Facts and Fallacies:
A Book of Definitive Mistakes and Misguided Predictions

Ebook edition published August 2017Ebook sales page

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Facts & Fallacies paperback

Facts and Fallacies is a collection of strange and for the most part spectacularly misguided quotations with witty commentary by the authors. First published as a 1981 hardback, it was well reviewed by the UK press.

The book's thematic chapter headings are: The Arts, Astronomy, Aviation, Biology, Business, Energy, Evolution, The Future, Inventions, Literature, Medicine, Music, Oddballs, Politics, Race, Religion, Science, Sex, Space Flight, Sport, Transport, Warfare, Women, World's End and Zymurgy. Not to mention an entertaining Introduction and a final page of grateful Acknowledgments.

The publisher's blurb for the first edition appears below.

  • Publication Date (Second Edition): 1982
  • Publisher: Sphere, London
  • Format: A-format paperback
  • ISBN: 0552119725
  • Page Count: 218
  • Cover Designer: Uncredited
  • Availability: Out of print
  • Publication Date (First Edition): 1981
  • Publisher: Webb & Bower Ltd, Exeter, Devonshire
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 0906671256
  • Page Count: 176
  • Cover Designer: Uncredited
  • Availability: Out of print
Facts & Fallacies hardrback

First Edition Blurb

Archbishop Ussher's famous calculation from the scriptures that the Earth was created in 4004 BC is only one of countless sweeping but false statements and hilariously inaccurate predictions made by our ancestors – and by some twentieth-century figures who should have known better.

In this collection we find items from the ancient world (Aristotle telling us that birds never urinate because 'that superfluity which could be converted into urine, is turned into feathers'), from more recent history (a Victorian sexologist proving that twins are born as a result of repeated intercourse, as demonstrated by the urgency and haste with which the second child follows the first into the world) and even the twentieth century (the eminent American astronomer Simon Newcomb admits reluctantly after the Wright Brothers' flights, that powered aircraft may be built which can carry a pilot, but they will never be able to carry a passenger too).

The various gaffes and lunacies are grouped together under thematic headings, and linked by a witty and perceptive text, but, as we laugh at earlier misconceptions, we are reminded that perhaps we should look more carefully at some of the statements of 'fact' which we accept today.


Daily Telegraph, 1981


Sunday Sun, 1981


Sunday Express, 1981

A chirpy, hilarious, tongue-in cheek catalogue of oddities and absurdities.

The Scotsman, 1981

Will prove to be a runaway best-seller ...