This is one of the great history reads of all times, up there with 1066 And All That. It is superb for several reasons:
- Every detail in it is historically verifiable
- We are dealing with persons and events, in that order. People are LOTS more interesting than events.
- Even the footnotes are hysterical.
The Emperor (Charlemagne) looked wonderful in his new regalia, and the Haroun-al-Raschid, Caliph of Baghdad, sent him an elephant named Abu-i-Abbas. That's the trouble with success. People keep sending you elephants as a slight token of their esteem.
Pompadour's death had left his [Louis XV's] private life completely empty, with nobody in it but his wife and children. Since then, of course, he had interviewed dozens of young women, including a Miss Smith, who did not click. *
* and a Miss Murphy, who did
Details on Charlemagne, Queen Bess, Hannibal, Capt. Miles Standish, Cleopatra, Atilla*, and a whole bunch more.
*Atilla's name does not rhyme with vanilla, as it used to in my day. It is now beleved that if children can be taught to accent Atilla on the first syllable, things may take a turn for the better.
Jerry is borrowing it for the weekend, and if he doesn't stay up half the night trying not to wake up Mario or piss himself laughing, I'm much mistaken.