The Most Amazing Story A Man Ever Lived To Tell
Geoffrey Maslen published this study of the notorious story-teller Louis de Rougemont in 1977 but it remains a fascinating read today.
Louis de Rougemont was in fact a Swiss butler by the name of Henri Grin and his wild adventures in Australia actually consisted of being employed as a butler for the West Australian governor for less than a year.
But this did not stop him, nor the publishers of the Wide World Magazine, from serialising his "adventures" in the Aussie outback in 1898 which included living for 30 years with cannibal Aborigines, surviving a shocking shipwreck, being worshipped as a god and witnessing flying wombats.
Readers soon found many holes in de Rougemont's exploits and he was eventually exposed as a fraud but not before he had begun giving lectures at scientific meetings.
Henri Grin died a penniless old man in London in 1921, but this researched account by Geoffrey Maslen can still transport the reader, albeit only momentarily, back to a time when the world was still fresh and new with wonders still able to amaze, even those purported by frauds.