join us on facebook
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Scorn The Wittiest and Wickedest Insults in Human History by Matthew Parris

Scorn The Wittiest and Wickedest Insults in Human History

The Real World   Humour   
Download an extract Share this book

Lovereading view...

A completely updated trawl through tongue scorching invective from the ancient world to yesterday (almost). As well as being breathtakingly rude so many of the comments are outrageously funny although anyone on the receiving end of such rudeness can only comfort themselves at some of the spectacular errors of judgement in history. How about this journalist’s comment “…a slang-whanging stump-speaker of which all parties are ashamed….” This was about Abraham Lincoln one of an endless parade of public figures to be misjudged. Mathew Parris has done a fine job in rounding up this parade of invective choosing the best of the skewering and the blackest of barbs. ~ Sue Baker

Like for Like Reading

The Biteback Dictionary of Humorous Political Quotations, Fred Metcalf (Editor) Shakespeare’s Insults Desk Diary 2017 Hardback 96 pages Flame Tree Publishing 23rd August 2016 9781783618767

Win Julie Summers' sensational SIGNED first editions

Julie Summers is an award-winning author and one of Britain’s foremost social historians. js

We are celebrating the release of Julie's latest book: Our Uninvited Guests: The Secret Lives of Britain’s Country Houses 1939-45 with a giveaway.

Julie Summers is offering signed first editions of three of her twelve books. The titles up for grabs alongside her latest book are Jambusters: The Women's Institue in the Second World War, which inspired the hit ITV Drama series HOME FIRES and Fashion on the Ration: Style in the Second World War.

Our Uninvited Guests gives the reader a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in some of Britain's greatest country houses that were occupied by people who would never otherwise have set foot in such opulent surroundings.

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 20 April 2018. The winner will be notified by 4 May 2018,

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 20/04/2018


Scorn The Wittiest and Wickedest Insults in Human History by Matthew Parris

'Authors are easy to get on with - if you're fond of children.' Michael Joseph, publisher 'May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits' Arab curse 'I married beneath me - all women do.' Nancy Asquith 'Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.' Albert Einstein 'Your blistered crotch!' Insult from the Marquesas Islands There's no pleasure like a perfectly-turned put-down (when it's directed at somebody else, of course) but Matthew Parris's Scorn is sharply different from the standard collections. So here is a selection of the funniest, sharpest, rudest and most devastating insults in history, from ancient Roman graffiti to the battlefields of Twitter. Drawing on bile from such masters as Dorothy Parker, Elizabeth I, Boris Johnson, Groucho Marx, Princess Anne, Winston Churchill, Mae West and Alastair Campbell - which form an exchange between voices down the ages - Scorn shows that abuse can be an art form, and this collection includes extended literary invective as well as short verbal shin-kicks. Encompassing literature, art, politics, showbiz, marriage, gender, nationality and religion, Matthew Parris's sublime collection is the perfect companion for the festive season, whether you're searching for the perfect elegant riposte, the rudest polite letter ever written, or a brutal verbal sledgehammer.


'The ideal stocking-filler - miniature in size and big on malevolence' -- Francis Wheen Mail on Sunday

'The clearest pen and the most fastidious sense of quality' -- Alan Clark The Times

'A beautiful collection of insults down the ages. Parris has a feel for language, a sense of history and a wonderful wit' -- Books of the Year Scotland on Sunday

About the Author

Matthew Parris

Matthew Parris was born in Africa and grew up in Cyprus, Rhodesia, Jamaica and Britain. He worked for the Foreign Office and Margaret Thatcher before becoming an MP in 1979. After serving in parliament for seven years (he claims as his only success the abolition of imprisonment for prostitutes) he quit to present LWT’s ‘Weekend World’.

For thirteen years The Times’s parliamentary sketchwriter and a regular travel writer, reviewer, broadcaster and Spectator columnist, and has won Best Political Journalist at the British Press Awards 2015. He is the author of several books, including the longstanding travel-book success, Inca Kola, his autobiography Chance Witness and the bestselling The Spanish Ambassador’s Suitcase. He lives in London and Derbyshire.

Author photo © Jack Hill

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

10th November 2016


Matthew Parris

More books by Matthew Parris
Author 'Like for Like'
Loading twitter updates...


Profile Books Ltd


432 pages


The Real World

Humour collections & anthologies



Its jam packed with fantastic titles, informative descriptions & fantastic reviews and has a vast array of great features & competitions.

Linda Rollins

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

Thanks to Lovereading I have discovered new writers and read books I would never had looked twice at - and enjoyed them.

Angela Rhodes

Lovereading is a wonderful way to expand my literary horizons, discover inspiring authors & get the chance to read new novels first. #loveit

Zarina de Ruiter