1066 and All That

One of the great jokes of my youth was a book written for history readers mocking what we would today call "public historians." It was called 1066 and All That and adopted the mission of conveying only memorable history to the broad public. I am looking at an Internet extract on the subject of barons and picturing a tour guide ladeling this out to a group of tourists. Spelling corrected:

Simon de Montfort, although only a Frenchman, was a Good Thing, and is very notable as being the only good baron in history. The other barons were, of course, all wicked barons. They had, however, many important duties under the baronial system. These were:

1. To be armed to the teeth.

2. To extract from the villein saccage and soccage, tollage and tallage, pillage and ullage, and, in extreme cases, all other baronial amenities such as umbrage and porridge.

3. To hasten the King's death, deposition, insanity, etc., and make quite sure that there were always at least three false claimants to the throne.

4. To resent the Attitude of the Church. (The barons were secretly jealous of the Church, which they accused of encroaching on their rights.)

5. To keep up the Middle Ages.
The points of similarity with pop ACW history might be called out in a list of its own:

1. Organizing historical phenomena into lists (or serials).

2. Carefully pointing out the Good Thing and the Bad Thing to the reader.

3. Synthesizing already wobbly generalities into even higher level generalities.

4. Striking a tone of false neutrality ("They had, however, many important duties...").

5. Edifying the public.