The passionately misguided individuals profiled in this entertaining book form an unforgettable portrait of human imagination run wild.Never has so much energy been poured into such oddly misbegotten ideas, inventions, enterprises and movements. The 22 individuals and groups described here with wit and understanding represent the widest range of true eccentricity. Lady Blount believes that the earth is flat; Cyrus Teed, that it is a hollow shell with us on the inside; Baron de Guldenstubbe that statues write him letters. Nesta Webster devotes her life to exposing international conspiracies; John Carden to pestering one young lady. Geoffrey Pyke invents a giant battleship made of ice; and Amanda Feilding and Joey Mellen live in peace and prosperity after drilling holes in their heads. The peculiarities of their beliefs are surpassed only by the boundless enthusiasm with which they defend them, and their stories are all here, told in John Michell's lively prose and accompanied by historic photographs and drawings.