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Dreadnought hoax

Practical joke by Horace de Vere Cole / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Dreadnought hoax was a prank pulled by Horace de Vere Cole in 1910. Cole tricked the Royal Navy into showing their flagship, the battleship HMS Dreadnought, to a fake delegation of "Abyssinian royals". The hoax drew attention in Britain to the emergence of the Bloomsbury Group, among whom some of Cole's collaborators numbered. The hoax was a repeat of a similar impersonation that Cole and Adrian Stephen had organised while they were students at Cambridge in 1905.

The Dreadnought hoaxers in Blackface and Abyssinian costume