Jeremy Paxman accuses Michael Gove of 'wilfully misquoting' historian

Historians in the News
tags: World War I, Michael Gove, Richard Evans

Jeremy Paxman has accused education secretary Michael Gove of "wilfully misquoting" a Cambridge University professor in a row about the first world war and its portrayal in Blackadder.

The Newsnight presenter, speaking at a preview of his new BBC1 series, Britain's Great War, on Tuesday, said he had no problem with the Rowan Atkinson show being used to encourage schoolchildren to talk about the war, "as long as it was not taught as fact. It's not fact. It was a brilliant comedy."

Gove caused controversy earlier this month when he attacked Cambridge historian Professor Sir Richard Evans as a leftwing academic who was happy to "feed the myth" perpetuated by programmes such as Blackadder, that the war was a "misbegotten shambles [and] series of catastrophic mistakes perpetrated by an out-of-touch elite". Evans later said the attack showed Gove's "ignorance of history".

"I think he wilfully misquoted Richard Evans, the Cambridge historian, and rather unfairly I think," said Paxman....

Read entire article at The Guardian

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