The General Ignorance Books

Everything You Think You Know is Wrong


If you think Henry VIII had six wives, that you've only got two nostrils or that Everest is the world's tallest mountain, then you really ought to read this book.

The Book of General Ignorance was the very first QI book and helped to redefine the fact book genre. It stayed in the number one slot on Amazon UK for six weeks, became a US top ten bestseller and has sold over 1.5 million copies in 28 languages.

Based on the General Ignorance round in the TV show, the book gathers over 260 misconceptions, mistakes and misunderstandings in 'common knowledge' to make you realise that everything you think you know is wrong...

Explore the QI Encyclopaedia
 

Sources For The Facts



CONFUCIUS (551-479BC)

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
 


 



 

There were 14 sheep on Noah's Ark.

Vipers, cobras and rattlesnakes aren't poisonous.

Vipers, cobras and rattlesnakes aren't poisonous.

Alexander Graham Bell didn't invent the telephone.

Alexander Graham Bell didn't invent the telephone.

Press Clippings


This book would make even Edison feel small and silly.

ECONOMIST

Eye-watering, eyebrow-raising, terrific... moving slightly faster than your brain does… Such fine and creative research genuinely deserves to be captured in print.
MARCUS BERKMANN, DAILY MAIL

Trivia buffs and know-it-alls alike will exult to find so much repeatable wisdom gathered in one place.
NEW YORK TIMES

General Ignorance... has occupied the top spot of Amazon’s hot 100 as if that were its favourite old leather armchair.
INDEPENDENT

Two Brits who are not twits, John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, proceed to demolish the conventional wisdom about many, many things.
HARTFORT COURANT (Connecticut, USA)

Lloyd and Mitchinson dare to ask questions I stopped asking when I supposedly learned to know better. How tall is Cloud Nine? What sound do shrimps make? How old am I in dog years? General Ignorance won't make you feel dumb. It's really a call to be more curious.
ASSOCIATED PRESS


 

Coffee isn't made from beans.

Nelson never wore an eyepatch.

Nelson never wore an eyepatch.

The steam engine was invented in Ancient Greece.

The steam engine was invented in Ancient Greece.

Bats aren't blind.

Bats aren't blind.
THOMAS EDISON (1847-1931)

We don't know a millionth of 1% about anything.

There is no such thing as a fish.

Octopuses have two legs.

Octopuses have two legs.