Edward Brooke-Hitching is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling trilogy: The Phantom Atlas (2016), The Golden Atlas (2018) and The Sky Atlas (2019), all of which have been translated into numerous languages; he is also the author of Fox Tossing, Octopus Wrestling and Other Forgotten Sports (2015). He is a writer for the BBC series QI. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and an incurable cartophile, he lives surrounded by dusty heaps of old maps and books in London.
'The book veers from compulsively gross to deliciously odd, but always fascinating.' -- Francesca Carington * Tatler * 'For a bibliophile's reading pleasure, Brooke-Hitching brings together weird and wondrous tomes from antiquity and all corners of the globe.' * Saga magazine * 'This riotous history of weird and wonderful books... It's suitably lively...but never loses sight of the history among the hijinks.' * History Revealed * 'Sit back and enjoy the ride as the book sails off into ever more outlandish territory...The Madman's Library owes as much to his journalistic eye for a good story as it does to bibliographic expertise. It fairly barrels along, delivering a riot of colourful episodes and even more colourful images. Special mention should be made of the illustrations, in fact, since they carry the book every bit as much as the text...This is a book to dip into, browse, fondle and ogle rather than read cover to cover. For bibliophiles who have missed the serendipitous delights of actual libraries over the past few months, it's the ideal tonic.' -- Gill Partington * Literary Review * 'Intriguing...it is a bibliophile's paradise, bringing together the weirdest and most eccentric books ever published. It is a treasure trove of peculiarity, presented in the most captivating way.' * The Lady, Books of the Year * 'Brooke-Hitching's prose is elegant and witty [and] the images...make the book a real joy' * Spectator * 'The most beautiful objects in literature. You're going to love this. Extraordinary' -- Dan Snow 'An astonishing book about books... This profusely illustrated book is a bibliophile's dream: massive books, tiny books, coded books, books of fathomless eccentricity - they are all here. One of the most amusing and engaging books to be published for years.' -- Alexander McCall-Smith * New Statesman * 'This gorgeous collection of bizarre books through the ages... My favourite - and the jaw-dropping bar is high here - is the beautiful, tubercular, 19th-century countess who asked an author to bind his next novel in her skin (he obliged; who wouldn't?). Quite simply the best gift for any book lover this year, perhaps ever.' -- Lucy Atkins * Sunday Times, Literary Book of the Year *