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A great read for anyone visiting the UK.

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Travelling around Asia for a year and missing England just a bit, I picked up a copy of John O'Farrell's An Utterly Impartial History of Britain, at a guesthouse book swap. Well worth a read for anyone interested in an amusing slant of the history of Britain. He was a scriptwriter for satirical shows like Spitting Image, Not the Nine O'Clock News etc.

Here are a few snippets from the foreword:

AD 45 British chieftains agree to pay Roman taxes, but claim large expenses for employing their wives as "secretarial assistants"

A.D. 60 Boudicca burns down Colchester, St Albans and London. Roman Governor regrets asking her it's her funny week

AD 450 Angles, Saxons and Jutes invade south. Londoners invent second homes in Cornwall and Welsh countryside.

AD 761 Offa declares only a great big dyke is going to stop the marauding Welsh. Someone suggests Olaf's sister.

AD 1191 Richard 1 joins Third Crusade, convinced that Saladin has Weapons of Mass Destruction

A.D. 1215 King John accepts Magna Carta. Power of monarchs officially limited too pending sports centres and waving

A.D. 1415 Henry V massacres thousands at Battle of Agincourt to avenge a particularly rude French waiter

A.D. 1570 Protestants and Catholics "agree to disagree"

A.D. 1763 7 years war ends bang on time

A.D. 1789 French Revolution prompts widespread tutting in England

A.D. 1805 Nelson dies in determined to get statue on the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square

A.D. 1876 Victoria named Empress of India after her favourite curry house

A.D. 1918 Germany admit they have lost "First World War" some anxiety over the choice of name

A.D. 1921 Ireland finally gains independence from Britain but entire population moves to Kilburn anyway.

A.D. 1945 Britain wins World War II but passes coffee mug saying "World's Number One Country" over to Americans

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