Bill. Glad I didn’t hear it. Even your summary is annoying. He did do one thing I admired him for some years back, when he wrote a piece about a Saudi sheikh who had sued me and various other writers. He was pretty much the only writer in the Uk who mentioned this case. Apart from that, the same shallow, calculated and well-remunerated contrarianism.

  31. Alanna

    1st Mar 2016 - 11:32 pm

    Hi Matt,
    I’ve been reading your work for some time now, and I was wondering if you’ve ever written anything about your research and writing process? Let’s just say i’m a curious recent graduate interested in learning how the process comes together outside of academia.


    • Matt

      2nd Mar 2016 - 9:20 am

      Hi Alanna, Nice to hear from you. No I haven’t written anything about this. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have though. All best, Matt

  32. Florence Davey-Attlee

    13th Oct 2016 - 11:27 am

    Hi Matt — trying to reach you from CNN about the day of action. Would you mind emailing me?

  33. Jon Halls

    19th Oct 2016 - 1:36 pm

    Hi Matt,

    I am a student at the Royal College of Art, studying in the School of Communication. I am part of the team heading Red Tape this year, a platform that aims to actively engage and open up channels of debate surrounding culture, politics and society.

    The aim for this platform is to explore and question how we, as creative practitioners, can influence and address the contemporary world through our creative practice. For this event we will look at today’s cultural context (Brexit, the rise of nationalism and the effects of the global movement of people) and how this is shaping tomorrow’s society. We realise that it can be an intimate and difficult topic, but this is why it matters to us.

    I read about the protest one day without us that you are leading in reaction to the Brexit vote and thought you would be an interesting addition to our debate as you have subverted Facebook from a social to a political context. We would also be interested in hearing your research from your book Fortress Europe and discussing the effects of a hard Brexit (and border) in relation to society, culture and the creative opportunities and problems that this presents us all.

    The details of the event are below, we have also created a PDF if you would like to read more about our intentions and we can email this to you.

    Date: November 3rd
    Time: 6pm – 9pm
    Location: Art Bar, Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU.

    As we are a student lead forum we have a small budget, if you are interested we are willing to discuss payment for your time.

    Kind regards,

    Jon Halls
    Red Tape team.

  34. William de Bruijn (researcher)

    20th Oct 2016 - 9:17 am

    Dear Mr. Carr,

    Doing research for a 47 TV documentary dedicated to the process of ‘externalisation’ of EU borders, we were bound to end up reading your wonderful ‘Fortress Europe’. Could we have a phone call about a possible TV interview? We are based in Hilversum the Netherlands and would be filming between November 17th and Christmas this year. Broadcast scheduled for Sunday Feb 5th 2017, channel 2 Netherlands TV.
    Thank you in advance for a brief reply

  35. Jack Day

    8th Nov 2016 - 11:46 pm

    Hi Matt,

    I’m a student at the University of Melbourne studying Criminology and Sociology with a particular interest in terrorism. I was wondering if I would be able to contact you by email to discuss some of the ideas presented in your work in greater depth.

  36. Wahab Iqbal

    1st Dec 2016 - 3:26 pm

    Dear Matt,
    We are a London based Production company constructing a film examining the British refugee policy and immigration removal camps. Currently, we are aiming to find experts to interview who have a thorough understanding of the area, and after having read your work in Huffington Post and on this blog we are keen to engender a dialogue with the hopes of an interview.
    We look forward to your reply,

  37. Nik

    16th Dec 2016 - 1:19 pm

    More than a month without the Infernal Machine. There are so many things I’d like to get your take on… Aleppo, Mosul, DNC-Hacking, new McCarthyism …

    Hope you are ok, you old Shock worker of Communist Labour! 🙂

  38. Jesus Hutchinson

    28th Dec 2016 - 1:55 am

    Dear Matt,

    Your words mean more than you know. Your intelligent, insightful and often inspirational commentary on the world in which we live, have (and hopefully will continue to have) a hugely positive impact on the lives of myself and surely countless others.

    With great interest, and no small amount of concern, I read your comments on how your opinions on the left have changed. It is now scarily familiar to me. Friends, family and various media voices in my ‘bubble’, have similarly echoed your changed perspective on what constitutes the ‘left’. Just for the record, I personally emailed Lindsey German after STW completely changed their website after the brigades episode, almost destroying what was once an amazing platform for intelligent and compassionate dissent. She actually responded, (something about changing direction), but I’ve always felt uneasy at how those events played out. Luckily, I quickly found the infernal machine and added it as a favourite for my habitual perusal.

    Trump, Brexit, Syria and Yemen, or more accurately, the ‘left’s’ responses to these events, has altered people’s opinions on what the ‘left’ is. Jonathan Pie talked about how self-declared liberals were offending him with the post Brexit/Trump comments, altering his perspective on what constitutes the left, or what it means to represent that side of the political argument. I know family who are now disgusted at large parts of what they once claimed to represent. I know friends, people who have spent large parts of their life engaging in progressive, liberal politics, now talking about issues exclusively in terms of virtue-signalling and SJWs.

    I guess my point is, all kinds of individuals are responding to the hatred, bile and vindictiveness that some sections of the ‘left’ have unleashed, and decided, that’s not me, that is not what I represent. That the actions and words of these people have shaken many people’s political philosophies to the core is now, seemingly, commonplace.

    Despite all this, I remain hopeful. There is clearly an issue with ‘hatred’ being proliferated on social media. But this happens on both sides (and no sides.) I read a James Delingpole article yesterday, (which of course, always leaves one feeling morally and spiritually bereft!) but it reminded me of the kind of hatred and negativity that occurs across the spectrum. I’ve also read, like you, left wing commentators seemingly using the same horrid tactics to vilify or discredit people who disagree with them. But the reality for me is that these people or views don’t constitute what defines being left wing.

    I have loved reading your blog. I appreciate your views on the world. I will continue to check this website on a regular basis and hope to learn as much from you in the next two years as I have in the previous two.

    Don’t be disheartened by the anger and misguided resentment of some ‘leftists’. Don’t let their volume and spite alter the progressive perspective you have always made so relatable and reassuring to your many readers.

    If we are truly to rise in unvanquishable number, it’s voices like yours that will bring that about. Please, never forget that.

    Many thanks.


    • Matt

      28th Dec 2016 - 12:40 pm

      Hi Jesus. Thanks very much for such a generous and thoughtful message. Your points about the mutual vindictiveness amongst both left and right are well-taken, and I don’t intend to stop writing because of it. I never really wrote for or on behalf of such people anyway. Time permitting, I will continue to write, both on this blog and elsewhere, and responses like yours remind me why it’s still worth doing so. All best, Matt

  39. Annette

    28th Dec 2016 - 1:54 pm

    Dear Matt,
    I very much liked your book Blood and faith and will recommend it to our German readers in our coming Spiegel Geschichte”- Magazine on Islam and Europe (pity the book hasn’t been translated yet).

    Still, I do have questions about the last paragraph: Where can I find what the Morisco-descendants-historian in Tetuan wrote when King Juan Carlos should have come? How can I get the proof that the King was expected in March 2005 – since the Queen, Sofia, did come? Why wouldn’t the Morisco-descendants mention their quest to her?

    Thankyou so much for answering me these questions preferrably via email.

    Best, Annette

  40. Mark

    23rd Feb 2017 - 11:34 pm

    Hey Matt no new posts for a few weeks now. Anything wrong or are you just very busy with other stuff.

    • Matt

      24th Feb 2017 - 8:19 am

      Hi Mark. Thanks for your concern. I’m fine thanks, just been extraordinarily busy with the One Day Without Us campaign. It’s over now, so I should have more time available for blogging. Hope you’re well too!

      • Richard Carter

        24th Feb 2017 - 12:17 pm

        Matt, it’s good to hear that your activity rather than something sinister has kept you from blogging.

        Like many of us, I’m looking forward to your getting behind the keyboard again.

  41. Tristan Minihane

    25th Mar 2017 - 12:46 pm

    Dear Matt,

    My name is Tristan and I’m a film-maker from London. I’m currently working on a documentary exploring the securitisation of asylum/migration in Europe and the workings of its growing ‘migration industry’. The topic is one I am deeply attached to, and its message is one I believe has great power and validity in offering an alternative understanding of Europe’s current circumstances, and one meriting being voiced more loudly in our public and political debate. The goal of the documentary is to explore which actors are profiting (financially and otherwise) from current European discourses around security and migration, and how these actors have a hand in shaping such narratives.

    In researching the project (it was the topic of my MSc thesis), I was inspired by Fortress Europe and your blog. As such, I am writing to ask if you’d be willing to contribute to the documentary, by sharing your ideas with me in a filmed interview. If this is something you are interested in, I would love to meet you or arrange a time to discuss the project further.

    Many thanks, and looking forward to hearing back from you,


  42. John Smith

    5th Jan 2018 - 7:17 pm

    Your comment in the Huffpost article ‘One Day Without Us: Let’s Have A Different Conversation About Migration’ quote ‘We believe that such actions do not reflect the best traditions of this country’ needs to also reflect that we are the people who for example invented the concentration camp and the behavior mentioned in your article is consistent with the standard English attitude over time.
    Your site ‘’ and the list of events seem to perpetuate the Brexit voting pattern of concentrating the events in areas where support already exists. If you really want to improve the discussion plan an event at eg. Boston, not in an area that will act as little more than an echo chamber. Incidentally Boston does have a high immigrant population, having an event there is appropriate for your organization. Be brave and move out of your comfort zone and really tackle the conversation, don’t refuse to engage with others because its too much like hard work.

    • Matt

      5th Jan 2018 - 8:32 pm

      Hi John. I am aware of British (English) imperialism, thank you, and I do specify the ‘best traditions’ of this country. Whether we are ‘brave’ or not is for others to decide, but we did not organise events in Remain areas. We did not think of this as a Leave versus Remain issue, in fact, and we certainly did not form ‘safe’ groups to speak to the converted. We invited people to form groups, and some people came forward in Leave areas such as Peterborough and Hampshire and Sheffield – where I live. The decision was theirs not ours. We would be perfectly happy to see 1DWU groups in Boston and other places, but that requires people to come forward and set them up

  43. giovanna Del Sarto

    30th Nov 2018 - 11:47 am

    Dear Matt,
    I am a documentary photographer based in london.
    I am working on the publication of A Polaroid for a Refugee ( Book.
    I would like you to consider a possible contribution to the book.
    Would you be so kind as to contact me via e-mail, pls?
    thank you very much

  44. Carolina S.

    31st Jan 2019 - 10:02 pm

    Hi Matt, I am Carolina Saludes from the Young Fabian society, a progressive left-wing think thank. We have a monthly book club, and will be reading your book ‘Fortress Europe’ this month. It would be fantastic if we could ask you a few questions, either on the phone or in person if you happen to be in London. I’d love to give you the date and location details, and a bit more information about the organisation.

    Thank you in advance.

    Best wishes, Carolina

  45. Marcus Alan John

    24th May 2019 - 7:00 pm

    Hi Matt

    You weren’t by any chance in Gaza in 1984 with Unipal, were you?

    • Matt

      4th Jun 2019 - 8:38 am

      Hi Marcus. Yes I was. I sent you an email in response

  46. Adassa

    13th Aug 2019 - 6:27 pm

    As a British citizen, thank you, for the well written article in response to the September issue of Vogue. Is there an email I can contact you on?

    • Matt

      14th Aug 2019 - 11:30 am

      Thanks Adassa. I’m afraid, the world being what it is, I don’t give out my email address to people I don’t know without good reason. Best, Matt

  47. Rosa Cardona

    17th Sep 2019 - 8:52 pm

    Hi, Matt!
    I saw your book The Devils of Cardona and since my surname is Cardona, it caught my attention so I bought it and read it.

    Noticing that the setting was in the 16th century and in the area of my ancestry (Cardona, Spain) I was especially interested to get a feel for what life was like at that time since my understanding was that you were committed to authentically reflecting the culture, politics, social mores and issues of that time period.

    I must say that the harsh, criminal intrigues and hypocrisy of these characters reflected in this well-written novel was disappointing. It seems there were almost no really decent, truly godly people in this story, except perhaps Dr. Segura.

    It’s fast moving action and suspense did hold my interest. I know that there is a Cardona, Spain, Cardona Castle and a Cardona Coat of Arms. I have pictures of them on my walls. I was wondering if you could recommend any history books that would give more detailed information about the Dukes of Cardona and the royal line of was that family name.

    • Matt

      18th Sep 2019 - 2:41 pm

      Hi Rosa,

      Thank you for reading my book and for sharing these observations with me. This is the first time a real Cardona has commented on my book! I’m glad you enjoyed some things about the book, though I am surprised you concluded that there was only one decent godly character in the book. Personally I considered some other characters worthy of such a designation, eg. Mendoza, the Countess of Cardona, Gabriel, Ventura and the Mother Superior, among others.

      That said, sixteenth century Spain was a rough place, and some of its real protagonists were as bad, if not worse than some of the characters in my book! You might have guessed that the Cardona in the title is not the real Cardona you refer to. I chose that name in tribute to the Duchess of Cardona, a real life member of the House of Cardona, who wrote a moving letter to King Philip III in 1610, I think it was, to protest the expulsion of the Moriscos from her husband’s estates.

      Much of that letter is in my book Blood and Faith: the Purging of Muslim Spain 1609-14. Apart from that letter, not much is known about her, but I was very touched by its humanity and its Christianity in the midst of ruthless state-directed bigotry.

      Mendoza was written as a tribute to the Mendoza family, some of whose members played a similarly tolerant role in the persecution of the forcibly-converted Moors during the sixteenth century.

      Regarding Cardona itself, I don’t know where you would look for more info I’m afraid, though the Internet may throw up something.

      I wish you luck, and thanks once again for reading and getting in touch.

      Best regards,


  48. H P Boyle

    16th Aug 2020 - 5:53 pm

    In Black Sun Rising, I believe you have mistaken amyl nitrate for amyl nitrite. Loved the book. You might enjoy the novels of Arthur Solmsson.

    • Matt

      16th Aug 2020 - 6:11 pm

      Hi. You’re right. This has already been brought to my attention and will be changed in future editions. Very pleased to hear you enjoyed the book! Will check this author out. Best wishes, Matt

  49. Sagheer Afzal

    29th Aug 2020 - 12:09 am

    Hi Matt
    Just finised reading your excellent book: ‘Blood and Faith’. What is your opinion of Bobadil? Do you think he is deserving of the contempt with which he is currently held in ?
    Thank you again for your lucid and meticulously researched book

    • Matt

      29th Aug 2020 - 9:38 am

      Hi Sagheer,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Glad to hear you enjoyed the book! Well, I don’t think Boabdil deserves to be remembered well, bearing in mind that he was secretly collaborating with the Catholic Monarchs even as his subjects were fighting the Christian armies. Also worth remembering that he did this largely to protect his family’s wealth. Under a different leader, the defence of the Granada Emirate might have been more effective, but the balance of power was always heavily weighted towards Castile and no Muslim leader could have held out forever.

      To his credit, Boabdil negotiated surrender agreements with Ferdinand and Isabella which seemed to allow for the continuation of Islam in the conquered Emirate – later broken of course. But he was a flawed leader, at a time when the tide of history was moving inexorably against Islamic Spain, so regardless of his personal failings, there is not much he could have done to prevent the final outcome.

      All best,


  50. Michael Adler

    6th Sep 2020 - 1:34 pm

    This is a long shot, Matthew… but I’ll give it a go: I’m an author myself (of non-fiction) and also an amateur genealogist. My ancestors included the Perutz family, so I was understandably intrigued when I discovered some time ago that there is a Perutza River in Guyana. However, all efforts – ALL efforts, dating back years – at researching the origin of the name have failed. Presumably it was named by/after the Perutz who either discovered it or who farmed on its banks. The co-ordinates are:
    Perutza river, Potaro Siparuni, Guyana
    UTM : SF64
    Geographical coordinates in decimal degrees (WGS84)
    Latitude : 4.967
    Longitude : -60.000
    Geographical coordinates in degrees minutes seconds (WGS84)
    Latitude : 4 58′ 00”
    Longitude : -60 00′ 00”

    If by any chance you happen to know any details of which member of the Perutz family was involved, could I kindly ask you to drop me a line?

    Kindest regards,
    Michael Adler.

    • Matt

      7th Sep 2020 - 2:11 pm

      Hi Michael,

      I’m afraid I can’t help you here. I don’t know anything about this. Good luck with your search! Best regards, Matt

  51. John Vanderhoof

    8th Dec 2020 - 7:00 pm

    I like your books—-you need a series

  52. Peter Stafford

    19th May 2021 - 8:01 pm

    Hello Matt: I became interested in reading Black Sun Rising after reading Tom Nolan’s review in the Wall Street Journal. Your book was great — held my interest throughout. I recommended it to my wife who volunteers at our San Diego Blood Bank, she will find another dimension in the book as she gets to the closing chapters. I will be passing it along to other friends. Your books The Devils of Cardona and Blood & Faith… also appeal to me. I read more in history than novels, so should enjoy both.

    My wife and I, in years without the pandemic, enjoy hiking the Camino de Santiago’s various routes. That makes books on Spain, Portugal, and France of special interest.

    Thanks for the enjoyable time reading.


    • Matt

      19th May 2021 - 8:29 pm

      Hi Peter,

      Really appreciate your comments and very pleased to hear that you liked the book! I hope your wife doesn’t get any bad ideas from Dr Foulkes…I hope you enjoy the other books too. I also like hiking too. I’ve done a lot of hiking in the Pyrenees (and written a book about those mountains). I have occasional thought of doing the Camino, or at least parts of it. Perhaps I will, when this pandemic comes to an end.

      Very best wishes to you and your wife.


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