Literature: 1066 and All That
1066 and All That is The Abridged History of England by Walter Carruthers Sellar and Robert Julian Yeatman, with illustrations by John Reynolds. The book's lengthy subtitle is A Memorable History of England Comprising All the Parts You Can Remember Including One Hundred and Three Good Things, Five Bad Kings, and Two Genuine Dates. It was first printed in 1931 after being serialized in Punch.The text covers only the memorable parts of English history, starting with the memorable Roman Emperor Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain in 55 B.C., one of the only two memorable dates in English History (the other being, of course, William the Conqueror, Ten Sixty-six), and giving special attention to all the Good Things that happened to make England C. of E. and Top Nation.The book also includes several Test Papers, as well as a few Errata.Craig Brown of Private Eye wrote a continuation entitled 1966 And All That, written in a careful imitation of the style and going up to the early years of the twenty-first century.Kate Charlesworth and Marsaili Cameron published a graphic novel alternative version in 1986 entitled All That... : The Other Half of History, that plays off the absence of women from the original.
Tropes memorably appearing in English History:
- And That's Terrible: "King James slobbered at the mouth and had favorites. He was thus a Bad King"
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Though both Good Kings and Bad Kings are recognized, all Barons in history are wicked, with the sole exception of Simon de Montfort.
- Black and White Morality: Played for laughs throughout with kings being divided arbitrarily into Good and Bad kings.
- Buried Alive: Implied to have happened somehow to Edward I, who "died of suffocation at a place called Burrow-in-the-Sands."
- Composite Character: "The memorable Dutch King Williamanmary."
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: The Order of the Bath "was an extreme form of torture in the Middle Ages."
- Dead All Along: Queen Anne's reign ended when it was discovered that she had been dead all the time.
- Decomposite Character: Henry IV, Parts I and II.
- Drop the Hammer: One illustration shows Edward I, "Malleus Scotorum" (Hammer of the Scots), raising a hammer over a prone Scotsman.
- Future Imperfect: Parodied.
- Kissing The Ground: The first action William I (1066) undertook in conquering England was lying down on the beach where he landed and swallowing two mouthfuls of sand.
- No Sense of Humor: Queen Victoria "remained obdurately plural and not amused" throughout her reign despite the best efforts of her subjects to amuse her.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. Cromwell is not to be confused with Cromwell, and Walpole is not to be confused with Walpole.
- Running Gag: Kings dying after a surfeit of something.
- Sand In My Eyes: Cardinal Wolsey fell from grace since he "although (as is well known) he had not thought to shed a tear about all this, did ultimately shed a memorable one."
- Theme Naming: The Anglo-Saxon wave of Egg-kings.
- Underdogs Never Lose: The English become used to winning battles against long odds to the point of losing some battles where they outnumber the enemy.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: If you're not familiar with English history, most of the jokes won't make any sense to you.
- White Man's Burden: During a wave of Justifiable Wars with China, Burma, Abyssinia, etc., "Spheres of Interference were discovered: these were necessary in all Countries inhabited by their own natives."
- Written by the Winners: "Broody Mary's reign was, however, a Bad Thing, since England is bound to be C. of E., so all the executions were wasted."