Not so bonnie Prince Charlie

6th October 2000 at 01:00
HISTORY hits the headlines with a revelation that Bonnie Prince Charlie was a "hardman", not the effeminate dandy he has been made out to be. Amateur historian David Ross claims in his book, On the trail of Bonnie Prince Charlie, that he was the victim of a smear campaign by Hanoverians to weaken the Stuart claim to the throne.

Culloden, where the Prince was last defeated, will feature in the next instalment of the BBC series, A History of Britain. Using only 90 men and six horses, the corporation had 48 hours to re-create four battles from the Roman invasion of Britain in AD43 to the Norman conquest of 1066. All filmed in a field beside the M25.

Prepare to suspend more disbelief: the Beeb has re-invented the Tabard Inn in Southwark, where Chaucer's pilgrims agreed to hold a storytelling contest on their way to the Canterbury shrine of Thomas a Becket. The inn now appears to be an M1 service station, the venue for modern travelers' stories. Eminent writers have created Chaucerian tales about a publicist, a pleasure-wear sales exec and a politician, which will be told on Radios 3 and 4 later this month to celebrate the poet's 600th anniversary. The narrator is a service station waitress.

Girls are still seen as intellectually inferior, even by their parents, says Professor Adrian Furnham of University College, London. His research showed men consistently rate themselves as brighter than women and judge their offspring accordingly. "Females are still rewarded for humility, men for hubris".

A cartoon character, Meena, is trying to redress inequality in the developing world. Created by the United Nation's Children's Fund, UNICEF, she tackles social issues including parents' refusal to send daughters to school.

And finally the first professor of airline food is to be appointed at the University of Surrey. What will history make of that?

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