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Why is Italy called Italy? How old is curry? Which people from history would best pull off a casino heist? Who was the richest person of all time? When was the first Monday? What were history's weirdest medical procedures that actually worked? How much horse manure was splattered on the streets of Tudor London? How fast was the medieval Chinese postal system? What did The Flintstones get right about the Stone Age? Who gets to name historical eras, and what will ours be called in 100 years' time? How do we know how people sounded in the past? How old is sign language?
In Ask a Historian, the author, BBC podcaster and public historian Greg Jenner provides answers to things you always wondered about but didn't know who to ask. Responding to 50 genuine questions from the public, Greg whisks you off on an entertaining tour through the ages, revealing the best and most surprising stories, facts and historical characters from the past. Bouncing through a wide range of subjects - from ancient jokebooks, African empires and bizarre tales of medicinal cannibalism, to the invention of meringues, mirrors and menstrual pads - Ask a Historian spans the Stone Age to the Swinging Sixties and offers up a deliciously amusing and informative smorgasbord of historical curiosities, devoured one morsel at a time.
"Jenner uses all the questions you never dared to ask about history as an excellent excuse to rummage around in some funny, fascinating, and downright peculiar corners of the past. Every page contains delights, and you will be illuminated and entertained in equal measure." (Lindsey Fitzharris, author of The Butchering Art)
"If history informs our future, Greg Jenner is one of the best informants out there. He is a natural story-teller, conveying complex ideas and events with pep, verve, and wit. For anyone who regularly asks the question 'Why?', this book is for you." (Susie Dent, author of Word Perfect)