Roger Casement’s revolutionary fire was lit in the Congo where he saw at first hand some of the worst abuses of the colonial project. The fire burned hotter in Brazil, where he gradually became convinced that exploitation and abuse were inextricably linked with the exercise of imperial power.
Yet Casement the revolutionary was also a diligent and senior colonial servant of Britain. It was a double existence he struggled with in Africa and afterwards: as he wrote in 1907, ‘I had accepted imperialism … I was on the high road to being a regular imperialistic jingo - altho’ at heart underneath & all unsuspected almost to myself I had remained an Irishman … and I said to myself then, far up the Lulanga river, that I would do my part as an Irishman, wherever it might lead me personally.’ Casement’s part led to the Easter Rising in Dublin, a trial for treason, and execution in Pentonville prison.Dr Angus Mitchell's published research has focused on Roger Casement. He is the editor of a volume of essays on 'Enemies of Empire: Exploring the Interface between Post-Colonialism and History'.