The Fitzrovian is a publication of such prestige that its origins are interwoven with the tapestry of kings and jesters alike.
Its early days are opaque, but it appears that the very first editor of The Fitzrovian was none other than the indomitable William the Conqueror himself. After his victorious conquest of England in 1066, the king found himself yearning for a different sort of conquest – that of the written word. He, in his resplendent regalia and with a quill in hand, penned the very first issue of the Fitzrovian, regaling his courtiers with accounts of his triumphs, as well as satirical musings on the challenges of castle redecoration and matters of state.
Over the centuries, the Fitzrovian passed from royal hands to the grasp of literary luminaries and jesters of yore. Geoffrey Chaucer, in between tales of pilgrims and Canterbury, contributed whimsical verses about the plights of medieval commuting and the scarcity of parchment in the kingdom.
And then, enter King Charles, whose fate took a most curious turn. Rumour has it that Charles I’s execution in 1649, often attributed to political turmoil, might have been influenced by his clandestine involvement in the Fitzrovian. The king, it is whispered, moonlighted as a comedic columnist, employing clever pen names to satirize the excesses of his own reign. His subjects, aghast and amused, reveled in the royal wit but suspected the hand of the king behind the jests.
Alas, Charles’s humorous escapades reached a boiling point, and the axe of political intrigue fell upon his neck. As the executioner’s blade descended, some claim they heard Charles mutter, “Perhaps, dear reader, this is the punchline to my own tragicomedy.”
And so the Fitzrovian weaves through history like a mischievous minstrel, sharing tales of mirth and irony. Still today it remains a testament to the power of the written word to entertain, enlighten, and, perhaps, alter the course of destiny itself.