Is Guinness Beer Related to the Guinness Book of World Records?
The Guinness Book of World Records is intimately tied to the famous Guinness Brewery, known in particularly for its heady stout beer. The beer long precedes the book. The beer was brewed in the beginning of the 18th century. The book, on the other hand, was not published until 1955.
The Guinness Brewery can only claim partial responsibility for the book. Sir Hugh Beaver was, in 1954, the managing director of the Brewery. On a hunting trip, he got in an argument with a friend regarding the relative quickness of the plover and the grouse. Each man took a stand on which bird was the quickest. Sir Hugh considered the argument upon returning from his trip and felt what was needed was a book that would answer such questions.
In 1951, twins Norris and Ross McWhirter had started a publishing company to research such questions and supply them to periodicals. They had written an article on an athlete employed at Guinness, Christopher Chataway. Chataway introduced Sir Hugh to the brothers. The meeting culminated in a partnership and the beginning of Guinness Superlatives, a publishing company.
The first book sold extremely well, inspiring both the publishing company and the McWhirters to set forth on writing an annual book. In 1975, however, the once happy partnership between the brothers and Guinness ended. Ross McWhirter argued with the Guinness Company regarding their stance on the terrorist attacks being conducted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in London. He offered a reward for information regarding the terrorists and was murdered a few weeks later.
The Guinness Book of World Records holds some of its own records. For instance, it is the book most frequently stolen from libraries. As well, it is the world’s highest selling copyrighted book, with over 100 million books sold in over 30 languages.
So.... which is faster, the plover or the grouse?
As long as people disagree on things and take them personally, there will always be bloodshed. Sit them down together and have a few Guinnesses over the matter though, and things will be peachy.
It seems like the history of the Guinness book is as perilous and interesting as the recent history of Irish politics. It is to be hoped that matters will continue to settle there, in a peaceful resolution for all sides.
Guinness is an acquired taste. I am Irish, and felt like less than a man after being unable to finish a Guinness beer, so I forced myself to become acquainted to the taste one Christmas. Now I love it. Ordering a Guinness at any pub will garner you a decent amount of respect, I guarantee it.
The Guinness family is an old and prominent Dublin Irish family with a rich heritage. Many of the Guinnesses have become prominent figures, such as the actor Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobie in the original Star Wars, or Oz Guinness, the great author and theologian. This is just one example of great Irish families that have blessed the world.
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