943 years ago today, William the Conqueror landed on English soil to seize Pevensey and begin his march to the eventful battle of Hastings where he would defeat his rival, Harold Godwinson, for the English crown. The island nation has since successfully resisted further attempted invasions by foreign powers (though Daleks and Cybermen are reported to have more luck in the future).
1066 and All That: A Memorable History of England, comprising all the parts you can remember, including 103 Good Things, 5 Bad Kings and 2 Genuine Dates is one of the most well-loved and best-selling humour titles of all time.
“Canute began by being a Bad King on the advice of his Courtiers, who informed him (owing to a misunderstanding of the Rule Britannia) that the King of England was entitled to sit on the sea without getting wet.”
1066 and All That is a book that has itself become part of our history. The authors made the claim that “All the History you can remember is in the Book” — and, for most of us, they were probably right.
But it is their own unique interpretation of events that has made the book a classic; an uproarious satire on textbook history and our confused recollections of it:
“The first date in English History is 55 B.C., in which year Julius Caesar (the memorable Roman Emperor) landed, like all other successful invaders of these islands, at Thanet. This was in the Olden Days, when the Romans were top nation on account of their classical education, etc.”
Since its publication in October of 1930, this classic spoof on textbook history has sold four million copies worldwide. This anniversary edition is a celebration of this uproarious satire’s lingering appeal and is enhanced by brilliant new drawings by cartoonist Stephen Appleby.