Unruly (Hardback)David Mitchell (author)
From King Arthur to Elizabeth I, the hugely popular comedian and author of Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse delivers a typically side-splitting yet highly informative history of England's most powerful rulers.
Discover who we are and how we got here in comedian and student of history David Mitchell's Unruly: A History of England's Kings and Queens - a thoughtful, funny exploration of the founding fathers and mothers of England, and subsequently Britain.
Think you know the Kings and Queens of England? Think again.
In Unruly, David Mitchell explores how early England's monarchs, while acting as feared rulers firmly guiding their subjects' destinies, were in reality a bunch of lucky sods who were mostly as silly and weird in real life as they appear to us today in their portraits.
Taking us right back to King Arthur (spoiler: he didn't exist), David tells the founding story of post-Roman England right up to the reign of Elizabeth I (as the monarchy began to lose its power). It's a tale of narcissists, inadequate self-control, excessive beheadings, middle-management insurrection, uncivil wars, and at least one total Cnut, as the English evolved from having their crops nicked with menaces by the thug with the largest armed gang to bowing and paying taxes to a divinely anointed King.
How this happened, who it happened to and why the hell it matters in twenty-first-century Britain are all questions David answers with brilliance, wit and the full erudition of a man who once studied history - and is damned if he'll let it off the hook for the mess it's made of everything.
A serious book by a very funny man, Unruly is for anyone who has ever wondered how we got here - and who is to blame.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 720 g
Dimensions: 236 x 156 x 44 mm
'I don't think anyone other than David Mitchell could have written this book. It's clever, funny and makes you think quite differently about history we thought we knew' - Dan Snow
'By turns fascinating and funny - there is a jewel of an insight or a refreshing blast of clarifying wit on every page. David brings a delightfully contrary and hilariously cantankerous eye to the history of the English Monarchy. Informative, illuminating and very very funny' - Jesse Armstrong
'Mitchell clearly knows his history, with a book that owes as much to Monty Python as it does to Simon Schama' - Andrew Marr
'A Peep Show history of England' - Sunday Times
'Clever, amusing, gloriously bizarre and razor sharp. Mitchell - a funny man and a skilled historian - tells stories that are interesting and fun. His rants alone are worth the price of the book. And amid all the jokes and delightful nonsense, Mitchell sneaks in a serious message about English identity. Here is Horrible Histories for grownups - stripped of their finery, devoid of reverence, Unruly's monarchs emerge as mortals with ordinary flaws. I learnt a lot and laughed a lot, and people who have never before picked up a history book will read and enjoy this one. That's an accomplishment' - Gerard DeGroot
'I can't recommend this book enough. Very funny and interesting, it is above all a proper work of history' - Charlie Higson
'A Punch-and-Judy show of awful people doing terrible things to one another. There is refreshing candour in how it calls out the bastards, bullies and brats who have donned England's highest-carat hats. Above all, it's a funny read, playful and well-meaning... told in a fizzing and indignant style, rammed with entertaining tangents. A sleek rod of Mitchell, fired from a rail gun, passing straight through the reader's skull' - Daily Telegraph
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“Laugh out loud funny….”
This is the most entertaining and funny British history I’ve ever come across. Mitchell covers the story of each King or Queen from Anglo Saxon times to the Tudors in this book.
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“I laughed out loud so many times whilst I was reading this book.”
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