How much do we really know about anything? It's a question that has obsessed philosophers, scientists, and men in pubs for most of human history. Thomas Edison thought we knew less than one millionth of a percent about anything; Mark Twain thought it would take eight million years to master mathematics alone; Ambrose Bierce believed knowledge was just the small bit of ignorance we arrange and classify.
So, we don't know that much. But, as someone else once said, it isn't what you don't know that does you harm, it's what you know that's wrong. Enter The Book of General Ignorance, a book that sets out, calmly and humbly, to show you that a lot of what you think you know is wrong, incorrect, piffle, nonsense.
If, like Alan Davies, you still think that Henry VIII had six wives, the earth has only one moon, that George Washington was the first president of the USA, that Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, that the largest living thing is a blue whale, that Alexander Graeme Bell invented the telephone, that whisky and bagpipes come from Scotland or that Mount Everest is the world's tallest mountain, then there are at least 200 reasons why this is the book for you.
Stephen Fry was born in London in 1957 and educated at Stout's Hill, Uppingham and Queen's College, Cambridge. At Cambridge he joined the Footlights where he first met Hugh Laurie. He has numerous television appearances to his credit, most notably A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Jeeves and Wooster, Blackadder and QI, and is a regular contributor to radio shows including Just a Minute, I'm sorry I haven't a clue and The News Quiz. Major film roles include Peter in Peter's Friends (1990) and Oscar Wilde in Wilde (1997). He is the author of the best-selling novels The Liar, The Hippopotamus, Making History and The Stars' Tennis Balls, as well as the highly acclaimed autobiography Moab is My Washpot and, in 2005, a well-received guide to writing poetry, The Ode Less Travelled.