Horrible historians! They are seedy and devious, claims children's author Terry Deary

Terry Deary's 'Loathsome London'He has sold millions of children’s books by bringing to life disgusting tales from days gone by.

But according to Terry Deary, contemporary historians are just as contemptible as any of the characters in his Horrible Histories series.

In an astonishing attack, Mr Deary described historians as ‘nearly as seedy and devious as politicians’.

‘They pick on a particular angle and select the facts to prove their case and make a name for themselves... They don’t write objective history, ’ he said.

‘Eventually you can see through them all. They all come with a twist.’

Mr Deary, 64, who obtained a D-grade in A-level history but went on to sell more than 20million copies of gory children’s books on the subject, reserved his greatest indignation for Niall Ferguson, one of the country’s best known historians.

In an interview, he said: ‘Obnoxious people like Niall Ferguson write a book to prove that the British Empire was a good thing.

Oh Dear-y: Horrible Histories author Terry Deary has slammed historians, labelling them 'nearly as seedy and devious as politicians'‘He’s a deeply offensive right wing man who uses history to get across a political point.’

Professor Ferguson, a former Oxford University lecturer who has made several television documentaries on the British Empire, America and money, said he was surprised by the comments.

He said: ‘It’s a little like asking Rory Bremner for his opinion on George Osborne’s spending cuts or Sacha Baron Cohen to review Simon Schama’s forthcoming history of the Jews.

‘I have read some of the Horrible Histories to my children, along with Harry Potter, The Hobbit and many other children’s books. They’re quite funny. And so is this.’

Mr Deary, 64, who obtained a D-grade in A-level history has gone on to sell more than 20million copies of gory children’s books on the subject

Mr Deary’s comments come after a series of recent high profile spats between British historians.

Tudor expert David Starkey has been dubbed ‘the rudest man in Britain’ for his offensive remarks about his colleagues. In April, he launched a scathing attack on his female rivals, branding their works ‘historical Mills and Boon’.

When told of Mr Deary’s comments, Dr Starkey counter attacked by branding him a historical ‘parasite’.

‘Does this man go to the archive, or is he just a parasite on historians?’ he said.

‘He does make a real point about a certain type of history, which is designed to put forward a case, but what on earth does “objective” mean? In the reign of Henry VIII, for example, the main archive alone is 244 volumes of about 800 closely written pages each. That’s three million facts, and the historian has to select from them.’

In April, historian Orlando Figes admitted posting anonymous reviews savaging his rivals’ books on the internet shopping site Amazon.

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

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