Welcome to HistoryWow

Why ‘Wow’? Because history has a ‘Wow’ factor. History is rich in fascinating and inspirational incidents and events. Stories of heroism, self-sacrifice, humor, arrogance, foolishness, victory against the odds, the cruel hand of fate, irony and nobility.

History’s got the lot. Since 2012, HistoryWow’s aim, using only the finest historical reference material, has been to bring you some of these fascinating and inspirational incidents and events, in a short, sharp format. A little bit of history every day. But not enough to overload your busy lifestyles. We hope you enjoy HistoryWow!

World War One caused by English Medical Incompetence

Tens of millions died as a result of the cataclysm that was the First World War.

With the 100th anniversary of the end of the war recently commemorated, the attached groundbreaking new research argues that English medical incompetence was the cause of the horrific events of 1914 to 1918.

Audio Summary

Media Release  

Research Paper

History Question of the Day

The famous French writer Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) was a big eater. How many oysters did he famously eat in one sitting?

The answer tomorrow.

Yesterday's question and answer:

What was unusual about the capital of Ethiopia up until 1886?

Answer: It moved. For centuries, Ethiopia had mobile capitals, where a huge herd of livestock and up to 6,000 slaves followed the emperor and aristocracy around. This only ended with the founding of Addis Ababa in 1886.

Source: The Transformation of the World – A Global History of the Nineteenth Century by Jurgen Osterhammel

More at: History

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The HistoryWow Research Team

The HistoryWow research team is led by principal researcher Benjamin S V Bray, who has a first class honours degree in history from Edinburgh University and a masters degree in philosophy majoring in history from Cambridge University.

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The History Wow Search Engine. "Ask HistoryWow"

History Question of the Week

Which British naval commander conducted exploration and survey work in New Guinea and had his name enshrined in the capital of modern-day Papua New Guinea?

The answer on Thursday.

Submit Answer

The first correct answer to each week's question will receive a US$30 voucher to buy a history book of their choice.

Last week's question and answer:

What was the name of the musical piece published in 1741 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), which explored thirty different variations on the one line for harpsichord?

Answer: The Goldberg Variations.

Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Music by Michael Kennedy et. al.
More at: History

HistoryWow’s Golden List of Great History Books

There are many great history books, on a range of interesting topics. These are some of the ones we at HistoryWow think are especially good.

These excellent books are available at: History

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The HistoryWow Forum


The fascinating thing about history is that there are a variety of different opinions and views on historical questions. Here is your chance to tell us what you think about a particular history question.


The plays of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) have been absconded throughout history to individual causes including Marxism, Liberalism, Republicanism and Protestantism. The reality however, in the words of one critic, is that “no culture politics can long hold Shakespeare down.” Do you agree?

More at: History


What Business Can Learn from the Lessons of History

A unique business conference and corporate presentation.

Tell us Your Favorite History Anecdote

History lovers have their own special history stories, incidents and episodes. Stories of heroism, self-sacrifice, victory against the odds, arrogance, the cruel hand of fate, irony and nobility. Tell us here what your favorite anecdote is.

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The HistoryWow App

The HistoryWow App. Seventy fascinating and inspirational incidents and events from history - in a short, sharp format. Each great story is different and each one is a terrific read. A nice-sized, compact, mini history book of around 15,000 words, complete with pictures. And it's free.


HistoryWow’s Featured Historical Figure of Note

J.C. van Leur (1908-1942)

Dutch historian. Despite never holding a university post, van Leur made a significant contribution to histography by criticising the writing of history purely through European eyes. He was killed aged 34 at the battle of Java Sea.

More at: History