Which author had the heaviest brain? What was the original title of 1984? When did cigarettes first appear in English literature? Who wrote the first Western? And is there any link between asthma and literary genius? John Sutherland's irreverent literary exploration illuminates topics from author advances to Civil War literature, from Victorian sex to odd things eaten by literary characters, and from famous misquotes to the biggest blunders in print.
"Clever, offbeat, and funny; the ideal companion for those who take their literature far too seriously—and for those who don't take it seriously enough."—Guardian (London)