Broken Archangel

Broken Archangel

The Tempestuous Lives of Roger Casement


Pioneering human rights campaigner, patriot, romantic, traitor, LGBTQ+ martyr: this is the story of Roger Casement, one of the 20th century’s most complex and compelling figures.

'A book of met­iculous sensitivity and research'

'Extraordinary' THE TIMES

'Superbly written, genuinely exciting' ANDREW ROBERTS

'Outstanding' JOHN PRESTON

In 1904, Casement became internationally celebrated for unearthing the grotesque violence of the Belgian Congo. Soon after he won even greater renown and a knighthood for his humanitarian work deep in the Amazon jungle.

But his internal fault lines ran deep: neither fully Irish nor English, baptised both Protestant and Catholic, desperate for love but forbidden intimacy, betrayed in his only significant relationship, he was of the English diplomatic establishment yet an outsider who fought for Irish nationhood. His final act in wartime Berlin – a doomed scheme to promote an invasion of Ireland – overwhelmed him. And while his subsequent trial for treason brought him some resolution, it also took him to an unmarked prison grave.

Casement was a contradictory figure made fallible by contemporary mores and his own unexamined emotions. Only decades later did an Irish state funeral finally assert his nobility above his notoriety – and only now can we fully understand his surprisingly modern and deeply relevant life and legacy.

'In Roland Philipps [Casement] has found the biographer he deserves' MICHELA WRONG, author of Do Not Disturb

'Vivid, poignant and hugely moving' HENRY HEMMING, author of Our Man in New York


  • Casement is the Odysseus of Roland Philipp's epic, Broken Archangel, and Philipps is a worthy chronicler. It is a book of meticulous sensitivity and research ... It is a model, in other words, for how to write a biography of a gay person who lived before widespread acceptance
    Daily Telegraph

About the author

Roland Philipps

ROLAND PHILIPPS was a leading publisher for many years. A Spy Named Orphan, his first book, arose from lifelong connections to Donald Maclean and his story. It was shortlisted for the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2018, was a Daily Mail Book of the Year and received widespread critical acclaim. His second book, Victoire, was published by The Bodley Head in 2021.
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