Marie Antoinette DIDN'T say 'let them eat cake' and the Vikings DIDN'T have ... trends now
They are tales so firmly engrained in the public consciousness that it seems ridiculous to claim they aren't true.
France's decadent last queen, Marie Antoinette, said 'let them eat cake' in response to the plight of the poor.
The Vikings marauded around Europe in the Middle Ages whilst wearing majestic helmets topped with horns.
The final words of British hero Admiral Horatio Nelson were 'kiss me, Hardy'.
But, as a new book explains, all of the above alleged facts - along with 98 others - are anything but.
Fake History: 101 things that never happened, is by historian Jo Hedwig Teeuwisse, who has built a huge following on social media as the 'Fake History Hunter'.
Below, MailOnline delves into some of the claims from history that many still believe.Marie Antoinette said 'Let them eat cake'
It is a myth that typified the hedonism of the French king and queen, as ordinary people were starving. When Marie Antoinette - wife of Louis XVI - was told that the poor couldn't buy bread, she is said to have replied: 'Let them eat cake!'. Above: American star Kirsten Dunst is seen portraying a very hedonistic version of the French Queen in the 2006 film Antoinette
It is a myth that typified the hedonism of the French king and queen, as ordinary people were starving.
When Marie Antoinette - wife of Louis XVI - was told that the poor couldn't buy bread, she is said to have replied: 'Let them eat cake!'
Infuriated by her remarks, the people triggered the French Revolution - cutting off the heads of the king and queen in the process.
The truth is that there is no evidence Antoinette ever made such a remark. Ms Teeuwisse tells how no one even claimed she said it until 'long after her death'.
Instead, Antoinette - despite her decadent lifestyle - did show concern for the poor.
The new book reveals how she told her mother in a letter in 1775: 'It is at the same time wonderful to be so well received two months after the riots and in spite of the high price of bread which unfortunately continues.
There is no evidence Antoinette ever made such a remark. Ms Teeuwisse tells how no one even claimed she said it until 'long after her death'
'It is certain that when people who are suffering treat us so well, we are even more obligated to work for their happiness.'
The cake phrase came from a story written by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He claimed a 'great princess' responded to news of there being no bread for the poor by saying 'then let them eat brioches'.
Ms Teeuwisse points out that that the princess was not named, and that brioche is not cake.
The story was written between 1766 and 1767, when Antoinette would have been aged around 11 and living in Austria.The Vikings had horns on their helmets
It has long been a belief among many: the Vikings had horns on their helmets.
The pervasiveness of this was typified when one of the protesters who stormed the US Capitol in 2021 was described as having a 'Viking helmet' or 'Viking horns' because of his bizarre choice of head gear.
But Ms Teeuwisse says there is 'no real evidence' of Viking helmets with horns ever even existing.
Instead, it is unlikely that the Scandinavian warriors - who raided and settled all across Europe from the eighth to the 11th centuries - favoured fancy helmets at all.
It has long been a belief among many: the Vikings had horns on their helmets
Only one complete helmet has ever been found at a burial site, and it did not have horns.
Ms Teeuwisse says that the idea of Viking horned helmets 'didn't really pop up until the Victorian era'.
At the time, the Middle Ages were 'extremely popular'. In his epic musical dramas, composer Richard Wagner's visions of history featured men with horned and even winged helmets.
This fuelled the craze for the depiction of the Vikings in such a way.Napoleon was unusually short
The assumption that Napoleon was short firmly ingrained in public consciousness.
So much so that the marauding French emperor's name was give to the 'Napoleon complex' - the term applied to short people who are allegedly domineering to make up for their lack of height.
The belief about Napoleon being vertically challenged stems in large part from the work of caricaturist James Gillray, whose cartoons in the late 18th century depicted the ruler as being tiny.
Ms Teeuwisse points out how he enjoyed portraying 'Little Boney' as 'tiny and prone to temper tantrums like a toddler'.
In reality, Napoleon was of average height for his period. He was left angry at Gillray's depiction of him and even tried to get the British government to do something about it.
The assumption that Napoleon was short firmly ingrained in public consciousness. Above: A cartoon by caricaturist James Gillray, showing Napoleon in the palm of the hand of King George III
Ms Teeuwisse adds: 'This inevitably fuelled the fire: there he was, the great powerful emperor, stamping his little feet because of some drawings.'
The historian explains that knowing exactly how tall Napoleon was is challenging, because the old British and French systems of measurement used different standards.
His doctor wrote in 1802 that the emperor was five foot two inches, which when converted to the British system would be five foot six.
Equally, Ms Teeuwisse points out that no one who met him is recorded as having noted that he was unusually short
The assumption that Napoleon was short firmly ingrained in public consciousness. Above: Another Gillray cartoon
Another popular myth is the claim that fashion house Hugo Boss designed the uniforms worn by the Nazis.
The firm's founder, Hugo Ferdinand Boss, was a member of the Nazi party and did manufacture some of the Nazis' uniforms - including their infamous brown shirts.
But Ms Teeuwisse explains that he was not a designer and had no role in how they looked.
Another popular myth is the claim that fashion house Hugo Boss designed the uniforms worn by the Nazis. Above: German illustrations of some of the