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P.J. Sullivan's Mostly Rapscallions: Salient Sillies about the Rich and the Infamous in History Reviewed By Lois Henderson of Bookpleasures.com
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Lois C. Henderson

Reviewer Lois C. Henderson: Lois is a freelance academic editor and back-of-book indexer, who spends most of her free time compiling word search puzzles for tourism and educative purposes. Her puzzles are available HERE and HERE Her Twitter account (@LoisCHenderson) mainly focusses on the toponymy of British place names. Please feel welcome to contact her with any feedback at LoisCourtenayHenderson@gmail.com.





 
By Lois C. Henderson
Published on January 10, 2011
 

Author: P.J. Sullivan
Publisher: Infinity Publishers
ISBN: 0-7414-6167-6
 




Author: P.J. Sullivan
Publisher: Infinity Publishers
ISBN: 0-7414-6167-6

Click Here To Purchase Mostly Rapscallions: Salient Sillies About the Rich and Infamous in History
 
Described by their author as “unauthorized uncut uncensored uncouth”, these potted pen pictures of (in)famous people from the past may be unofficial, but are, nevertheless, well researched and largely verifiable biographical accounts of some of the most interesting characters that have ever walked this Earth, including “religious wackos” (such as Oliver Cromwell and Anthony Comstock), “Imperialist Warmongers” (such as Hernan Cortes and Napoleon Bonaparte), and “Popular Hate Figures” (such as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini). From the sampling of names, you can already see that the figures are of international (ill) repute—and no wonder, as one can see from checking out P.J. Sullivan’s credentials. After studying history “in the field” (the form of field is anyone’s guess, but, from all accounts, appears to have been rather muddy and trodden down by sundry bovine and porcine species) in over a dozen countries, and after five years of “total immersion” (which once more begs the question “In what?”—certainly anything but holy water m’thinks, as his portrayal of the religious is far from being sanctimonious and above the surplice), Sullivan returned to his country of birth, where he now resides in Humboldt County, California. No doubt his current residence also has much to do with his openness of expression and his scandalous disregard for the proprieties that should, lawfully or by divine right (in some cases both), be accorded the esteemed dignities that he describes (lol).
 
Mostly Rapscallions is a romp through history with a focus on the bizarre and challenging (sometimes challenged) personalities who, largely of their own volition, chose to stand out above the rest of us more ordinary and prosaic folk, mainly to their own detriment, albeit they must have wished it rather differently. Sullivan is a master of the art of showing the not so salubrious sides of those who tried their utmost to show the rest of the world how truly extraordinary and exceptional they were. Too bad that so many of them landed up in an untimely end . . .
 
Strictly not for use as a school or college history primer, Mostly Rapscallions is fun to read and a delight to behold, including, as it does, numerous illustrations of the redoubtable personages that people these pages. As with all satire, there is a deeper intent than the mere entertainment of the reader, though, which is summed up by Sullivan’s pertinent question in his Introduction to this quaint gem of a book: “What better way to deal with tyrants and bullies than by laughing them out of town?”        


Click Here To Purchase Mostly Rapscallions: Salient Sillies About the Rich and Infamous in History