The "Dreadnought" Hoax

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front cover of "The 'Dreadnought' Hoax"

Source: Bruce Peel Library

The "Dreadnought" Hoax





A kind of journalistic account of the Dreadnought Hoax, a prank played by members of the Bloomsbury Group on the British Navy. The pranksters dressed up as the Emperor of Abyssinia and his suite and boarded a Royal Navy ship. While this is not a very traditional autobiography, it is a kind of personal reminiscence and insists on its own factual nature. Of all of the participants in the hoax, Stephen was selected to tell the story because, he writes, 'my habit of truth-telling, which makes it all but impossible for me to tell a lie. It was tactfully put to met hat though it was true enough that others of the party might be more gifted and could make an infinitely more amusing legend than I, yet a legend their story would remain, while I, not having the imagination to invent an untruth, would be bound to stick to the facts' (15).