Mad Dogs and Englishmen: An Expedition Round My Family

Mad Dogs and Englishmen: An Expedition Round My Family

Hardback

By (author) Sir Ranulph Fiennes

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  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 242mm x 38mm | 699g
  • Publication date: 15 October 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0340925027
  • ISBN 13: 9780340925027
  • Illustrations note: 2 x 8pp colour
  • Sales rank: 159,234

Product description

Discover Sir Ranulph Twistelton-Wykham-Fiennes's personal expedition to trace his extraordinary family through the twists and turns of history. From Charlemagne -- himself a direct ancestor of the author -- to the count who very nearly persuaded William the Conqueror to retreat at Hastings, many members of this unique clan have lived close to the nerve centre of the ruler of their day. They number in their ranks a murderer, a wife poisoner, a poacher, England's greatest female traveller of the 17th century, and an extortionist Lord High Treasurer, teen cousins who eloped, a noble lord hanged for manslaughter, another hanged for adultery with the King's wife, and many who, as admirals or major-generals, won famous battles. The Fiennes' behind Cromwell provided the castle in which the Parliamentarians made their first secret moves, the same building in which twenty-one successive generations of the family have lived for 600 unbroken years. One Fiennes had his head cut off by the London mob and stuck on Tower Bridge, another led the First Crusade that captured Jerusalem ...And that is just a taster. Ranulph Fiennes tells the story of his unconventional, exceptional family, and reveals the ingredients for the man described by the Guinness Book of Records as 'the world's greatest living explorer'.

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Author information

In 2009 Sir Ranulph Fiennes became the oldest Briton to climb Everest. He was also the first man to reach both poles by surface travel and the first to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported. In 1993 Fiennes was awarded the OBE because, on the way to breaking records, he has raised over GBP10 million for charity.

Review quote

'A whirlwind romp through the annals of time, peopled with the good, the bad and downright mad among the Fiennes clan.' -- Sunday Telegraph 'If you ever struggle to drag yourself out of bed on a winter's morning, pick up a copy of Ranulph Fiennes' autobiography. It's an inspiration.' -- Mail on Sunday on Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know 'Rip-roaringly readable' -- Guardian on Mad Bad 'Even readers with a broadly low tolerance for macho heroism will find themselves gripped ... compelling' -- Time Out on Mad Bad 'This is the memoir of a supreme sportsman, an uber-earthling who could show the Martians a thing or two about what the best of us can achieve' -- Financial Times Magazine '"Ran' epitomises British phlegm, and he puts all other glory-seekers to shame. His dry wit, self deprecation and steely determination never to feel a scrap of self-pity are in the very best tradition of British travel writing. Long may he continue tomake us glad that we are not him, while we stand in awe.' -- Country Life 'Rip-roaringly readable' -- Guardian 'Even readers with a broadly low tolerance for macho heroism will find themselves gripped ... compelling' -- Time Out 'It's exhausting just reading about his exploits, so it is a perfect bedtime book. It's delightful to plump up one's duck-down pillows while vicariously enduring Fiennes's successive plunges into the deadly waters of the Artcic, and his festering crotch-rot.' -- Helena Drysdale, New Statesman Books of the Year 'It is lively and vivid, and often exciting as we anticipate each plunge into deadly Arctic waters. There are some wonderful throwaway lines ... So, not an alien species after all but - as they say - a national treasure.' -- Spectator