Rogues, Rascals, and Scalawags Too: More Brazen Ne'er-Do-Wells Through the Ages

Jim Christy. Anvil (Small Press Distribution, U.S. dist.; PGC/Raincoast, Canadian dist.), $20 (192p) ISBN 978-1-77214-017-0
Christy (Scalawags: Rogues, Roustabouts, Wags & Scamps) delights in documenting the lives of miscreants and flouters of social conventions. This volume includes 26 concise chapters, each devoted to a particular scamp. "Some of them are frankly larcenous, many libidinous, and all completely lacking in any predilection for a conventional life," Christy writes. The majority of his scalawags committed their deeds in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries . Readers will be thoroughly entertained by the exploits of folks such as H.D. "Huge Deal" McIntosh, an Australian seeker of fortunes who cut his teeth working at racetracks and brothels before leasing out all of Sydney's social houses to 16,000 American sailors while also staging a heavyweight-boxing match. Other rogues preferred the arts. French anarchist and artist Suzanne Valadon, for example, lived a bohemian life of guerrilla painting, dancing naked in nightclubs, and randomly taking street kids to the circus. Christy's book is loaded with similar stories, and anyone looking to learn more about history's copious supply of roustabouts should definitely pick it up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 01/01/2016
Genre: Religion
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