A Rhyming History of Britain
'I am not a historian. In fact, I wrote this poem in order to teach myself some history. I thought that sorting facts into verse form would concentrate my mind wonderfully. Which it did.'
Brought up with the iambic pentameters of Hilaire Belloc's Cautionary Tales ringing in his ears, James Muirden's rhyming history is a long poem in an equally simple and jolly form. Charmingly irreverent, magically humorous, delightfully illustrated by David Eccles - recently acclaimed for his line drawings for Now We Are Sixty - this is the perfect gift for historians and non-historians alike.
This brilliant poem has been written
To tell the history of Britain
For People puzzled by the Past -
If this means YOU, here's help at last!
From Celts to Churchill, it relates
(With all the most Important Dates)
Our country's convoluted course . . .
Why Richard hollered for a horse;
Why Eleanor was such a catch;
Why no one liked the Spanish Match;
The pros and cons of Laissez Faire;
Smart Georgian ladies' underwear;
Why Charles the Second went to plays;
Why Queen Jane reigned for just nine days;
The causes of the Irish trouble;
The bursting of the South Sea Bubble;
That giant glasshouse in Hyde Park;
The First World War's igniting spark . . .
Four lines I'm granted to describe my life -
No need for more, as far as I can see!
I've got two children and a helpful wife,
And don't take any sugar in my tea.