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Emperor of the United States of America and…

Emperor of the United States of America and Other Magnificent British…

by Catherine Caufield

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An absolute ripper of a book, covering a large number of British fruitcakes and oddballs. The grandfather of the Mitford sisters (quite rightfully) rates a mention, as does the sadly anonymous chap who ordered a car shaped like a giant swan for driving around India and the elderly aristocrat who liked to invite people over for dinner then pretend to be a ghost in order to scare them. The fact that guests played along and pretended to be frightened to humout the old dear only increases one's enjoyment of the book.

I enjoyed "The Emperor of the United States ..." so much that when I accidentally left my copy in a hotel room before flying off to Fiji, I immediately tracked down another copy for my library. ( )
  MiaCulpa | May 13, 2014 |
There's a bit of stretching in this book; Emperor Norton I of the United States and Protector of Mexico was born in London, but had resided in the United States for several years before ascending to the throne. However, this is a marvelous collection of short biographies of people who, in a more sophisticated and allegedly more tolerant future, would have been quietly ushered off to an institution. a bibliography is provided for those more curious about a particular person. ( )
  BruceCoulson | Jan 3, 2014 |
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The nucleus around which this book was formed was a short magazine article I wrote about Joshua Norton, the English-man, who in 1859 proclaimed himself Emperor of the United States.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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