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Brewer's Rogues, Villains & Eccentrics by…

Brewer's Rogues, Villains & Eccentrics

by William Donaldson

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208285,277 (3.95)1

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An hilarious collection of entries on an array of interesting British folk. There's some famous people who drank a lot (Oliver Reed & Keith Moon both feature), some rather eccentric people, like the chap who hated people sitting near him on the train and would check his temperature anally every five minutes until people left him alone, and some out and out gangsters (Frankie Fraser, the Kray twins and others).

Donaldson writes well and fills out this brick of a book with many eyebrow raising entries, like "lavatory attendants who subsequently became celebrated publishers. See Carrington, Charles", and Major-General Orde Wingate's habit of holding briefing sessions in the nude. Sarah, the duchess of York, cracks a mention, as does Prince Philip. And, I even learnt that "twang" was an eighteenth century slang word for a prostitute's associate whose job it was to pick the client's pockets while he was having intercourse upright in a doorway. To think that some people find reading a waste of time. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Oct 9, 2018 |
Nothing to do with the Brewer of "Phrase and Fable", this alphabetical compendium of biographical entries is overweighted by a preponderance of tedious East End villains with nothing noteworthy about them but a tendency to extreme violence. However, there are brighter nuggets among the dross. No references are quoted, which leads me to believe that some entries ave been compiled from newspaper reports for which accuracy was not the first consideration. ( )
1 vote gibbon | Aug 26, 2008 |
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abandoned wretches who confine themselves to a horrid course of life. See TRACEY, MARTHA.
Throughout his tragically short career, (Orde) Wingate displayed personal characteristics which were as orthodox as his battle plans. One of his habits was to hold briefing sessions in the nude. Senior colleagues grew to tolerate this, but foreign dignitaries were often disconcerted. Eliahu Elath, the future ambassador to the Court of St James's, was scarred for life, it was said, by his experience of discussing Zionism for an hour and a half with a completely naked man.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0304357286, Hardcover)

Presenting the Hall of Shame! Both entertaining and indiscreet, this dictionary of callous cads introduces a host of wildly colorful characters. Here are assassins and arsonists, hangmen and horse thieves, hell-raisers and highwaymen, not to mention an array of poisoners, quacks, and forgers. Meet Ronald Biggs, one of the participants of the Great Train Robby, and Julie Amiri, a thief who found being detained by policemen...very exciting. There's enough degradation, depravity, and dottiness to delight anyone. A Selection of the Readers Subscription Book Club.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:28 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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'.… (more)

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