Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £22.09

Buy Now for £22.09

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Did you know that the history of the beard is connected to the Crimean War; that the history of paperclips is all about the Stasi; and that the history of bubbles is all about the French Revolution? And who knew that Heinrich Himmler, Tutankhamun and the history of needlework are linked to napalm and Victorian orphans?

In Histories of the Unexpected, Sam Willis and James Daybell lead us on a journey of discovery that tackles some of the greatest historical themes but via entirely unexpected subjects. By taking this revolutionary approach, they not only present a new way of thinking about the past but also reveal the everyday world around us as never before.

©2018 Sam Willis & James Daybell (P)2019 Isis Publishing Ltd

What listeners say about Histories of the Unexpected

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    35
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gd
  • 01-04-20

overall a very interesting book

No complaints about the content, some of it is quite disturbing but it's a history book and it has an abundance of quirky facts, which is just my thing. One of the narrators sounds rather angry/indignant while reading but then maybe it's just me... otherwise I would recommend.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyable romp

This is a thoroughly enjoyable romp through history looking at how things got their names or how cultural habits were formed. There’s so much to take in I will undoubtedly reread this in future.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

nice

very easy listening and surprisingly informative in a circuitous way
blah de blah de blah...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredibly interesting and also relaxing.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s one of those that you can have on in the background and just chill out to, whilst learning something at the same time.
I think I will be listening to it over and over to be honest.