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The Great Pretenders: The True Stories Behind Famous Historical Mysteries download epub

by Jan Bondeson Ph.D.


Epub Book: 1331 kb. | Fb2 Book: 1490 kb.

The Great Pretenders is great fun, no pretending. Jan Bondeson examines the great (and the lesser great) historical mysteries of the nineteenth century, such as Kaspar Hauser, the Lost Dauphin, and monk-czar of Russia.

The Great Pretenders is great fun, no pretending. The author may disappoint conspiracy buffs (they always have the internet) but this book will interest history buffs

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Includes bibliographical references (p. -326). The lost dauphin - The mystery of Kaspar Hauser - The Emperor and the Hermit - Princess Olive, Hannah Lightfoot, and George Rex - The Tichborne Claimant - The Duke of Baker Street - A world of mysteries.

The Great Pretenders. The True Stories Behind Famous Historical Mysteries. focuses his medical expertise and insightful wit on the great unsolved mysteries of disputed identity of the last two hundred years. Jan Bondeson (Author, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology (London)). Did the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette really die in the Temple Tower, or did the Lost Dauphin reappear among the throngs of pretenders to the throne? And what does DNA testing reveal about the Dauphin's mummified heart?

Japanese and Portuguese translations.

One notable chapter in the book concerns the 'Maidenhead Mystery' of 1893 and the Dutch serial killer Hendrik de Jong, thought by some at the time to have been Jack the Ripper. In March 2018 he published The Lion Boy and Other Medical Curiosities, his third book of strange and unexpected events in the history of medicine. One chapter concerns Johnny Trunley, an example of extreme obesity in Edwardian times, known as the Fat Boy of Peckham. The Great Pretenders: The True Stories behind Famous Historical Mysteries, WW Norton 2003, paperback 2004. Japanese and Portuguese translations.

The Great Pretenders is a collection of stories about famous historical mysteries, mostly involving missing .

The Great Pretenders is a collection of stories about famous historical mysteries, mostly involving missing royals or nobles from the nineteenth century. Expertly compiled by Jan Bondeson (Professor at the University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff), The Great Pretenders: The True Stories Behind Famous Historical Mysteries is an enthralling anthology of unsolved mysteries which are presented on a case by case basis and keenly analyzed with the exacting scrutiny of modern scientific and medical knowledge.

In this highly entertaining work, Jan Bondeson delves into the great unsolved cases of disputed identity. Did the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette die in the Temple Tower or was he one of the fellows claiming to be the dauphin after the Terror? Was Kaspar Hauser really the missing crown prince of Baden? When an eccentric duke built a tunnel complex beneath his estate, who is to say he didn't have a second life as a shopkeeper in London? show more.

The Great Pretenders: The True Stories Behind Famous Historical Mysteries by Jan Bondenson Hardcover Jan Bondeson, . focuses his medical expertise and insightful wit on the great unsolved mysteries of disputed identity of the last two hundred years

The Great Pretenders: The True Stories Behind Famous Historical Mysteries by Jan Bondenson Hardcover Jan Bondeson, . Did the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette really die in the Temple Tower, or did the Lost Dauphin reappear among the throngs of pretenders to the throne? And what does DNA testing reveal about the Dauphin's mummified heart? Who was Kaspar Hauser: an abused child, the crown prince of Baden, or a pathological liar?

The great pretenders. Continuing his series of historical investigations (Buried Alive, 2001, et., Bondeson reconsiders perennial tales of substituted infants, royal pretenders, wild children, and claimants to lapsed inheritances. Was a taciturn Russian ascetic really the tsar who presided over the defeat of Bonaparte?

The Great Pretenders: The True Stories behind Famous Historical Mysteries, WW Norton 2003, pbk 2004

Bondeson has also written a series of books in the areas of the history of medicine and zoology, and some studies about curious historical episodes. His Cabinet of Medical Curiosities was published in 1997. His book Buried Alive, a historical study of the signs of death, and the risk of being prematurely buried by mistake, was supported by a scholarship from the Wellcome Trust. The Great Pretenders: The True Stories behind Famous Historical Mysteries, WW Norton 2003, pbk 2004.

"A guilty pleasure....The Victorian-era courtroom antics alone are worth the price of admission."―Publishers Weekly

Jan Bondeson, M.D., focuses his medical expertise and insightful wit on the great unsolved mysteries of disputed identity of the last two hundred years. Did the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette really die in the Temple Tower, or did the Lost Dauphin reappear among the throngs of pretenders to the throne? And what does DNA testing reveal about the Dauphin's mummified heart? Who was Kaspar Hauser: an abused child, the crown prince of Baden, or a pathological liar? In this highly entertaining work covering the most famous cases of disputed identity, Jan Bondeson uncovers all the evidence, then applies his medical knowledge and logical thinking to ascertain the true stories behind these fascinating histories. "Bondeson examines hitherto neglected documents and adds his valuable medical knowledge....Entertaining studies of classic imposters and a public inclined to be gullible even before the age of TV."―Kirkus Reviews 36 illustrations

Comments: (5)

Landaron
The Great Pretenders is a collection of stories about famous historical mysteries, mostly involving missing royals or nobles from the nineteenth century. If you are an aficionado of royal histories from that period you've probably already read quite a bit about the subjects presented here, like the missing Dauphin or Kaspar Hauser or Fedor Kuzmich, but nevertheless its nice to have the stories encapsulated in a quick, well written series of chapters like this one. Its also interesting to see how much DNA has been used in recent years to help verify or debunk some of these stories. Some of the selections seem a bit off, for example the story of the Tichborne Claimant is interesting history but it could hardly be considered a case of a missing heir, being actually a pretty obvious case of attempted fraud, but that is no reason not to enjoy this book.
Usishele
The most famous historical mysteries contain a large amount of contradictory evidence; most cannot be solved in actuality. Mysteries of disputed identity have ancient origins and are based on medieval folk tales. Nineteenth Century romantic history was built on these legends because the aristocracy liked mystifications and conundruns, plus their prevailing literary taste. The writer of historical mysteries presented his subject matter within the boundaries set by the traditional Gothic novel.

The Little Prince died in France after his parents, Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI had been put to death on the guillotine during the Revolution. Rumors surfaced that the Royalists had saved him, and more than a hundred 'pretenders' claimed to be the Lost Dauphin.

Other mysteries in this volume by Dr. Bondeson include a duke whose country estate had a maze of tunnels in the basement, who possibly had a double life as a furniture shopkeeper with a separate family (Emperor or hermit), Kasper Hauser in Germany, Duke of Baker Street in London, and others. Rumors about George III's bigomy were boundless.

Some of these mysteries of 'disputed identity' developed into national enigmas, based on folklore and romantic fantasy. Thus is history. He explains his summations thusly: "What is it about these tales of lost heirs, secret marriages, and immortal monarchs (who) turned into immortal mysteries (which) engage the minds of millions?" I was disappointed that he left out the case of Anastasia in Russia. I love the cover pictures of those he did write about, so true to life -- as it was back then.
Ginaun
I've read several books by Bondeson and enjoyed them, though at times it's a bit sad having science disprove things that were fascinating possibilities. Regardless, Bondeson makes you rethink what you (and at times the entire world) have thought to be solved mysteries, most notably last year's affirmation via mitochrondial DNA that the alleged heart of the 'Lost Dauphin,' Louis Charles XVII, is indeed the boy's heart. Or is it really? Bondeson has a unique way of approaching these mysteries both scientifically and open-minded - never saying that the mysteries are solved absolutely by approaching them from every possible 'what if?' angle.

BUT, it is annoying that Bondeson spends so much time on minute possible details while simultaneously making the most stupid mistakes of what is concrete fact. For example, the Dauphin was born in 1785 and died in 1795. Any source will tell you this. Bondeson will tell you this repeatedly, as well as the obvious fact that the boy was 10-years-old when he died. Yet Bondeson then goes on to describe the first of the hundreds of pretenders and states if any of the pretenders actually had been the real Dauphin, this was the most likely possibility. The problem is that this pretender showed up in a village in 1796, when the Dauphin would have been eleven, and is described as a teenager (who in fact was later identified as being an 18-year-old runaway). At another point, when trying to explain the discrepancies of the Dauphin's crystal encased heart, Bondeson suggests that it is actually the heart of the Dauphin's older brother, who died at the age of nine, as the heart is smaller than that described in the autopsy and records of the doctor who had spirited away. Bondeson's theory is that the TWELVE-year-old Dauphin's heart would be larger.

Seriously, how hard is it to keep the most basic fact that the lost Dauphin was 10-years-old straight while theorizing with great depth the potential cause of his death and claims of the various pretenders?

I would give the book five stars if not for these types of, frankly, stupid mistakes. As it is, if it were possible, I'd give the book 3 1/2 stars for such ridiculous faults. I'd also suggest strongly that Bondeson needs to interupt his deep ruminations and check for such painfully obvious mistakes, in addition to firing his editor.
Xanna
The Great Pretenders is great fun, no pretending. Jan Bondeson examines the great (and the lesser great) historical mysteries of the nineteenth century, such as Kaspar Hauser, the Lost Dauphin, and monk-czar of Russia. He presents all the known evidence in a clear fashion and lays out the possible solutions relying on both modern scientific evidence, if available and applicable, and documentary evidence. The author may disappoint conspiracy buffs (they always have the internet) but this book will interest history buffs. These stories are endlessly fascinating and they add up to a marvelous evening or so of reading.
Bys
A great work of quasi fiction, woven into wild speculation. Entertaining but not a book to use as a true history lesson! Two stars for entertainment but I had a difficult time digesting his version of the truth.
The Great Pretenders: The True Stories Behind Famous Historical Mysteries download epub
Historical Study & Educational Resources
Author: Jan Bondeson Ph.D.
ISBN: 0393326446
Category: History
Subcategory: Historical Study & Educational Resources
Language: English
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (March 17, 2005)
Pages: 336 pages