Book of the month

Charlatan by [Jinks, Catherine]

This excellent piece of historical detective work shows that 19th century scoundrels are an international phenomenon. Thomas Guthrie Carr – who “lied, fought and sleazed his way around Australia and New Zealand between 1865 and 1886” – lived on the fringes of various 19th century movements such as mesmerism and phrenology. With all the crafts of a showman and self-promoter, he moved backwards and forwards across the fine line between the performer and the criminal. Very well written and constantly interesting, the book “unearths a Victorian-era celebrity who should never have been forgotten.” Recommended reading at


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