Reel History

REEL HISTORY

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO THE MOVIES

Was the printing press invented by King Arthur? Did William 'Braveheart' Wallace father Edward III of England? And did Jon Bon Jovi rescue an Enigma machine during World War II?

From ancient Egypt to the Tudors to the Nazis, the film industry has often defined how we think of the past. But how much of what you see on the screen is true? And does it really matter if filmmakers just make it all up?

Picking her way through Hollywood's version of events, acclaimed historian Alex von Tunzelmann sorts the fact from the fiction. Along the way, we meet all our favourite historical characters, on screen and in real life: from Cleopatra to Elizabeth I, from Spartacus to Abraham Lincoln, and from William Shakespeare to John Lennon.

Based on the long-running column in the Guardian, Reel History takes a comic look at the history of the world as told through the movies - the good, the bad, and the very, very ugly.

“Fair-minded, eagle-eyed and great fun.” Marcus Berkmann, The Spectator

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Also by Alex von Tunzelmann

  • Blood and Sand
  • Red Heat
  • Indian Summer