Culture & Literature
The Big Book of History Answers

The Big Book of History Answers

Vol 2

When was Britain last invaded? How old is the toilet seat? Could women be medieval knights? Find the answers to these questions and hundreds more in this bumper Q&A compendium from History Revealed. Inside, a panel of eggheads answers questions on a wide variety of topics, including the Ancient World, Kings & Queens, Medieval Times and the Two World Wars. Inside you will find: • Hundreds of facts to thrill history fans of all ages • Exciting, rare historical photographs • Fascinating infographics

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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R 158,50

in this issue

1 min.

There are just too many historical oddities to reveal and too-good-to-be-true stories needing debunking that they couldn’t all possibly fit within the confines of a single special edition. So here it is: The Big Book of History Answers 2. Inside, our crack team of history brainiacs plunges into the annals once again to root out the answers to those questions that have always niggled, and perhaps some you didn’t even know you wanted to ask. Ancient or modern, daily life or the horrors of war, kings and queens or their lowliest subjects – no subject is too daunting for the expert panel. _ey cover the big, whether it’s weighing up what have been history’s biggest blunders, uncovering a host of ‘firsts’ that have changed the world or calculating what city was bombed…

2 min.

IS THIS A CRASH OR A GAME? Horses have been replaced by horsepower in the fast, frantic and frankly dangerous sport of automobile polo. Popularised in the United States in the early 20th century, the rules are simple. A team consists of two cars – stripped of all nonessentials like doors, roofs or windshields – each carrying two players, a driver and a malletman. The aim is to hit a basketball with a croquet mallet into the opposition goal, but this is easier said than done as the cars tear around at 40mph. Spectacular crashes are frequent, as are broken bones. HOW DID THIS GET HERE? Five months after World War I hostilities ended, the people of Hastings wake up to quite a sight on 15 April 1919. While on its way to…

7 min.
the ancient world

HOW MANY ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE DIED FROM THE CURSE OF TUTANKHAMUN’S TOMB? Following excavations at Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings, beginning in 1922, a spate of deaths caused wild speculation about a supposed curse. _e team was headed by archaeologist Howard Carter, and the discovery attracted journalists and well-to-do tourists. For a decade, the obituaries of those who entered the tomb were splashed across the newspapers as evidence of the Pharoah’s vengeance. It began with the death of Lord Carnarvon – amateur Egyptologist and financial backer of the excavation – in April 1923, from an infected mosquito bite. When asked about the curse, Carter wouldn’t comment (though it was remarked that he looked quite sick himself). Seven years later, one newspaper identified a further 14 victims – including…

10 min.

ARCHIMEDES’ PRINCIPLE The original ‘Eureka!’ moment came in the third century BC, when mathematician, philosopher and inventor Archimedes got into his bath. As the story goes, instead of relaxing or washing, Archimedes used bathtime to work out that the upward buoyant force exerted on his partially submerged body was equal to the weight of the fluid it displaced. Thus, the great mathematician of antiquity had created a fundamental law of physics. ALARM CLOCK We have Plato to thank for the curse of the morning wake-up call. The Greek philosopher allegedly needed help waking up for dawn lectures, so set up a system where water would drain slowly through a funnel to a container beneath. As the second vessel filled, trapped air was forced out of a side vent, making a whistling noise. And…

4 min.
have there ever been any famous bears in history?

PADDINGTON The award for the most polite individual on the list goes to a certain duffle-coat-wearing, marmalade-sandwicheating, Peruvian bear. Yes, he has the advantage of speech and, well, being fictional, but his formal manner has earned him worldwide respect. His creator, Michael Bond, found inspiration in a lone teddy bear at London’s Paddington Station in 1956. Ten days later, his well-mannered character had been brought to life. But don’t be deceived, this bear drives a mean bargain, and one of his ‘hard stares’ may leave you questioning every decision you ever made. GRIZZLY’S GRIZZLY It’s not often that you come across a man named Grizzly with a pet bear named Ben. While in pursuit of a new life in the American West, John ‘Grizzly’ Adams found companionship not in the other gold rush…

14 min.
food & drink

WHY IS BUBBLE GUM PINK? The practice of chewing gum goes back millennia – to at least the Ancient Greeks, who chewed resin from the mastic tree. The reason bubble gum is pink, however, is a lot more recent. During the 1920s, Walter E Diemer, an accountant at the Fleer Chewing Gum Company in Philadelphia, spent his spare time inventing new recipes. All of them had to be pink as that was the only food colouring the company had. He claimed his discovery of a formula both pliable enough to blow bubbles and smooth enough not to stick to your teeth was an accident. Fleer sent a batch of Diemer’s invention to a local sweetshop in 1928, where it sold out in a single day. Delighted, Diemer personally taught salespeople the correct…