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Did King Cnut really believe that he could turn back the tide? Was Robert Bruce inspired by the perseverance of a spider? Was Queen Victoria never amused? In the 2,000 years of recorded British history, numerous stories have emerged and been passed down through the generations. Some reinforce or add colour to a historically correct perception of a particular individual or event. Others may have been deliberately contrived or fabricated to conceal or distort the truth. Either way, these popular traditional tales are part of our historical heritage. They are ingrained in our understanding of our past and form part of our national identity. In this fascinating book, Robert Gambles traces the origins and tests the truth of forty of these enduring yarns of human strengths and weaknesses, of mystery, catastrophe and agonising dilemma.