One afternoon a crowd in the Bois de Boulogne gawked at an eagle wheeling high in the sky, and debated its significance. Was this a bronze symbol of Napoleon, or the family bird of the Hohenzollerns? Instead of either it proved to be a vulture, escaped from a zoo.
Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War
Good historians know they are creating literature, not publishing scientific papers. The best historians do this with a sense of irony and mordant wit that must not be mistaken for comedy or satire.