The seasons they are a-changing, bringing with them our latest release…
Once again, the time-honoured premise of parodying history books is employed with gusto in Sarah Burton’s The Complete and Utter History of the World According to Samuel Stewart Aged 9. Simon Schama this isn’t, nevertheless, the original historical puns and malapropisms (notably Nell Gywn being described as the “Royal Mattress”) compel you to laugh out loud at the turn of every page. Samuel Stewart, the precocious “author”, charmingly comments on key events with deadpan details from his own life e.g. likening Hitler’s unfortunate hairstyle to that of his father. A Nigel Molesworth for the 21st century, his self-assured “flair” for history is counterpointed by a comic weakness for accuracy – meaning that the more of a history buff you are, the funnier it is! All in all, if you’re looking for an up-to-date version of 1066 and All That or Horrible Histories with more mistakes and less gore; then this is the book for you!
So, this month we’re doing a slightly more interactive giveaway than previously. But, in the words of Douglas Adams, DON’T PANIC! It’s easy. Just send in a paragraph saying which historical era you think defines your book club OR send in a picture of any of your members in fancy dress as their favourite historical figure e.g. Shakespeare.
Send your entries to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your free copy. Don’t forget to cite the name of your book club and your mailing address. The deadline for this is Friday 18th October. We look forward to hearing from you!
Sarah Burton is currently director of the Creative Writing MSt Programme and Tutor in Writing for Children and Short Story Writing at the University of Cambridge.
Her biography of Charles and Mary Lamb, shortlisted for the 2003 Mind Book of the Year, was published by Penguin Books, as was Impostors: A True Study of Deception.