Part biography, part detective story- the extraordinary life of the eccentric writer Frederick Baron Corvo.
The short life of A.J.A. Symons (1900-41) was described by his biographer as an intricate and largely harmless confidence trick. His many interests included the collection of musical boxes and rare books as well as the study and practice of forgery; they left him time to edit an anthology of Edwardian verse and compose studies of H.M. Stanley and other notable figures. He is remembered for The Quest for Corvo, one of the most remarkable biographies ever written, and for co-founding the Wine and Food Society.
Part detective story, part spiritual journey, and part meditation
on biography. Steeped in arcane learning, queer encounters, and
fanciful symbolist prose, it is a very peculiar operation indeed,
leaving he reader unconvinced that there was ever such a real
person as Frederick Rolfe - or, possibly, his biographer --
A slender book, an odd book, a completely original book ... a masterpiece * Wall Street Journal *
One of the genre's most notable - if also quirkiest - triumphs * New Criterion *
Extraordinary ... a new template for twentieth-century biography * Times Literary Supplement *