Mr Foote's Other Leg by Ian Kelly

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Kelly...has a keen eye for the intricacies of the Georgian stage...He marshals a wide and disparate range of information confidently and entertainingly.
-Guardian

Synopsis

When Samuel Foote was buried clandestinely in the cloisters of Westminster Cathedral, he may or may not have been reunited with his missing leg. (In eighteenth-century London it was customary for amputees to be buried with their sawn-off limbs, which were kept embalmed for this purpose.) How Samuel Foote lost his leg is one of the many extraordinary and gruesome elements in the story of a unique character in the most colourful period of British history. Samuel Foote, although forgotten now, was a major figure of Georgian London. Friend of Johnson, Garrick, Fielding, Goldsmith, Sheridan, Boswell and Franklin, Foote was the most famous and the funniest man in England. He first made his name by writing a bestselling pamphlet about the family scandal that culminated in his uncle's murder (by another uncle).This story captivated coffee-house London and helped him escape the debtors' prison in which his decadence and debauchery at university had landed him. Foote's subsequent life was full of infamy, controversy, and violence, ending chaotically in two notorious trials encompassing bigamy, buggery, and defamation. But most importantly Foote is now reclaimed as a great actor, dramatist, impresario, the first celebrity impressionist, and, Kelly argues, the singular founding father of the British sense of humour.
 

About Ian Kelly

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Ian Kelly has written prize-winning biographies of Casanova, Beau Brummell and Antonin Careme, he combines this with acting, from playing the art-historian in Lee Hall’s The Pitman Painters to Hermione’s father in the final instalments of the Harry Potter films.
 
Published October 11, 2012 by Picador.
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, Gay & Lesbian. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Mr Foote's Other Leg
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alexander Larman on Nov 10 2012

Kelly...has a keen eye for the intricacies of the Georgian stage...He marshals a wide and disparate range of information confidently and entertainingly.

Read Full Review of Mr Foote's Other Leg | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Matthew Sweet on Oct 05 2012

Kelly's book takes its first epigraph from Peter Cook's famous sketch "One Leg Too Few", about the one-legged actor who applies for the role of Tarzan.

Read Full Review of Mr Foote's Other Leg | See more reviews from Guardian

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80%

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