David Haviland is a journalist, writer, and historian who has always had a love of trivia and anecdotes, particularly on the subjects of history, medicine, animals, and sports. Coauthor of Why Dogs Eat Poop and author of Why You Should Store Your Farts in a Jar, he lives in London.
The Not-So-Nude Ride of Lady Godiva: & Other Morsels of Misinformation from the History Booksby David Haviland
- Lady Godiva: By far,/b>
It is said that history is written by the winners. However, the “winners” aren’t always the best historians. Enter David Haviland, to set the record straight. In his quirky, inimitable style, Haviland separates fact from fiction regarding some of history’s most well-known people and events, such as:
- Lady Godiva: By far, history’s most famous nudist equestrian. But how nude was she, really? And how did this same legend give rise to the term “Peeping Tom”?
- The Boston Tea Party: What was the cause of this famous “party” that wasn’t really a party? (Hint: If you guessed a rise in taxes, you’re dead wrong!)
- World War I: How did a directionally challenged chauffeur spark the Great War?
- Queen Victoria: Nowadays, the word “Victorian” is synonymous with stuffy prudishness. But would a prude pose nude for a provocative portrait, or become “close” with a young Indian servant?
In The Not-So-Nude Ride of Lady Godiva, Haviland untangles fallacy, farce, and misrepresentation of historic proportions. The end result is a wholly fascinating, highly educational compendium of historical folly that will entertain readers young and old!
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- Penguin Group
- NOOK Book
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- 1 MB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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I admit, the tale featured in the title is what drew my interest to this book originally. Then I read the quotes and the different section titles like “cruel chronicles” and notable nomenclature”. While some of the entries clear up misconceptions about historical “facts”, such as the one about Lady Godiva, others are purely historical tidbits that maybe (probably) you didn’t know. I am not a connoisseur of history books, but I had heard of most of the people or events the book refers to, so I wasn’t entirely clueless. However, I don’t think there was any single story that I had already known in full. “Who was the blood countess?” was the story I was most familiar with (it’s that love of anything with vampires) featuring countess Elizabeth Bathory and there were even some bits of information I had not read before. The Not-So-Nude Ride of Lady Godiva is book for history lovers and those who like to hear about the convoluted stories that school textbooks have mixed up. There are humorous moments interjected throughout. Sometimes it runs dry and is filled with more facts than interested me, but overall a great book that will come in handy for the history category when playing trivia. ARC reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.