Originally published February 17th, 2014
….I don’t know what just happened here. There was this book, and this “Hengest” guy, and he probably existed, and then he…lived forever? Travelled the world spreading English, sponging off anyone who would give him a free meal? This is definitely the oddest non-fiction book I’ve ever read. I mean, it might be non-fiction but I have to keep going back over it to pick out the made up bits, like some people do with raisins or peas. I think Tom Howell may be trying to create an entirely new genre; non-fiction where nevertheless most of the book is made up. (Extrapolated from p4) I’d call it asterisked non-fiction, and put one after the title. The Rude Story of English* And I think if I read this book again and managed to keep that little guiding star in mind, I could learn a lot.
Plus, a whole chapter on phalluses! What’s the polite way to say dick joke? Is there one?
One final tidbit: in spite of his presence on the cover, Henry VIII doesn’t show up anywhere in this book. What a jerk.