I have been tagged by Steve. The instructions are:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five other people.
Just coming to the end of An Utterly Impartial History of Britain by John O'Farrell, so hopefully this will be fun. Here goes:
[in a section questioning whether Henry V really ought to be venerated as a hero*]
'By modern standards poor Richard II should be venerated for his renaissance values and his avoidance of war, and yet for some reason success in killing foreigners is still the criterion by which modern historians rate figures from history. Academic historians seem such gentle scholarly types in their normal lives, all half-moon glasses and leather patches on their elbows, but as soon as you get them writing history books they turn into Sun-reading white van drivers: 'Up yours, Frenchies! Our 'Enery bops the wops, and make Ing-er-land champs of Euro 1415!'
As you can see, O'Farrell manages to satirise academic history, the Sun newspaper, jingoism and white van man all in part of one paragraph. The whole book is like that, and even contains some genuine history.
Let's see what happens next!
* Apparently Henry ordered all French prisoners to be executed after the battle of Agincourt, hardly an heroic act.