Great British Eccentrics

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The British islands have long been a stronghold of eccentricity and peculiar behavior. For whatever reason, eccentricity seems to have been enthusiastically embraced as being one of the defining characteristics of the British people, one of the many things that have become part of their national identity. Is it their status as an island people, set apart from the rest of the world, that has made so many of their countrymen turn in on themselves and go a little strange? Has their long libertarian tradition of the idea of the freedom of individuals to live their own lives as they please, just so long as they do no harm to anybody else, allowed weirdness to flourish within their land? Or is there just something dodgy in the water? There are probably plenty of reasons, but one thing is for certain: historically, this country has produced some of the strangest people who have ever lived, and in this book Steven Tucker compiles the details of both some of the most well-known and the most obscure oddballs ever to have been eligible to hold a British passport. From the psychiatrist who acclaimed lobsters as being capable of love, to the mermaid-impersonating vicar who invented the Harvest Festival, to the mad aristocrat who invented a tiny gun for shooting wasps, this wild ride through British history’s most colorful characters will both amuse and entertain.


S. D. Tucker is an author and journalist. He has written three books and writes a regular column in Fortean Times magazine.