Was Ethelred the Unready always late for breakfast? Was Ivan the Terrible simply impossible to live with? Exactly how often did Wilfrid the Shaggy get a haircut? These vital historical questions - and others just as pressing - are explored in this investigation into the vainglorious, unfortunate, and sometimes downright insulting names that pepper the history books. Anyone with a love the quirky side of history will enjoy the capricious world of noble nicknames, where military tacticians can be celebrated for their drinking habits (Michael the Drunkard), successful diplomats can be mocked for their diminutive stature (Ladislaus the Elbow-High), and a vicious tyrant can be kowtowed to (John the Good).