What Needled Cleopatra?: And Other Little Secrets Airbrushed from History
by Phil Mason
Our view of the famous is one-dimensional; leading figures from history are pigeon-holed - Churchill the war-time genius, Gandhi the poor ascetic - ... Show synopsis Our view of the famous is one-dimensional; leading figures from history are pigeon-holed - Churchill the war-time genius, Gandhi the poor ascetic - but nobody is perfect and even the famous have their quirks, eccentricities and hidden secrets. And What Needled Cleopatra? reveals the often hilarious, sometimes shocking and always highly informative foibles of the great and the good. The book features the Prime Minister who, in three months, wrote 151 love letters to his mistress during Cabinet meetings; the US President who preferred to conduct business while sitting on the toilet; and the hidden side of Abraham Lincoln, 'the Great Emancipator' who believed in slavery. There is a cavalcade of history's other big names with little-known foibles. Hitler possibly has a Jewish ancestor; Einstein, the cleverest man who lived, regularly forgot his shoes and never learned to drive; and Karl Marx went on regular pub crawls around London while writing his epic treatise on communism. Creators of children's idylls such as Walt Disney and Enid Blyton had deeply unpleasant darker sides to their characters, while Picasso avoided paying restaurant bills by doodling on their napkins instead. What Needled Cleopatra? will change the way you think about those you thought you knew well. Phil Mason has amassed one of the country's largest private collections of cuttings and books chronicling the weird and the strange. Amongst other books he has authored Mission Accomplished with Mathew Parris, a compilation of misplaced predictions by Parliamentarians and Christmas hit, Napoleon's Haemorrhoids.