Thursday, April 21, 2011

Howard’s Inner Circle, No. 31: Bothered by Footnote Two of Chapter Seven

“Take a look as some of these seemingly petty disagreements that grew into full-blown war:
• A dispute between the cities of Modena and Bologna over a well bucket about nine hundred years ago began a war that devastated Europe.
• A Chinese emperor once went to war over the breaking of a teapot.
• Sweden and Poland flew at each other’s throats in 1654 because the king of Sweden discovered that his name in an official dispatch was followed by only two et ceteras, while the king of Poland had three.
• The spilling of a glass of wine on the Marquis de Torey led to war between France and England.
• By throwing a pebble at the Duc de Guise, a small boy caused the massacre of Yassy and the Thirty Years’ War”2

The above footnoted passage in the book I just finished reading fascinated me. Unfortunately, footnote two read “Source unknown.” I had expected to find specific support for these five emphatic statements. I wish the author would have instead said in the text that they reportedly grew to a full-blown war with his accompanying footnote “Source unknown.”
© 2011
The above may be reproduced in full if that fact is stated and Howard Wolosky at is credited as the author.