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TitleThe Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly Obscure
File Size1.5 MB
Total Pages325
Table of Contents
Other Books by This Author
Title Page
Introduction John Lloyd
Prologue John Mitchinson
1 There’s Nothing Like a Bad Start in Life
Leonardo da Vinci—Sigmund Freud—Isaac Newton–Oliver Heaviside—Lord Byron—Ada Lovelace—Hans Christian Andersen—Salvador Dalí
2 Happy-go-lucky
Epicurus—Benjamin Franklin—Edward Jenner—Mary Seacole—Moll Cutpurse—Richard Feynman
3 Driven
Genghis Khan—Robert E. Peary—Mary Kingsley—Alexander von Humboldt—Francis Galton—William Morris
4 Let’s Do It
Giacomo Casanova—Catherine the Great—Cora Pearl—H. G. Wells—Colette—Marie Bonaparte—Alfred Kinsey—Tallulah Bankhead
5 Man Cannot Live by Bread Alone
Helena, Comtesse de Noailles—George Fordyce—Elizabeth, Empress of Austria—Dr. John Harvey Kellogg—Henry Ford—George Washington Carver—Howard Hughes
6 Grin and Bear It
Pieter Stuyvesant—General Antonio López de Santa Anna—Daniel Lambert—Florence Nightingale—Fernando Pessoa—Dawn Langley Simmons
7 The Monkey Keepers
Oliver Cromwell—Catherine de’ Medici—Sir Jeffrey Hudson—Rembrandt van Rijn—Frida Kahlo—Madame Mao—Frank Buckland—King Alexander I of Greece
8 Who Do You Think You Are?
Titus Oates—Alessandro, Count Cagliostro—George Psalmanazar—Princess Caraboo—Louis de Rougemont—James Barry—Ignácz Trebitsch Lincoln—Tuesday Lobsang Rampa—Archibald Belaney
9 Once You’re Dead, You’re Made for Life
Emma Hamilton—Dr. John Dee—Jack Parsons—Nikola Tesla—Karl Marx
10 Is That All There Is?
St. Cuthbert—Ann Lee—William Blake—Jeremy Bentham—Richard Buckminster Fuller
	Further Reading and Acknowledgments
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Also by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson

Also by John Lloyd (with Douglas Adams)

Page 162

first husband,” but soon afterward he was committed to a mental institution,
suffering from schizophrenia. Dawn divorced him, but continued to look after
him until her death in 2000.
In 1981, when Dawn was still living as Gordon in Hudson, New York,

working as a teacher in a Catholic school, he/she was commissioned to write a
biography of his/her adoptive mother, Margaret Rutherford. Her own
autobiography, , followed in 1995. Both were well
received and widely reviewed. Dawn’s final years were spent back in Charleston
with Natasha and her three granddaughters, to whom she was a proud and
devoted granny. The city that had once tried to ruin her now happily
accommodated her as a much loved, if slightly wacky, local celebrity.
After Dawn’s autobiography was published in 1995, Nigel Nicolson wrote a

moving piece about her in the “I have maligned her in the past,
mocked her strange fate and refused to meet her,” he wrote. “She had asked me
for help in arranging an English marriage, and when she called on me, I hid.” He
had even refused to meet her when he visited Charleston. It was only when he
saw her interviewed on television and saw pictures of his own mother on her
wall that he relented. “For the first time, I was touched.” He added that, in spite
of his unkind behavior toward her, “there is not a word of reproach for me in her
book. Like everything else about Dinky, it is gallant, resilient and unfailingly
The unlikely and optimistic story of Dawn Langley Simmons concludes this

catalog of men and women assailed by bizarre and unlooked-for misfortune.

As we have seen, such disaster may not bring self-knowledge (Santa Anna),
victory (Stuyvesant), love (Florence Nightingale), longevity (Lambert), or
happiness (Pessoa), but (the appalling Santa Anna apart) it always produced a
change for the better, giving each of them an assured place in history.
The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung believed that difficulties were necessary for

health. They offer potential for change, most particularly a change of attitude.
The Stoics of ancient Athens based a whole school of philosophy on this idea,
but it is the German philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt (whose only misfortune
was to have an even more brilliant and famous brother) who expressed it most

Page 163


The Monkey Keepers

Cats and monkeys, monkeys and cats—all human life is there.

Oliver Cromwell

Page 324

Richard Buckminster Fuller
J. Baldwin, (J. Wiley & Sons, 1996)

R. Buckminster Fuller, (Lars Müller Publishers, 2008)

Anyone who would like to offer corrections or get specific sources is welcome to
visit the special forum on the QI website:

No book of this kind could be written without a crack team of researchers. For
this project, three of them went well beyond the usual call of duty. Tim Ecott and
James Harkin, as well as providing meticulous research notes on a host of lives,
also wrote early drafts of some of the chapters, while Andy Murray, like a
demented literary bodysnatcher, produced a constant stream of the freshly
researched dead for our consideration.
Piers Fletcher, Molly Oldfield, Justin Pollard, Mat Coward, Dan Schreiber,

Arron Ferster, and Will Bowen also added the odd corpse to the pile, as did
Xander Cansell and Tibor Fischer. Special thanks must go to Catriona Luke, who
raided the obituary cupboards at several large newspapers.
Thomas Edison once wrote that, “Everything comes to him who hustles while

he waits.” The team at Crown are the most elegant hustlers in the business.
Particular thanks must go to John Glusman, Shaye Areheart, Dyana Messina,
and Domenica Alioto. It’s an honor to be part of their list.
Special thanks are due to our wives, Sarah Lloyd and Rachael Kerr, but this

book is dedicated to our children, Harry, Claudia, Caitlin, Stella, George,
Hamish, and Rory, for reminding us daily that life really is the thing.

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