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An Utterly Impartial History of Britain: (or 2000 Years Of Upper Class Idiots In Charge) by John O'farrell

An Utterly Impartial History of Britain: (or 2000 Years Of Upper Class Idiots In Charge)

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The subtitle “Or 2000 years of upper class idiots in charge” gives you an idea of the slant of this gem of a book. With shades of 1066 And All That matched by O’Farrell’s sharp pen, this is chronologically accurate history given a wonderfully humorous spin. You’ll learn a lot and you’ll laugh a lot. I think it is the ideal Christmas present for anyone with the remotest interest in history, a star choice if ever there were one.

If you like John O'farrell you might also like to read books by Marina Lewycka, Jonathan Harvey and Sue Townsend.

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An Utterly Impartial History of Britain: (or 2000 Years Of Upper Class Idiots In Charge) by John O'farrell

Many of us were put off history by the dry and dreary way it was taught at school. Back then ‘The Origins of the Industrial Revolution’ somehow seemed less compelling than the chance to test the bold claim on Timothy Johnson’s ‘Shatterproof’ ruler.But here at last is a chance to have a good laugh and learn all that stuff you feel you really ought to know by now…

In this ‘Horrible History for Grown Ups’ you can read how Anglo-Saxon liberals struggled to be positive about immigration; ‘Look I think we have to try and respect the religious customs of our new Viking friends – oi, he’s nicked my bloody ox!’Discover how England’s peculiar class system was established by some snobby French nobles whose posh descendents still have wine cellars and second homes in the Dordogne today. And explore the complex socio-economic reasons why Britain’s kings were the first in Europe to be brought to heel; (because the Stuarts were such a useless bunch of untalented, incompetent, arrogant, upper-class thickoes that Parliament didn’t have much choice.)

A book about then that is also incisive and illuminating about now, ‘2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge’, is an hilarious, informative and cantankerous journey through Britain’ fascinating and bizarre history.As entertaining as a witch burning, and a lot more laughs.

Browse inside this book


'O'Farrell is a consistently humorous writer with an acute ear for the absurdities of middle class pretension.' Mail On Sunday

'So funny because it rings true...Packed with painfully observed jokes.' The Times

'A tart narrative voice and a delectably understated way with wisecracks...Very, very funny.'
New York Times

About the Author

John O'farrell

John O'Farrell is the author of four novels: The Man Who Forgot His Wife, May Contain Nuts, This Is Your Life and The Best a Man Can Get. His novels have been translated into over twenty languages and have been adapted for radio and television. He has also written two best-selling history books: An Utterly Impartial History of Britain and An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain, as well as a political memoir, Things Can Only Get Better and three collections of his column in The Guardian. A former comedy scriptwriter for such productions as Spitting Image, Room 101, Murder Most Horrid and Chicken Run, he is founder of the satirical website NewsBiscuit and can occasionally be spotted on such TV programmes as Grumpy Old Men, Question Time and Have I Got News for You.

Author photo © Robert Wilson

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Book Info

Publication date

5th May 2008


John O'farrell

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Transworld Publishers Ltd


592 pages


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