"The life of John Banvard is the most perfect crystallization of loss imaginable."
"In Banvard's Folly, Paul Collins celebrates what he calls the 'forgotten ephemera of genius.' Here are thirteen unforgettable portraits of 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, 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 bells--until now." -- from the back cover
This is a fascinating book about people and their tenuous claim to fame. I liked learning about the musical language "Solresol," promoted by Jean Francois Sudre and the use of blue glass to heal as promoted by A.J. Pleasanton.
Date read: 8/25/2010
Book #: 45
Rating: 3*/5 = good
# of pages: 283
Binding: Trade Paperback