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1066 and All That Paperback – 24 Sep 1998
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Possibly the best thing of its kind ever done ... Quotation is hopeless: every sentence clamours for it
-- The Observer
About the Author
W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman first published their writing in "Punch". Their books include "And Now All This," "Garden Rubbish," and "Horse Nonsense".
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This book cost me next to nothing second hand from a highly rated Amazon reseller - a 'very good' copy for around a fiver, cheaper than the basic paperbook edition (which granted was the type I had in my 1960s boyhood). Make sure the slip-case is included as the ink blots all over the cover of the book contrast well with the cleaner slipcase (to make it look like a well-worn version previously owned perhaps by Nigel Molesworth himself). This edition is exactly the same text with John Reynolds illustrations as my 1960s paperback copy, mimicking perfectly the UK school history text books from the 1920s to the 1960s that proudly gave the history of the world as seen through the eyes of the British Empire when we were clearly 'Top Nation' (a good thing). Although possibly still amusing to today's youngsters it loses a lot of it's biting satire if you weren't schooled on history textbooks that dwelled on the likes of Clive going to India whilst totally ignoring the preceding Mogul Empire, with all its history based almost exclusively on the reigns of British Monarchs. So this handsome Folio edition is ideal for those 50+ who loved '1066 and all that' as a teenage schoolkid and would like a serious upgrade to their battered childhood paperback copy. It's easily available secondhand, and look out for one in very good condition as it's often no more expensive than a roughed up copy - although this edition is very stain friendly as it adds to its battered school textbook charm.
I have now treated myself to second-hand Folio slip-case versions of my other childhood favourites such as 'The Compleet Molesworth', 'Diary of a nobody', Alice in Wonderland', 'The Gormenghast Trilogy', and Edward Lears 'Book of nonsense'. Make sure the reseller is selling the Folio edition (ideally with slipcase) if that's the one you want.
W.C. Sellar (Author), R.J. Yeatman (Author)
The one book that makes me laugh aloud despite having read it often over the years. It promises to be all the history anyone remembers ten years after leaving school (actually my history was like this AT school) but instead it's a glorious romp full of running gags, joke test questions that get sillier as the book goes on and - for admirers of wordsmiths - a nonstop treat. Brilliant nonsense. A "dipper" book that you can read in fits anytime or just pick it up and start in the middle.
One caveat - it is only suitable for people who already have a basic knowledge of English history.