About me

Tina Tamman

I was born and raised in Estonia when the country was part of the Soviet Union. At the age of 26 I arrived in England where the language presented few problems (I had read English at the University of Tartu) by comparison with the rest: I knew nothing about invoices, mortgages, Sunday roast or Weetabix. Five years in the wine trade taught me a lot about French wines and twenty years at the BBC generally broadened my horizons. When Estonia regained its stolen independence in 1991, I began to report British news on Estonian radio and published a few novels in Estonian. Frequent trips to free Estonia made me realise that there were numerous gaps in Estonian history, and some of them had a British connection. There was, for example, no biography of August Torma, the Estonian diplomat who had died in exile in London in 1971. Followed four years of archival research and study and in 2010 I was awarded a PhD by the University of Glasgow. My doctoral thesis was subsequently published as an academic book under the title of "The Last Ambassador: August Torma, Soldier, Diplomat, Spy". I have been researching and writing ever since. I also edit the magazine, Lennuk, of the British Estonian Association published in London and run annual essay competitions in Tallinn.