Angus Mitchell was born in Africa and educated in England. From 1987 to 1992 he lived in Spain where he wrote extensively on Spanish culture, food and cinema and published the widely-acclaimed Spain: Interiors, Gardens, Architecture, Landscape (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1992). From 1992-98 he lived in Brazil where he worked as a film and television correspondent and helped to develop the award-winning historical drama, Carlota Joaquina: Princess of Brazil (1995).
Since 1998, he has lived in Ireland. For over two decades, he has studied the life and legacy of Roger Casement and a group of associated radicals, pacifists, feminists, cosmopolitan nationalists, internationalists and other critics of empire. To date, his published research has focussed largely on Roger Casement’s work in Africa and South America.
In 1997, he edited and annotated The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement (Dublin: Lilliput Press & London: Anaconda Editions). In 2003, there appeared a companion volume Sir Roger Casement’s Heart of Darkness: The 1911 Documents (Dublin: Irish Manuscripts Commission). These editions helped to retrieve Casement into the history of human rights and situated him within a progressive anti-colonial dialogue in pre-First World War Britain. The work also reinvigorated academic interest in Casement and the controversies associated with his life and afterlife.
Much of the early research for this body of work was undertaken while Mitchell was resident in South America, where he travelled widely on the Amazon and revisited the principal locations where Casement stayed when consul general in Brazil.
His work has cast vital new light on Casement’s entanglement with British intelligence and the enduring puzzle over the authenticity of the nefarious Black Diaries, the documents that have largely defined Casement’s myth in the public imagination. Mitchell has long made the argument, along with other reputable historians, that these documents are forgeries.
In 2010, Mitchell initiated and helped to curate, with Professor Laura Izarra at the University of São Paulo, a series of exhibitions on Roger Casement that helped to alert a wider international audience to the importance of Casement as both an intellectual and an activist. The exhibition opened in Manaus on the Amazon in 2010. It then moved to the Centro Maria Antonia in São Paulo, where it was launched by the Irish Ambassador to Brazil. In 2012, it opened in the presence of the Nobel Laureate for Literature, Mario Vargas Llosa, at the prestigious Casa de América in Madrid. The exhibition is currently being revised for an African tour. It will open in Maputo, Mozambique in 2013.
A Spanish edition of The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement (La Coruña: Ediciones del Viento) appeared in 2011. A Portuguese edition will be published by the University of São Paulo in 2014.
Mitchell is currently looking at other individuals involved in the cultural politics of the early twentieth century. These include the historian Alice Stopford Green, the botanist, Augustine Henry, and the evangelical faith missionary and divine, Henry Grattan Guinness, who established the earliest mission stations on the lower Congo.
From 2004- 2009, Mitchell worked as a university lecturer in both the U.S. and Ireland. He now devotes himself full-time to writing, guest lecturing, parenting and gardening.
Mitchell’s work has appeared in various international, academic and mainstream journals. He sits on the editorial board of History Ireland and is a regular contributor to the on-line Dublin Review of Books. Most recently he annotated two extensive extracts from Casement’s German diaries for Field Day Review 8:2012.
He lives in the mid-west of Ireland.