Have you heard of Florence Foster Jenkins, the tone-deaf operatic diva? Or Joshua Abraham Norton, alias Norton I, Emperor of the United States? Have you ever come across Helmut Flatzelsteiner, who not so long ago stole the mortal remains of Mary Vetsera, the mistress of Crown Prince Rudolf, in order to get to the bottom of the Mayerling mystery? Rudi Palla, chronicler of the bizarre, has gathered together an assorted assembly of eccentrics who turned normality on its head with their peculiar concepts and ludicrous pursuits. But he presents no mere collection of curiosities here. These highly entertaining short biographies are a reflection of their times, however twisted: whether it is through the figure of Josef Fröhlich, who was both court jester and adviser to Augustus III, or the Austro-Bohemian Anglican-Buddhist-Jewish secret agent Ignaz Trebitsch-Lincoln, who probably had trouble remembering who he was spying for; then there's the French utopian architect Pierre Giraud, or even William McGonagall, surely the worst poet of all times.
"This is a book about individuals who had their own unique relationship with reality." (Rudi Palla)