1066 and All That
Walter Carruthers Sellar & Robert Julian Yeatman
Sutton, 1997 (1930)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
his is British history with a difference. Its
This Means You
') informs that '
History is not what you thought. It is what you can remember. All other history defeats itself
.' The authors then proceed to give us a laugh-out-loud account of British history, in which all dates that are '
', that is all but two, have been ruthlessly eliminated. It's one of those books, like
The Pooh Perplex
, that linger in your memory even as the details blur.
t begins with the Romans, who were '
top nation on account of their classical education
' and notes their conquest as a
, despite its '
unfair means, such as battering-rams, tortoises, hippocausts, centipedes
' etc.. The book ends with the
was between Germany and America and was thus fought in Belgium
' and resulted in a '
a great many more countries: this was a Bad Thing as it was the cause of increased geography
ach chapter ends with a test paper with enlightening questions like '
What convinces you that Henry VIII had VIII wives? Was it worth it?
' There are many little known gems of history. For example, were you aware that the Pilgrims' Progress on the
was one of the '
chief causes of America
' or that the American Revolution resulted from the fact that these poor souls '
never had afternoon tea
'? You can learn a lot of
from this slim volume.
don't know why humor is not used more widely to teach history. I can imagine a U.S. version,
Revere and All That
or an Aussie one,
Botany and All That
. My vote for the Canadian equivalent would be
Fuddle Duddle and All That
. All I can remember from Canadian history is my indignation when asked to memorize the year the first cow was born in Saskatchewan, but I will never be able to forget the date of the Battle of Hastings ...
and All That
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