Writing in progress
Publication date: TBC
228% funded
1358 backers

1,000 years of bizarre history from Britain and beyond.

What’s this all about?

There is no greater tale in all of fact or fiction than Stick a Flag in it: 1,000 Years of Bizarre History From Britain and Beyond.

This book will lead you down a gripping, often grizzly path of true history that is so unbelievable you couldn’t make it up.

You will be taken on a jaw-dropping journey from the Norman Invasion of 1066 that changed the future of Europe to the eve of the First World War.

Every major person, event and place in-between is brought vibrantly to life through powerful, pithy prose.

And they're accompanied by plenty of minor but utterly bizarre events you weren't taught at school – which is a damn shame because these captivating historic quirks will make you laugh out loud, despair in disbelief and think ‘why the f**k did they do that?’

Take, for example, the tragic but true tale of the alchemist who strapped chicken feathers to his back and attempted to fly from Scotland to France and the saga of a ruthless band of 18th-century Yorkshiremen who almost crashed the English treasury from a pub.

What’s in it?

The book, like Thoughty2, began in Britain but is global in scope, featuring history from far-flung places like America. In the British sections alone, the rich narrative will bring to life how a great nation and its neighbours were built on the back of political intrigue, drama and debauchery. All the fantastic foibles and great adventures of Britain’s Kings and Queens are shown in a new light. You have never seen history’s royalty like this before. From Richard the Lionheart to Richard the Child-Murderer.

You will be tickled by the king who got so angry he dropped to all fours and tore his mattress apart with his teeth. You will be terrified by the shocking abundance of brutal beheadings, hangings and hacked-off genitals.

A millennium of mischief and incredible events are told through vibrant language that is laced with lashings of wit and no shortage of satire. From the Wars of the Roses to the Seven Years’ War. Stick a Flag in it is unapologetically bold and daring, no stone is left unturned and no witticism is left unsaid.

Mysteries of the past are solved: who killed the two princes in the tower? What happened when an eccentric English aristocrat, disguised as an Arab, sneaked into Mecca? And what happened to the priest who hid inside a wall but forgot to bring a packed lunch?

You can read 2 sample chapters and see a selection of the rest of the chapters at the Excerpt tab below.

Stop being so British, what ELSE is in it?

Away from British shores, discover how the seeds of empire spread to every corner of the globe. How glorious new nations were built and why it’s all because the bloody British couldn’t get enough tea.

Learn the surprising ways in which a small island built the modern world and raised its greatest cities from the barren soil, from New York to Sydney. You will be taken on a journey of new discoveries from the viscous headiness of Victorian London to the swashbuckling waters of the Caribbean with its formidable pirates and privateers. Follow history’s greatest adventurers to the vast white wasteland of the Antarctic wilderness and then to the perversions of a top-secret Indian brothel where a British spy spent time undercover.

The intrigue is infectious and the bizarre is weirder than you could ever imagine; this is history like you’ve never known it before.

Why a book?

Stick a Flag in it is a passion project by seasoned YouTuber Thoughty2. The channel’s creator Arran Lomas is a history fanatic and a self-professed anglophile. He relishes in digging up the weird and wacky bits of history - those rare anecdotes that make you say “seriously, that really happened?”

Arran chose to write a book because unlike his YouTube videos, the written format allows him to delve deeper than ever before; a book provided more room to truly explore the breadth of inspiring and often bizarre history that he so loves to tell.

True to form, Arran has crammed this volume with his favourite mind-blowing tales from our past and he has lifted the history that you thought was mundane to brave, new and exciting levels.

Raised in the beating heart of working-class Lancashire, the birthplace of two things that changed the world, the Industrial Revolution and the Butter Pie (wait - has that not caught on yet?) Arran is a qualified chef and graphic designer (don’t ask). He has worked as a software engineer and in that field of occupation where dreams and common sense go to die: marketing.

But in everything Arran has, often unwisely, done, one passion always nipped at his heels, an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and learning. In 2012 he nervously decided to share some of the unusual things he had learnt on YouTube. After a year of posting videos online somebody noticed, then someone else, then over two million other people noticed and subscribed to the Thoughty2 YouTube channel.

On his channel, Arran has covered almost every topic you could imagine: space, conspiracies, technology, crime, medicine, food and social issues, such as defending free speech. One topic, however, has always interested him more than all else. One topic has kept him up reading books until the early hours of the morning: history. Growing up in England, a country with perhaps the richest historical narrative of all, sparked in him, a love affair with the the medieval castles, crumbling abbeys and undulating green pastures of the island he is proud to call home. Over his entire adult life Arran has passionately indulged in all the literature he could find on the history of Great Britain and the global empire it spawned. Now Arran has put pen to paper (or, less romantically, finger to keyboard) and would like to share his unique version of this great story of a great nation with the truly great people who would like to come along for the ride. That’s you - I hope.

1851: Sir Richard Francis Burton

Typically, humans excel at one or two chosen skills. They are at best mediocre in the realm of all others. However, occasionally throughout history, there are those rare enigmas who have an astonishingly extensive list of titles, accolades and abilities to their name. One such map-divining demi-god was Sir Richard Francis Burton. It is only once you learn of the enormous breadth of Burton's talents, all of which he mastered, that you will begin to appreciate how this Victorian man became legend. Born in 1821 Burton was a British explorer, geographer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer, and diplomat. Well, I did say.

It was glaringly obvious from a young age that Burton would never be the type of person to lead a quiet life. As a teenager Burton was punished for writing salacious letters to prostitutes, he smashed his music teacher over the head with a violin case and perforated his brother’s cheek with a fencing foil. I would hazard to say that things were not off to a good start, I fear, however, that Burton would argue to the contrary.

Burton was at heart an academic with an unquenchable lust for knowledge, exploration and women - especially exploring women. At a young age he discovered a love for learning languages, he quickly gained fluency in French, Italian, Neapolitan and Latin. All of which Burton, of course, used for the noblest of deads: seducing the various bountiful women of these regions. Throughout his life, he masterfully acquired proficiency in other linguistic arenas such as Arabic. He spoke twenty-nine European, Asian and African languages by the time he had matured into an astute adult (it is important to note that in describing Richard Francis Burton ‘astute’ depicts an erudite drunk aristocrat wielding a shotgun).

Perpetually restless, Burton joined the East India Company in his early twenties...


To read on and see a selection of the other chapters to come, click Read More below.



1776: The Bloody Code gets quite bloody

At the Southern end of Edgeware-road, London, very near to the Marble Arch, once stood the world’s most frequented and public theatre of mass execution, Tyburn. In 1571, precisely on the spot where the present-day Edgeware Road, Oxford Road and Bayswater Road meet, was constructed the Tyburn Tree. A large wooden triangle supported several metres in the air by three wooden legs. Its exact location is today marked by a circular stone plaque surrounded by three oak trees. This modern monument to a thoroughly murderous medieval location is situated on the most beautiful of all man-made monoliths - a bloody traffic island. Every year millions of feet pound this ancient and terrible tomb, yet few souls note its significance.

Between 1571 and 1783, over 1,000 men and 100 women were theatrically hung from the Tyburn Tree. This wooden construct of death was designed to facilitate multiple executions. The executions themselves were grand public displays with handfuls of convicted felons often dispatched of in a single dreadful day. On the 23rd of June 1649, twenty-three men and one woman were tragically towed to the Tyburn Tree in eight carts and all hanged, simultaneously in front of a crowd of thousands. The turnout was especially large. It was like the Live Aid of the day, albeit with somewhat more maligned motives. So popular as entertainment were the Tyburn hangings that the local villagers erected large spectator stands to host the more well-to-do day-trippers in search of a good gory day out for all the family to enjoy. These premium seats came at a fee.

So fabulous an event was the sight of your cousin horrifically and unforgettably breaking their neck with the grim snap of a rope that executions were often treated as public holidays. London workers were granted the entire day off work, so they could...

Read more...

200% - It's in sight!

Monday, 17 June 2019

Dear Supporters

The project's funding is so close to reaching 200% - which will mean I have a bonus chapter to write! This is hard for me to believe, the support has been beyond incredible, thank you all so much.

The manuscript is very near completion now. I keep discovering more and more brilliant knowledge to pack into the book and I'm really excited about some of the quirky things that I…

Manuscript Progress & Stretch Goals

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Dear Supporters

 

I am overwhelmed by the huge amount of enthusiasm people have shown for this book. Like you, I am excited to see it in the flesh. I am currently polishing the manuscript, which will take some time. I know many of you are excited to read the book, but it's really important to me that it's as well-written, engaging and interesting as possible. I would never be happy with putting…

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Esmeralda van der Linden
Esmeralda van der Linden asked:

If you Pledge Icarus, do you also get the mug from one pledge below?

Arran Lomas
Arran Lomas replied:

Hi Esmeralda! Yes, the Icarus level includes a mug too. Thank you so much for pledging. All the best, Arran.

Joey Wolzak
Joey Wolzak asked:

How many pages will this book be?

Arran Lomas
Arran Lomas replied:

Hey Joey. That is very difficult to say at this stage because the book's content is still being finalised. It will be over 100,000 words, however, which typically results in a book around 400 pages. Thank you for your support!

Ethan Amiran
Ethan Amiran asked:

I would love to buy your book, but I am young and my mother wants to know what happens if I pledge but it doesn't reach 100%. I love your videos.

Arran Lomas
Arran Lomas replied:

Hey Ethan. Thanks for your interest in supporting the book! In the unlikely event that it doesn't reach 100% you will get your pledge back. Please see here for more details: https://unbound.com/refunds

Hector Lopez
Hector Lopez asked:

Hey, how many pages is the book!?

Arran Lomas
Arran Lomas replied:

Hey Hector. That is very difficult to say at this stage because the book's content is still being finalised. It will be over 100,000 words, however, which typically results in a book around 400 pages. Thank you for your support!

Vlad Truta
Vlad Truta asked:

Hello there, is there an estimated release date of the book? I've just finished reading the excerpt and it's awesome!

Unbound
Unbound replied:

Hi Vlad,

Glad you enjoyed the excerpt! Publication dates depend on when the target is reached and the manuscript handed in so we can start work on the book. We keep all supporters updated throughout the whole process, so keep an eye on your inbox.

Thanks for the support!

Unbound Support.

Brandon Barrios
Brandon Barrios asked:

Hello, I will be moving in a few months, If I pledge right now will I be able to change my shipping address later?

Unbound
Unbound replied:

Absolutely Brandon. You can see how to change your address for your order here: http://help.unbound.com/unbound-for-readers/managing-your-subscriptions/how-do-i-change-the-delivery-address-for-a-specific-order.

Thanks for your support!

Bonnie Deering
Bonnie Deering asked:

How long is the pledging open for?

Unbound
Unbound replied:

Hi Bonnie,

Thanks for your question. It's looking very likely that the book will reach its target, so once funding is successful most pledge rewards stay open until we need to move into the final stages of production. So there's plenty of time to support the book yet.

I hope this helps,

Unbound Support

Shane O'Sullivan
Shane O'Sullivan asked:

Hey Unbound/Aaran,
Longtime fan of the Thoughty2 channel and a lover of history. I am considering pledging the "Shitest King Poster + Mug + Signed Book" perk. Just to confirm, does this contain the two signed books with names in the front and back, as with previous perks? I'm a tad confused on this and just want to confirm.

Unbound
Unbound replied:

Hi Shane,

It's just the 'two signed hardbacks' level which includes two copies of the book at the moment. But we could create a level which would include all of the above plus two copies of the book if you'd like? You can always pledge now and upgrade once we've created the new level if you want to.

Thanks,

Unbound Support

Max Koomen
Max Koomen asked:

When I backed this book, I hope it will reach the stretch goal of the free pdf copy because I have issues with my eyes and I have to read everything digitally. I was wondering if it doesn't reach that stretch goal may I request that my copy is redemed as a pdf and not a hardcover book?

Unbound
Unbound replied:

Hi Max,

Please do email us at support@unbound.com about this when the book is published and we'll help if we can.

Thanks for supporting the book!

Unbound Support

Ferdy L
Ferdy L asked:

Just backed this book. Can’t wait to read it! In regards to my name in the book, I don’t have my last name listed here, but love to have it the book. Will you ask the names when the time comes? Thanks. Ferdy.

Unbound
Unbound replied:

Hi Ferdy,

You see how to change the name in the back of the book here: http://help.unbound.com/unbound-for-readers/managing-your-subscriptions/changing-the-supporter-name-thats-printed-in-a-book. I hope this helps!

Unbound Support

Jan Škrabálek
Jan Škrabálek asked:

Although you mentioned a pdf copy, will you also make a version specifically made for Kindle? For instance it underlines words that are less known and so on.

Unbound
Unbound replied:

Hi Jan,

We make all of our ebooks in PDF, mobi. (Kindle), epub. (Apple and other e-readers) and these will be published alongside the physical copies of the book. I hope this helps!

Unbound Support

Justin Wilcox
Justin Wilcox asked:

Hi Arron,
If we got the hard cover book and above will we get the ebook with it or do we need to pay $15 for it.

Unbound
Unbound replied:

Hi Justin,

Everyone who pledged for a physical copy of the book will be sent the digital edition too when we release these.

Best wishes,

Unbound Support

Justin Wilcox
Justin Wilcox asked:

Will I still get my name on the front of the book for pledging to the personalized research video just like the superfan?

Unbound
Unbound replied:

Hi Justin,

Great point! I will check with the team here and change the reward description if they're happy to add the names of the personalised research video supporters to the Superfan list in the front. Watch this space.

Unbound support.

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