It is said speculation is the spice on the lumpy porridge of history. Satire is the plums. History itself is a morass, a bowl from which a spoon may hold juicy raisins as likely as recalcitrant nuts. With the cream and maple syrup of human discovery, is the gristly lumpen oats of the doings of cardinals and kings, that must be chewed over endlessly in order to get any taste, a newly refound bone like crunchy sugar makes it more palatable. But it is a mouthful that has been chewed first thusly and then otherly, it has been slurped, sucked and roundly munched, crunched, jawed, swallowed, digested and regurgitated. It is the cud of a great and brazen cow with endless stomachs. It is the lowing and clucking and raucous braying of farmed gossip. The he-said she-said of deserved infamy. Debate the perturbations of haggling tut-tutters. It is not the eponymous book. 3/6 worth of an odd bird. History is a toad. In a whole. A dog’s breakfast. The elaboration of ill remembered mischief. The ashes of marvels. It is a question often answered. That from which we repeatedly learn nothing.