Genuine eccentrics are rare and wonderful people. Packed with extraordinary stories about unusual and inspiring lives, this book celebrates the contribution that eccentric men and women have made to British culture. Throughout history there have been many noteworthy figures with some peculiar notions and idiosyncrasies. Charles Babbage, the inventor of the computer, had wild ideas involving fire. Charlie Chaplin used his quirky imagination to produce groundbreaking films and the flamboyantly attired Edith Sitwell wrote highly original poems. Yet what drives these people to express themselves in such unusual and original ways? Dr David Weeks, a clinical neuropsychologist, and his team of researchers identify the qualities that mark people out as eccentric and shows that eccentricity and creativity are inextricably linked. Illustrated throughout with images from the National Portrait Gallery's collections, this entertaining and thought-provoking book challenges the reader to think differently about those who stray from convention.