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About the book
  • Published: 11 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781409051718
  • Imprint: Preface Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 512

The True History of the Blackadder

The Unadulterated Tale of the Creation of a Comedy Legend

To mark the thirtieth anniversary of the first pilot episode of The Black Adder this is the complete history of the series with the co-operation of writers Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, producer John Lloyd, cast and crew. Including hitherto unseen material including extracts from a previously unseen and unproduced Christmas special.

They had a cunning plan.
A few decades ago, three young grads from England's greatest universities - Oxford, Cambridge, and Hull (actually, Manchester) - came up with a historical comedy series. Few thought it would live long in the memory.

Today, Blackadder is a timeless comic masterpiece, and its stars have gone on to glittering careers. The True History of the Black Adder is the first ever history of one of Britain's greatest and most unique sitcoms, from its medieval beginnings to its legendary tragic finale.

Informed by exclusive - and hilarious - interviews with essential figures like Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry, Brian Blessed and many more, this the definitive account of how a British institution came to be, as well as a fascinating look into how this classic comedy was almost very different - and a compendium of brilliantly funny anecdotes from a team of Britain's most celebrated comedians.

British history is a patchwork of questionable stories, constantly rewritten, re-evaluated and ridiculed; final editorial control has always belonged to the winners. And nobody likes winners...

At last, Blackadder enthusiasts can now uncover THE cunning plan, in all its hideous hilarity.

  • Pub date: 11 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781409051718
  • Imprint: Preface Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 512

About the Author

J. F. Roberts

Jem Roberts first emerged in Ludlow in the summer of 1978, and studied Film, TV and English Literature at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Having written for games magazines from an illegally young age, a decade of working on titles from DVD Review, Total Advance and Xbox World to Disney Girl and Muffin the Mule followed graduation, until scribblings for fanzines Publish & Bedazzled and Kettering led to an invitation to chronicle fifty years of filth in his first book, The Clue Bible. He lives in Bath, where he cannot help performing both solo, and with comedy band The Unrelated Family.

Praise for The True History of the Blackadder

“a rather elegant overview of Eighties British TV comedy… If you have any interest in comedy, you will love this book … [Roberts’] research has been assiduous, his judgments are sound and his puppyish enthusiasm encouraged his interviewees to give their best. Unlike Baldrick’s cunning plans, this one seems to have worked”

Marcus Berkman, Daily Mail

“This really is the full history… for true buffs, this is not to be missed”

Press Association

“lively, warm-hearted”


“The True History of the Black Adder is a brilliant read for any fan of Edmund Blackadder, as well as a great introduction into the history of the contemporary comedy scene”


“An almost perfect history of the greatest British sitcom there has ever been”


“fascinating cultural and social background to the series, the history of its creation and an overview of how the characters evolved over four series.”


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