1066 and All That (780 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • Jeremy Noel-Tod (University of East Anglia)


1066 and All That, a spoof history schoolbook first published in 1930, is a classic of twentieth-century English humour. Written by Walter Carruthers Sellar, a schoolmaster, and Robert Julian Yeatman, an advertising copywriter, the book has never been out of print, and its raffish title and facetious judgements (“a Good Thing”) have passed into popular usage.

The conceit of the book is stated in the preface: “History is not what you thought. It is what you can remember”. What follows is a potted narrative of the British ruling class from Julius Caesar (“the memorable Roman Emperor”) to the First World War – at which point, the final chapter notes, the United States of America became “top …

Noel-Tod, Jeremy. "1066 and All That". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 July 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=13861, accessed 01 May 2017.]

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