Wednesday, January 30, 2008


In "Yellow Iris", 'Poirot' is trying to enjoy his breakfast and morning paper. He's planning on reading the Daily Express which trumpets the headline "ITALY FOUND GUILTY".

The sub-heading is "League Assembly To Debate Sanctions Tomorrow".

Here is the story behind that headline, dated Tuesday, October 6, 1936:

The international community were astonished by Mussolini's aggressive behaviour towards Abyssinia, Eritrea, and Somaliland, which Mussolini proclaimed to be "Italian East Africa".

The League of Nations imposed economic sanctions upon Italy. Some historians argue that theimpact of these sanctions meant the war was a failure for Mussolini. Others argue the sanctions were not so effective because not all countries supported them and because vitalsupplies such as oil were not included. The fact that the League of Nations imposed sanctionson Italy (in a half-hearted way) encouraged Italy to look for other international allies - such asHitler's Germany.

Adolf Hitler had been inspired by Mussolini's achievements and once he gained power in Germany he sought a close relationship with Italy. In October 1936 the two men signed a non-military alliance.

Which means Hercule Poirot solved the "Yellow Iris" murder mystery on October 9th, a Friday. As this was two years to the day since Iris Russell was murdered in Buenos Aires, then she died October 9th, 1934, at the age of 32.

Toby OB

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