Alexander Waugh

Prankster’s Progress

The Sultan of Zanzibar: The Bizarre World and Spectacular Hoaxes of Horace de Vere Cole


Black Spring Press 288pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Horace de Vere Cole is not a name that many people are likely to recognise, but nor was John Harrison before Dava Sobel’s biography, Longitude, brought the eighteenth-century horologist to worldwide attention. So it can be done, and it looks very much as though Martyn Downer and the Black Spring Press are trying to rekindle the same public excitement that made Longitude a runaway bestseller in 1996.

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