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Horrible Histories is a series of irreverent history books which focus on weird, strange and sometimes nasty parts of history. They are written by Terry Deary, mainly, although other authors have written books in the series. They are illustrated by various different people.

Reader's Reviews


Horrible Histories is a truly immersive experience. Cleverly written, incredibly interesting and side-splittingly funny. A fun way to learn history!


I own the original set of Horrible Histories (excluding the Barmy British Empire) in a newer publication, and they are great! You may think it's all gruesome as it says it is - NO, NO, NO! Well it does have gruesome facts but it explains it all properly. I would love to get all the spin-offs and other books. 5 stars off me.


Please add your review here.

Books in the series

Though all of the Horrible Histories books are part of the same series, they are split up into many sub-series.

Original books

These are the original books that pioneered the Horrible phenomenon:

Horrible Histories Two in One

There are also the 'Two Horrible Books in One' versions

  • The Frightful First World War and The Woeful Second World War
  • The Groovy Greeks and the Rotten Romans
  • Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians
  • Smashing Saxons and Stormin' Normans
  • The Terrible Tudors and The Slimy Stuarts
  • Vicious Vikings and Measly Middle Ages
  • The Barmy British Empire and The Blitzed Brits
  • Angry Aztecs and Incredible Incas
  • Horribly Huge Book of Awful Egyptians and Ruthless Romans

Novelty books

According to the Scholastics website,

  • The Horrible (Wicked) History of the World
  • Awesome Annual 2007
  • Annual 2008
  • Annual 2009
  • Annual 2010
  • The Mad Miscellany
  • Cruel Crime and Painful Punishment
  • Horrible Christmas
  • The Big Fat Father Christmas Book
  • Action Packs: Awful Egyptians
  • Terrible Tomb of Tutankhamun Pop-up Adventure

are considered Novelty Books, and are not classified with the ordinary books.


There are a few books in the Horrible Histories series that have a special sign on the front cover stating that they are part of the Special sub-series of Horrible Histories. They are:

  • Bloody Scotland
  • Cruel Kings and Mean Queens
  • Dark Knights and Dingy Castles
  • England
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Rotten Rulers
  • Rowdy Revolutions
  • The Twentieth Century
  • The USA
  • Wales
  • Wicked Words

Horrible Histories Cities

Some Horrible Histories books have been based around a particular city, rather than a nation or a specific time period. They also have a map when the front cover is folded out, and explain some structures in the city when the back cover is folded out. Therefore, many people consider them to be a sub-series as well. They consist of:

  • Oxford
  • Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Dublin
  • Edinburgh
  • York
  • Loathsome London


The Horrible Histories Handbooks also differ from the original books. They have colour and are shaped differently. They consist of:

  • Spies
  • Blitz
  • Warriors
  • Knights
  • Pirates
  • Witches
  • Villains
  • Trenches
  • The Horrible History of the World

Quiz books

Sometimes, as well as the ordinary books, there is a quiz book that comes with it, testing your knowledge of that particular subject. They are:

  • The Awesome Ancient Quiz Book
  • The Horribly Huge (Massive Millennium) Quiz Book

Parental Guidance

  • Reading Age: 10+
  • Read Aloud Age: 9+

The books contain gruesome detail and crude themes, on occasion.

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External links

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