Lives Less Ordinary

by Nigel Farndale, Editor


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    Non Fiction



    Published by HarperCollins

    Published October 2023

    Discover the lives of some of the most fascinating and unconventional characters of recent times, with 85 obituaries carefully curated from The Times archive. Be they dons, pop stars, vicars, MPs, rugby players or aristocrats, each has marched to the beat of their own drum and led a life far from ordinary. The Times obituaries have given readers throughout the world an instant picture of a life for more than 150 years.

    Meet the mavericks, rogues and eccentrics from recent history, including: Baroness Trumpington, the codebreaking, chainsmoking, two-finger-flicking grande dame of British politics; Yannis Alexis (“Magic Alex”) Mardas, inventor who was the Beatles’ scientific guru, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hungarian socialite and actress who made a success out of celebrity and was best known for having married nine times; John Lucas, influential philosopher, who argued against determinism and had a reputation for being the most eccentric don in Oxford; Brigadier Jack Thomas, military police commander, who survived a landmine, bullet, rhino and faulty parachute and liked to watch TV with an owl on his head; April Ashley, model, socialite and transgender rights campaigner whose reassignment surgery was part of a rollercoaster life of lovers and high drama; Jordan Mooney, punk muse known as the original Sex Pistol, who appeared on stage with them, guided their look and then became a veterinary nurse.

    Authoritative, insightful and endlessly engaging, this book is a must for anyone with an interest in the eccentrics and unique characters of recent times.

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