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1066 and all that by W. C. Sellar
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1066 and all that (1930)

by W. C. Sellar, R. J. Yeatman

Other authors: John Reynolds (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Memorable History (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
I might have enjoyed it more if I'd read it when I was 16.

I say this for two reasons - 1. the humour is rather 'schoolboy' in style and also a bit dated now (the book was first published in 1930) and 2. my memory for school history is not sufficient for me to have enjoyed some of the references - and history was my favourite subject at school!

I have to say I was pretty disappointed with it. It had some gems but for me, they were few and far between ( )
  Bagpuss | Jan 17, 2016 |
A completely irreverent look at British history. It is smart and funny, though I know that many of the jokes were totally over-my-head and I consider myself something of an amateur Anglophile. The book is 75 years old and thus doesn't include the authors' take on World War II, though considering that they managed to poke-fun at all of the other wars that Britain had been involved with, I'm sure they would have found a way. Truly the authors were brilliant men.

However, this is NOT a book that everyone will get or understand WHY you find the objects of "The Pheasants Revolts" so hilarious. Consider yourself warned, if you read "1066 & All That" you WILL laugh yourself into stitches, so it is probably best not to read it out in public.
  ThothJ | Dec 4, 2015 |
A completely irreverent look at British history. It is smart and funny, though I know that many of the jokes were totally over-my-head and I consider myself something of an amateur Anglophile. The book is 75 years old and thus doesn't include the authors' take on World War II, though considering that they managed to poke-fun at all of the other wars that Britain had been involved with, I'm sure they would have found a way. Truly the authors were brilliant men.

However, this is NOT a book that everyone will get or understand WHY you find the objects of "The Pheasants Revolts" so hilarious. Consider yourself warned, if you read "1066 & All That" you WILL laugh yourself into stitches, so it is probably best not to read it out in public.
  ThothJ | Dec 3, 2015 |
A completely irreverent look at British history. It is smart and funny, though I know that many of the jokes were totally over-my-head and I consider myself something of an amateur Anglophile. The book is 75 years old and thus doesn't include the authors' take on World War II, though considering that they managed to poke-fun at all of the other wars that Britain had been involved with, I'm sure they would have found a way. Truly the authors were brilliant men.

However, this is NOT a book that everyone will get or understand WHY you find the objects of "The Pheasants Revolts" so hilarious. Consider yourself warned, if you read "1066 & All That" you WILL laugh yourself into stitches, so it is probably best not to read it out in public.
  ThothJ | Dec 3, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sellar, W. C.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yeatman, R. J.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Reynolds, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Appleby, StevenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, FrankIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sherrin, NedIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
Absit Oman
First words
A couple of brand new schoolboy howlers surfaced during 1989 in the GCSE examinations. 'William I was crowned at the Abbey National.' 'Sir Anthony Eden was brought down by the Sewage crisis.'

Introduction, by Ned Sherrin (Folio Society edition, 1990).
Histories have previously been written with the object of exalting their authors.

Compulsory preface (This means you)
A first edition limited to I copy and printed on rice paper and bound in buck-boards and signed by one of the editors was sold to the other, who left it in a taxi somewhere between Piccadilly Circus and the Bodleian.

Preface to the second edition
The Editors acknowledge their comparative indebtedness to the Editors of The Historical Review, Bradshaw, The Lancet, La Vie Parisienne, etc., in which none of the following chapters has appeared.

Acknowledgements
'This slim volume ...' (The Bookworm)

Press opinions
Quotations
The Ancient Britons were by no means savages before the Conquest, and had already made great strides in civilisation, e.g. they buried each other in long round wheelbarrows (agriculture) and burnt each other alive (religion) under the guidance of even older Britons called Druids and Eisteddfods, who worshipped the Middletoe in the famous Druidical churchyard at Stoke Penge.
Noticing some fair-haired children in the slave market one morning, Pope Gregory, the memorable Pope, said (in Latin), 'What are these?' and on being told that they were Angels, made the memorable joke - 'Non Angli, sed Angeli' ('not Angels, but Anglicans') and commanded one of his Saints called St Augustine to go and convert the rest.
OLD-SAXON FRAGMENT

Syng a song of Saxons
In the Wapentake of Rye
Four and twenty eaoldermen
Two eaold to die ...
Anon
[Magna Carta] was the first of the famous Chartas and Gartas of the Realm and was invented by the Barons on a desert island in the Thames called Ganymede.
John finally demonstrated his utter incompetence by losing the Crown and all his clothes in the wash and then dying of a surfeit of peaches and no cyder; thus his awful reign came to an end.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0413772705, Paperback)

The book is a parody of the Whiggish style of history teaching in English schools at the time, in particular of Our Island Story. It purports to contain "all the history you can remember", and, in fifty-two chapters, covers the history of England from Roman times through 1066 "and all that", up to the end of World War I, at which time "America was thus clearly Top Nation, and history came to a ." (This last chapter is titled "A Bad Thing"; the final pun even requires the English term "full stop", rather than the American "period", to work.) It is based on the idea that history is what you can remember and is full of examples of half-remembered facts.

Although the subtitle states that the book comprises "103 Good Things, 5 Bad Kings and 2 Genuine Dates", the book's preface mentions that originally four dates were planned, but last-minute research revealed that two of them were not memorable. The two dates that are referenced in the book are 1066, the date of the Battle of Hastings and the Norman invasion of Britain (Chapter XI) and 55 BC, the date of the first Roman invasion of Britain under Julius Caesar (Chapter I). However, when the date of the Roman invasion is given, it is immediately followed by mention of the fact that Caesar was "compelled to invade Britain again the following year (54 BC, not 56, owing to the peculiar Roman method of counting)". Despite the confusion of dates the Roman Conquest is the first of 103 historical events in the book characterised as a Good Thing, "since the Britons were only natives at that time".

Chapter II begins "that long succession of Waves of which History is chiefly composed", the first of which, here, is composed of Ostrogoths, Visigoths, mere Goths, Vandals and Huns. Later examples are the 'Wave of Saints', who include the Venomous Bead (Chapter III); 'Waves of Pretenders', usually divided into smaller waves of two: an Old Pretender and a Young Pretender (Chapter XXX); plus the 'Wave of Beards' in the Elizabethan era (Chapter XXXIII).

In English history Kings are either 'Good' or 'Bad'. The first 'Good King' is the confusingly differentiated King Arthur/Alfred (Chapter V). Bad Kings include King John who when he came to the throne showed how much he deserved this epithet when he "lost his temper and flung himself on the floor, foaming at the mouth and biting the rushes" (Chapter XVIII). The death of Henry I from "a surfeit of palfreys" (recorded in other historical works as a "surfeit of lampreys") (Chapter XIII) proves to be a paradigmatic case of the deaths of later monarchs through a surfeit of over-eating or other causes. Other memorable monarchs include the Split King Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2 and Broody Mary.

Memorable events in English history include the Disillusion of the Monasteries (Chapter XXXI); the struggle between the Cavaliers (characterised as "Wrong but Wromantic") and the Roundheads (characterised as "Right but Repulsive") in the English Civil War (Chapter XXXV); and The Industrial Revelation (Chapter XLIX).

The book also contains five joke 'Test Papers' interspersed among the chapters, which contain nonsense instructions including the famous "Do not on any account attempt to write on both sides of the paper at once" (Test Paper V) and "Do not attempt to answer more than one question at a time" (Test Paper I) and such unanswerable questions as "How far did the Lords Repellent drive Henry III into the arms of Pedro the Cruel? (Protractors may not be used.)" (Test Paper II).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:31 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

FICTION. Horrid Henry reads Perfect Peter's diary and improves it; goes clothes shopping with Mum and tries to make her buy him some Rootatoot trainers; is horrified when his old enemy Bossy Bill turns up at school; and tries by any means, fair or foul, to win the class football match and defeat Moody Margaret.… (more)

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