20 things you might not have known about drunkenness

Interesting facts about drinking from Mark Forsyth's A Short History of Drunkenness, a book all about mankind's love of booze.

A Short History of Drunkenness

'When the Ancient Persians had to make a political decision, they debated it once drunk, once sober. If they came to the same conclusion both times, they acted'

13.    In 1808 Australia had a military coup fuelled by rum and sparked by a dispute over some distillation vats. It is known to historians as The Rum Rebellion.

14.    At the time of his death, George Washington owned the largest distillery in the USA.

15.    In 1914 Tsar Nicholas II outlawed the sale of vodka in Russia. Four years later, he was dead.

16.    The famous bat-wing doors you associate with Wild West saloons never actually existed.

17.    Queen Victoria liked to drink whisky and claret. Mixed.

18.    The animal with the strongest head for alcohol by bodyweight is the Malaysian tree shrew.

19.    The people of Zumbagua in Ecuador believe that vomiting caused by drunkenness will feed the spirits of the dead.

20.    There were no pubs in England before the fourteenth century.

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