by Jeremy Nicholas
Based on Don Lemon’s 1890 Everybody’s Scrapbook of Curious Facts, this collection of stray Victoriana is the perfect book for odd moments. Its charm lies in its total unpredictability and in the sense of disbelief and wonderment it generates in the modern reader.
No sooner have you discovered the advantages of ‘Greasing Soldiers’ Feet’ than you are confronted with ‘Executions Everywhere’ — the methods employed, country by country, of dispatching criminals. Next, you might stumble across ‘Newspaper Names in the Far West’, ‘Language of the Parasol’, ‘The Flapping of a Fly’s Wing’ or advice on ‘When to Pare the Finger Nails’ — subjects which rise to a bewildering height of triviality. Who could fail to be entranced by such life-enhancing serendipity?
Lemon’s original entries are complemented by a selection of contemporary illustrations.
Jeremy Nicholas is an award-winning broadcaster, Olivier-nominated actor, a respected writer and classical music critic. He is a busy voice-over artist, regular reviewer for Gramophone magazine, retained consultant for Napster on-line music service, author of two biographies and four music reference books, and composer of several published works. In his spare time he runs a church choir and is President of the Jerome K Jerome Society. You can find out more about him at www.jeremynicholas.com.