Spies, Sadists and Sorcerers: The history you weren't taught in school

Spies, Sadists and Sorcerers: The history you weren't taught in school

by Dominic Selwood

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Spies, Sadists and Sorcerers unveils the history you were never taught at school. With a breathtaking sweep spanning Rome to the modern day, popular historian and author Dominic Selwood challenges the traditional version of some of the best-known events of the past. From ancient Christianity to the voyages of Columbus, and from the medieval Crusades to ISIS and the modern Middle East, this book debunks dozens of historical myths. You will learn that:

– Magna Carta was an infamous failure in medieval times
– Richard the Lionheart was a cruel and dreadful king
– The Knights Templar were heretical, and have left a genuinely baffling mystery
– The painter of the Turin Shroud was found in the 1300s
– Christopher Columbus never saw North America
– The first computer coder was a woman, a century before Alan Turing
– The man who unleashed mustard gas in the World War One trenches won the Nobel Prize for chemistry
– One incredible Spanish spy saved D-Day
… and lots more.

This book will challenge everything you think you know about history!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781909979338
Publisher: Crux Publishing
Publication date: 12/12/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 266,070
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Dominic Selwood is a historian who writes for The Daily Telegraph, the UK’s top-selling broadsheet. He was awarded his masters in history from the Sorbonne in Paris and his doctorate from Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. His previous books include Knights of the Cloister, a university textbook on the Knights Templar, and The Sword of Moses, an Amazon bestselling historical crypto-thriller.

Table of Contents


1. Flavius Josephus, the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, and two millennia of bloodshed in the Middle East
2. Theodosius I: the forgotten man who turned Christianity into a global religion


3. Rome was not civilized and the 'Dark Ages' were not dark
4. The Vikings were no worse than the Anglo-Saxons
5. Alfred the Great, king of Wessex, was a Roman Catholic
6. King Harold's England was multicultural and decidedly European
7. The Battle of Hastings (1066) wasn't such a big deal
8. The cult of Magna Carta is historical nonsense: Oliver Cromwell called it 'Magna Farta'
9. The Magna Carta barons were guilty of treason
10. Save the Statute of Marlborough (1267): our oldest law
11. Medieval cathedrals are bursting with colour again
12. Richard the Lionheart and Saladin: chivalry and atrocities
13. Saladin and the fateful battle of Hattin (1187): lessons for the modern Middle East
14. Forget the Da Vinci Code: this is the real mystery of the Knights Templar
15. A stain on history: the burning of Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar
16. The Turin Shroud is one of the greatest medieval artworks ever created
17. Regicide and ambition: Richard III and the death of the 'princes' in the Tower
18. Reburying Richard III: is it the right body?


19. Medieval al-Andalus: tolerance and totalitarianism
20. Savonarola and Mary Queen of Scots: the bloody underside of the 'civilized' Renaissance
21. Columbus, greed, slavery, and genocide: what really happened to the American Indians
22. How the Tudor spin machine hid the brutal truth about the English Reformation
23. Thomas Cromwell was the Islamic State of his day
24. How Protestantism fuelled the deadly witch craze
25. Guy Fawkes. Islamists, converts, and terrorism: some things never change
26. New Year's Day is too soon after Christmas. Let's move it back to its proper place-in March


27. Haters back off. Lord Elgin was a hero who saved the marbles for the world
28. Greece knows it has no legal right to the Elgin Marbles: that's why it won't sue the UK
29. Did Moses read hieroglyphics? The race to translate the Rosetta Stone
30. Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace: coding pioneer a century before Alan Turing


31. Fritz Haber: the horror story of the man who invented poison gas
32. When Churchill got it very wrong: Gallipoli


33. Agent Garbo: the amazing Spanish spy who took on Hitler and saved D-Day
34. Noor Inayat Khan: a gutsy British World War Two hero, a woman, and a Muslim
35. Dresden was a civilian town with no military significance: why did we burn its people?


36. The dark, deep roots of Britain's fascination with witchcraft
37. How German is the Queen?

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Spies, Sadists and Sorcerers: The history you weren't taught in school 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intetesting, fun, and you learn something.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this. Why did my history teachers not teach me this at school?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago