Rebels, Pretenders and Impostors
Throughout history, individuals have pictured themselves becoming emperor, king, queen or president. Some have proved successful, others not, while ... Show synopsis Throughout history, individuals have pictured themselves becoming emperor, king, queen or president. Some have proved successful, others not, while some were pure fantasists. Many produced coins, banknotes, stamps and heraldic devices as proof of the status they claimed. In exploring the issues surrounding political legitimacy, this volume brings together evidence for an amazing variety of would-be sovereigns and phantom countries, rebel states and royal imposters, ranging from ancient to modern times and from the Orient to the New World. The extraordinary personalities, their individual stories and the images they employed are interesting in themselves, but set in a wider context they also demonstrate the changing tradition of pretence and rebellion. The authors examine fundamental concepts of loyalty and group identity in a commentary on the nature of legitimate power and established sovereignty. Their analysis reveals the convenient fictions, collective myths and pseudo-histories inherent even today in the construction and maintenance of a dynasty or modern nation.