Rollicking and informative, Reprehensible: Polite Histories of Bad Behaviour is your guide through some of the most shameful behaviour indulged in by humanity’s most celebrated figures, as told by Mikey Robins, one of Australia’s most beloved comedians.
It is often said that we live in era of constant outrage, but we are definitely not the inventors of outrageousness. Let’s be honest, human beings have always been appalling. Not everyone and not all the time, but our history is littered with those whose work and deeds have rendered them . . . reprehensible.
Sometimes it’s our most esteemed luminaries who behave the worst. In Reprehensible: Polite Histories of Bad Behaviour, Mikey Robins holds the mirror up to everyone, from Popes to politicians, from certified artistic geniuses to scientific and mathematical minds without peer – few emerge without blush or blemish.
For instance, what are we to make of Catherine the Great’s extensive collection of pornographic furniture, Hans Christian Anderson’s too-much-information diary and Karl Marx’s epic pub crawls? Or hall-of-fame huckster William McCloundy, who in 1901 actually ‘sold’ the Brooklyn Bridge to an unsuspecting tourist, and the Pharaoh who covered his slaves in honey to keep flies off his meal? Did you know about the royal ticklers of the Romanov court, and the bizarre coronation rituals of early Welsh kings? (Let’s just say that eating a white horse wasn’t the weirdest part of the ceremony.) And who else but Mikey could uncover the story of Chrysippus, the Stoic philosopher who laughed himself to death at the sight of a drunk donkey?
So sit back and rest your conscience: there will be a host of scoundrels, bounders and reprobates, tales of lust and power aplenty, as we indulge in that sweet spot where history meets outrage, with just a bit of old-school TMZ thrown in for good measure.
Mikey Robins is one of Australia’s most well known comedians and broadcasters. He spent seven years as the host of Triple J’s National Breakfast Show before appearing as team leader on the smash hit TV series Good News Week. He has written for The Daily Telegraph, GQ and Men’s Style, and co-authored the books Three Beers and a Chinese Meal (with Helen Razor) and Big Man’s World (with Tony Squires and The Sandman).
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