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Ultimate Folly: The Rises and Falls of Whitaker Wright Hardcover – 12 Jun 2018
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Whitaker Wright was one of the great characters of the Victorian age Methodist minister, businessman, swindler and symbol of excess whose life inspired some of H. G. Wells's finest books. Henry Macrory has found a glorious subject and tells Wright's extraordinary story in vivid, exciting prose that makes his book a tremendous pleasure to read. --Dominic Sandbrook, author, historian and TV presenter
One of my reads of the year. Absolutely superb. Henry Macrory's impeccably researched and brilliantly told account of Whitaker Wright's extraordinary life is a page-turner from start to finish. --George Osborne, editor, London Evening Standard
A fascinating story about an extraordinary man grippingly told. --Penny Junor, biographer of Prince Charles, Prince William and Margaret Thatcher
The forgotten story of an extraordinary man, a roguish hustler with a genius for self-reinvention who for a time was the richest man in Britain. The book has been diligently researched and the narrative, with its dramatic last twist, is highly entertaining. --Blake Morrison, award-winning novelist and author of two bestselling memoirs
This is compelling and revelatory stuff. Henry Macrory reminds us, with commendable power and restraint, that truth really is stranger than fiction. The story of Whitaker Wright has movie written all over it. --Jonathan Mantle, bestselling biographer of Jeffrey Archer and Andrew Lloyd Webber
A biography that reads like a thriller the roaring life of the world's greatest ever fraudster. This MUST become a movie! --Gwyn Headley, architectural historian and author of the National Trust Book of Follies
Rattling good stuff best biography I've read in a long time. Henry Macrory has the gift of a natural storyteller. --Tim Satchell, bestselling biographer of Steve McQueen and Fred Astaire
Having been intrigued by the life of Whitaker Wright for many years, I'm delighted to be able to recommend Ultimate Folly. Henry Macrory has written a gripping biography which highlights the extreme wealth and ultimate tragedy of a fascinating nineteenth-century swindler. --Salema Nazzal, author of The Folly Under the Lake
A tour de force of rip-roaring adventure, treachery and double-dealing. Henry Macrory's compelling tale of this larger-than-life swindler is an absolute joy to read. --Michael Toner, novelist and playwright
Ultimate Folly is a truly fascinating account of an extraordinary man ... Would that my grandfather-in-law, Sir James Reid, had never set eyes on Whitaker Wright! --Michaela Reid, biographer of Queen Victoria s personal physician, Sir James Reid
Henry Macrory recounts with consummate panache the gripping story of one Britain's most remarkable folly builders. --Jonathan Holt, editor of Follies magazine
I'm delighted that the full story of my great-great-uncle's fascinating life has been told at last. Ultimate Folly brims with adventure and skulduggery and kept me riveted throughout. --Derek Wright
Henry Macrory's portrait of Whitaker Wright is an unstoppably entertaining account of one of the greatest tycoons and swindlers of the 19th century, while its depiction of hysterical booms and busts suggests all kinds of contemporary parallels. [...]Macrory's colourful biography is racily entertaining, sometimes astonishing, and with global debt now running at $237 trillion, not entirely irrelevant to the way we live now. --Christopher Hart, The Sunday Times
Henry Macrory resurrects Wright's astonishing story in forensic detail, with verve and panache. --Stephen Bates, Literary Review
A fascinating story about an extraordinary man grippingly told. -- --Penny Junor, biographer of Prince Charles, Prince William and Margaret Thatcher
A tour de force of rip-roaring adventure, treachery and double-dealing. Henry Macrory's compelling tale of this larger-than-life swindler is an absolute joy to read. -- --Michael Toner, novelist and playwright
About the Author
During a long Fleet Street career, Henry Macrory was deputy editor and acting editor of the Sunday Express. For several years he was a Westminster-based political correspondent. He moved from newspapers into political communications and worked in 10 Downing Street for the Coalition Government. He now lives in Oxford and specialises in writing family histories.
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It is a good read and well captures the essence of the Victorian age. Worth the £20. When I had read it, my thought on putting the book down was - what a clever b'stard.
What was happening over a hundred years ago, still happens today!
If it's too good to be true it usually is! Mr Wright was a past master, excellent read.