1066 and All That

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Jeremy Noel-Tod (University of East Anglia)
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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 nation”, and “History came to a”. “History”, in other words, is English

780 words

Citation: Noel-Tod, Jeremy. "1066 and All That". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 July 2010 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=13861, accessed 15 June 2024.]

13861 1066 and All That 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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