Being a comically-bent writer, I adore silly history. One of my favorite comic history discoveries happened in England, when a guide or waiter or somebody told me about 1066 and All That, by W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman. Here's their take on CHARLES I AND THE CIVIL WAR:
“With the ascension of Charles I to the throne we come at last to the Central Period of English History (not to be confused with the Middle Ages, of course), consisting in the utterly memorable Struggle between the Cavaliers (Wrong but Wromantic) and the Roundheads (Right but Repulsive).
"Charles I was a Cavalier King and therefore had a small pointed beard, long flowing curls, a large, flat, flowing hat and gay attire. The Roundheads on the other hand were clean-shaven and wore tall, conical hats, white ties and sombre garments. Under these circumstances a Civil War was inevitable."
The thing is, it's funny, yet there are sharp, shining bits of truth amid the comedy, some of which is black, indeed. But then, there's a lot of straight history, I think, that is black comedy or can become so with only the slightest tweaking. You can expect more examples in blogs to come.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.