Being American, I didn't know about that British comic institution, Horrible Histories, the self-described "savagely successful" CBBC TV show and book series. Also being American, I couldn't imagine our popular comedians using history as their inspiration; jokes about George Washington just don't seem to fly with the stand-up comics in Vegas, nor do you hear any opening monologues about Manifest Destiny on late-night talk shows. But the English are sufficiently comfortable with their history to support humor about it, giving us Blackadder and the Monty Python version of the Spanish Inquisition, and now the Horrible Histories.
But it's only been this month – just in time for his 350th anniversary of the Restoration – that the Horrible Histories crew has taken on Charles II. Amidst all the funny wigs and silliness, it's actually a pretty succinct overview of his reign (and there's even a shout-out for Hortense Mancini). Have fun!
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.