Willie Donaldson's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics

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9780550104960: Willie Donaldson's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics
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Taking its inspiration from the Brewer's tradition of recording unexpected and fascinating information that is not generally available in other reference books, 'Brewer's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics' presents a colourful, informative and entertaining A-Z of bizarre Britons through the ages: assassins and arsonists, buggers and bigamists, hangmen and horse-stealers, hell-raisers and highwaymen, plus an array of poisoners, quacks, forgers and others. Yesterday's whoremasters and harlots rub shoulders with the defrocked parsons and dodgy geezers of contemporary Brtain in this richly entertaining dictionary of degradation, depravity and dottiness. A rich repository of arcane but fascinating information, it will make the perfect Christmas present for anyone who loves history, biography and 'Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable'.

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Review:

Can reference books ever be laugh-out-loud funny? Donaldson manages it

here. The inventor of Henry Root has made an essential work of

historical biography that just happens to be the best loo book of all

time. It puts our modern obsession with celebrity into a proper

perspective. Next to 'Mad Jack' Mytton even the wildest excesses appear

rather tame and where else would you learn that Aleister Crowley

designed boomerangs as a hobby?

(The QI top 10 quite interesting books by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson in The Guardian)

A work of maniacal genius. The

cross-referencing alone displays a powerful talent for mischief. Such

entries as: "Jesus, believing oneself to be having carnal relations

with. See Edinburgh, Prince Philip, Duke of" and "Pygmy cannibals who

were no match for English travelling women. See Carstairs, Marion

Barbara; Kingsley, Mary", indicate the breadth of the anthologer's

canvas.

(Hywel Williams, The Guardian)

The comic potential of the cross-reference is, in Donaldson's steady hands, infinite ... I have not laughed so much in years. (Byron Rogers, The Spectator)

Book Description:

'The funniest book in the history of the world'

Daily Express

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