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The Reverend Guppy's Aquarium

by Philip Dodd

PUBLISHED: 7th May 2009
ISBN: 9780099505723
ANNOTATION:
What is the connection between a rather unflattering item of clothing and the French trapeze artist Jules Leotard? Which filling did the Earl of Sandwich opt for when he made his great culinary invention? This book answers these and many other questions exploring the lives of an extraordinarily diverse range of people.
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PUBLISHED: 7th May 2009
ISBN: 9780099505723
ANNOTATION:
What is the connection between a rather unflattering item of clothing and the French trapeze artist Jules Leotard? Which filling did the Earl of Sandwich opt for when he made his great culinary invention? This book answers these and many other questions exploring the lives of an extraordinarily diverse range of people.

Annotation

What is the connection between a rather unflattering item of clothing and the French trapeze artist Jules Leotard? Which filling did the Earl of Sandwich opt for when he made his great culinary invention? This book answers these and many other questions exploring the lives of an extraordinarily diverse range of people.

Publisher Description

How did the Texas cattle rancher Samuel A. Maverick end up contributing his name to the language? What is the connection between a rather unflattering item of clothing and the French trapeze artist Jules Leotard? Which filling did the Earl of Sandwich opt for when he made his great culinary invention? And was there really a Sir Oswald Binge whose week-long feasts were notorious for their excess?The Reverend Guppy's Aquarium answers these and many other questions drawn from the remoter corners of the English language, exploring the lives of an extraordinarily diverse range of people who happen to have one thing in common- by chance or deliberately, they have left their names deeply embedded in the language and consciousness of future generations. Each figure has something to tell us about a particular moment of history, or a discovery or invention, whether it's Laszl Bir and his pioneering writing implement, or Merced s Jellinek, who lent her name to a certain make of car, or tienne de Silhouette who, having fallen from grace at the French court, spent much of the later part of his life mournfully cutting out paper shapes. Not to mention the Reverend Robert Lechmere Guppy, fish-discoverer extraordinary.Each life in The Reverend Guppy's Aquarium is quirky and often bizarre. Few of them would merit a footnote, let alone an entry, in the history books. But they all reveal that the prospect of immortality is only a fluke away. In an age of instant 15-minute celebrity, that's a reassuring thought.

Back Cover

--How did Texas cattle rancher Samuel Maverick become the byword for quirky non-conformity? --What is the connection between a rather unflattering item of clothing and French trapeze virtuoso Jules Lotard? --Which filling did the 4th Earl of Sandwich opt for when he made his great culinary invention? --And was there really a country squire called Sir Oswald Binge whose week-long feasts were notorious for their excess? A dip into The Reverend Guppy's Aquarium will answer these and many other questions you forgot to ask about the heroic individuals who made our language what it is.

Author Biography

Philip Dodd developed a love of words and language as the son of dedicated crossword solvers, while studying French and Spanish at Oxford, and in a career as a book publisher and editor. His books include The Book Of Cities and Musical Instruments. He has also worked with the Rolling Stones for their autobiography According To The Rolling Stones, and with Nick Mason on his memoir Inside Out- A Personal History Of Pink Floyd, and he is the editor of Genesis- Chapter & Verse. He lives in London and in Rochester, Kent with his wife, two daughters and a tankful of guppies.

Review

Whilst there are some 'ah-ha' moments, as pieces of each puzzle fall into place, it is the storytelling and the author's obvious affection for his subject that give a heart to this book. It's a quirky collection, concerned as much with people, history and fate as with their eponymous associations FT Magazine ... one long glorious swerve ... the book requires no such justification and no defence. Like all good things - like pies - it just is. Guardian ... brilliantly funny and engaging Scotland on Sunday

Promotional

A wonderfully entertaining and idiosyncratic tour of the lives of those whose names have become part of the language, from Joseph Guillotin to Joseph B. Frisbie.

Review Text

... brilliantly funny and engaging

Promotional "Headline"

A wonderfully entertaining and idiosyncratic tour of the lives of those whose names have become part of the language, from Joseph Guillotin to Joseph B. Frisbie.

Product Details

Author
Philip Dodd
Pages
272
Year
2009
ISBN-10
009950572X
ISBN-13
9780099505723
Format
Paperback
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Media
Book
Publisher
Cornerstone
Short Title
REVEREND GUPPYS AQUARIUM
Subtitle
How Jules Leotard, Adolphe Sax, Roy Jacuzzi and co. immortalised their names in the dictionary
Publication Date
2009-05-07
Audience
General/Trade