Recording from Justin Pollard’s talk, ‘The Interesting Bits: The History You Might Have Missed’ for CVHF, Sunday, 30th June 2013.
Did you give school history lessons your undivided attention? Even if you did, you’re probably none the wiser as to how exactly Henry II of France came to have a two-foot splinter in his head or why Alexandra of Bavaria believed she had swallowed a piano. Or where terms like bunkum, maverick, John Bull and taking the mickey come from; or how the Tsarina of Russia once saved a life with a comma; or why Robert Pate hit Queen Victoria on the head with a walking stick. For some unknown reason the most interesting bits of history are kept out of lessons and away from syllabuses. In this hugely entertaining talk, Justin Pollard rights this wrong with a veritable treasure trove of those surprising, eccentric, chaotic asides that do not fit neatly into history’s official narrative.