Nicholas Rankin

A Pirate and Predator

The Meinertzhagen Mystery: The Life and Legend of a Colossal Fraud

By

Potomac Books 353pp £14 order from our bookshop

Since his death forty years ago, the soldier and ornithologist Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, DSO, CBE, has bagged four biographers. The first two, John Lord and Peter Capstick, were worshippers who believed everything their hero said and wrote. The third, Mark Cocker in 1989, had qualms, but gave his subject the benefit of the doubt. And now we have the fourth, a sceptic: Brian Garfield, 67-year-old former president of the Mystery Writers of America, who has drawn together a decade’s worth of worldwide research to indict the rangy Colonel M as a cross between Harry Flashman and Baron Munchhausen; as a bully, a cheat, and a pathological fantasist. In short, a shit.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The 25th Bad Sex in Fiction is happening in a week. There’s a press release if you’re the sort of person who wants a press release ,
    • sorry I can’t spell fluttering. I was agitated.,
    • Probably try and get an announcement out later, for all these male writers who think of fluttering inner muscle sheaths...,
    • He felt the muscles far inside her flutteriung around him,
    • Next week sees return, and we've got discounted tickets on offer, right here: ,
    • We're rarely topical - tricky as a monthly magazine - but we've an article this month all about Laurence Binyon, po… ,
    • "We will remember them" - who wrote those words, and why have them become our terms of memorial? ,