Free Banvard's Folly Thirteen Tales of People Who Didn't Change the World AUTHOR Paul Collins

Paul Collins ¸ 0 Free read

Artists writers entrepreneurs and adventurers from across the centuries and around the world They hold in common the silenced aftermath of failure the name that rings no bellsCollins brings them back to glorious life John Banvard was an artist whose colossal panoramic canvasses one behemoth depiction of the entire eastern shore of the Mississippi River was simply known as The Three Mile Painting made him the richest and most famous artist of his day before he decided to go head to head with P T Barnum René Blondot was a distinguished French physicist whose celebrated discovery of a new form of radiation called the N Ray went terribly awry At the tender age of seventeen William Henry Ireland signed William Shakespeare to a book and launched a short but meteoric career as a fo. I 61

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Banvard's Folly Thirteen Tales of People Who Didn't Change the World

Rger of undiscovered works by the Bard until he pushed his luck too far John Symmes a hero of the War of 1812 nearly succeeded in convincing Congress to fund an expedition to the North Pole where he intended to prove his theory that the earth was hollow and ripe for exploitation; his uixotic uest counted Jules Verne and Edgar Allan Poe among its greatest admirersCollins' love for what he calls the forgotten ephemera of genius give his portraits of these figures and the other nine men and women in Banvard's Folly sympathetic depth and poignant relevance Their effect is not to make us sneer or p0revel in schadenfreude; here are no cautionary tales Rather here are brief introductions acts of excavation and reclamation to people whom history may have forgotten but whom now we cann. History is written by the winners Or at least about the winners There s no shortage of tributes to say Shakespeare or Einstein But what about the losers Happily there s Paul Collins a great and I think under appreciated writer who in Banvard s Folly Thirteen Tales of People Who Didn t Change the World brings to life a group of people who were famous in their own day but for various reasons have been completely forgotten The best known if that s the right word of Collins anti heroes is Delia Bacon who was renowned on two continents for her brilliantly erudite lectures but went mad and in the process invented the Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare s plays theory She and Francis were unrelated though late in her life she seems to have forgotten this Martin Faruhar Tupper was a famous writer of revoltingly treacly Victorian poetry strangely much admired by Walt Whitman Ren Blondlot was a brilliant scientist who believed that he had discovered N rays Collins manages to evoke sympathy for his hapless protagonists though it s perhaps not unmixed with schadenfreude Still in this deeply fun book they finally have the last word

Summary Banvard's Folly Thirteen Tales of People Who Didn't Change the World

The historical record crowns success Those enshrined in its annals are men and women whose ideas accomplishments or personalities have dominated endured and most important of all found champions John F Kennedy's Profiles in Courage Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists and Samuel Johnson's Lives of the Poets are classic celebrations of the greatest the brightest the eternally constellatedPaul Collins' Banvard's Folly is a different kind of book Here are thirteen unforgettable portraits of forgotten people men and women who might have claimed their share of renown but who whether from ill timing skullduggery monomania the tinge of madness or plain bad luck or perhaps some combination of them all leapt straight from life into thankless obscurity Among their number are scientists. This was a uite lovely read about forgotten people in barely forgotten times Only in America would we consider these gentlemen and gentlewomen to be losers simply because they had an idea that others stole or their achievements have been forgotten by each succeeding generation Some of them were just plain eccentrics and I think we can look at the 21st century and see we have the same idealists todayThe title derives from John Banvard who created grand works of art on rollout canvas which drew standing room only crowds in the 19th century He shone before the age of cinema which basically made his type of work obsolete My favorite story was that of Rene Blondlot a French scientist who discovered the N Ray which really was nothing but some changes of light prisms He believed deeply that he had discovered something extraordinary and was subseuently laughed out of existence when his theory was disprovedHere s to the losers bless them allBook Season YearRound enjoy


10 thoughts on “Banvard's Folly Thirteen Tales of People Who Didn't Change the World

  1. says:

    This was a uite lovely read about forgotten people in barely forgotten times Only in America would we consider these gentlemen and gentlewomen to be 'losers' simply because they had an idea that others stole or their achievements have been forgotten by each succeeding generation Some of them were just plain eccentrics and

  2. says:

    Everyone knows about famous people That’s why they’re called famous But what of all those people who accomplished grea

  3. says:

    Ever hear of the musical language Solresol? When was the last time you read the works of Martin Tupper? If you haven't and your curi

  4. says:

    This ended up being SUCH a mixed bag for me Some chapters I genuinely had fun with but then again it was too much of a mis

  5. says:

    I 61

  6. says:

    An uneven not uite cohesive collection of essaysPaul Collins opens these thirteen pieces with a very short introduction He says that he wanted to write about people with grand ambitions but who failed people who were once famous or at least per

  7. says:

    A pass along from my mom Banvard's Folly has been on my Imminent To Read list for uite some time I finally picked it up ear

  8. says:

    History is written by the winners Or at least about the winners There’s no shortage of tributes to say Shakespeare or Eins

  9. says:

    What a uirky book Stories of 13 people who were uniue and somewhat infamous in the day but absolutely unknown now I found myself comparing this book and author to my hero the historian Daniel Boorstin who has entertained me

  10. says:

    Hilarious Not only that some useful tips on how not to follow in the footsteps of creative failures If I taught business school this would be reuired reading My favorite chapter involves a pneumatic subway station that was secretly built under City Hall

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