BOOK REVIEW: Unravelling our history

GREAT TALES FROM BRITISH HISTORY: by Robert Gambles, £9.99, ISBN 978-1-445613376

 

In this hugely entertaining book, Kendal-based author Robert Gambles explores some of the great stories from the rich and diverse history of our island and beyond.

He tackles 40 tales as he attempts to get at the truth behind some of the most intriguing ‘facts’ thrown up by historians and fed to millions of impressionable schoolchildren over the centuries.

Questions Mr Gambles asks include: Was King Alfred truly guilty of burning the cakes? Did Lady Godiva really strip off for a horseback ride through Coventry? Was Robert the Bruce truly inspired by a persistent spider? And was Queen Victoria ever amused?

The author examines how many of these are true and which ones have been ‘deliberately contrived or fabricated to conceal or distort the truth’.

Mr Gambles, who has an honours degree in Modern History from St John’s College, Oxford, was head of history at the King’s School, Ely, before retiring to the Lake District.

He has produced many books on history in Cumbria and is the author of the award-winning Escape to the Lakes.

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