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Terry Deary: Historians are 'seedy and devious'

1st June 2010

Horrible Histories author Terry Deary has claimed that all historians are out to make a name for themselves and are often 'seedy and devious'.

Deary believes that historians can be as conniving as politicians, cherry-picking the facts that benefit their own cause.

He has accused best-selling British historian Niall Ferguson, author of Empire, of being obnoxious, adding: 'He's a deeply offensive right-wing man who uses history to get across a political point.'

Ferguson rebuked the comments and believes that Deary's desire to be 'anti-establishment' is far more political.

David Starkey, a fellow historian who specialises in the Tudor period, was also critical of the comments made by the children's author.

'Does [Deary] go to the archive, or is he just a parasite on historians?' he said.

Starkey noted that the main archive for Henry VIII includes around 195,000 pages, which contain roughly three million facts. As a result, he added, historians have to be selective.

Deary's Horrible Histories series includes both The Terrible Tudors and Terrifying Tudors.

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