Perplexing People

Overview

King of France? Duchess of Russia? Billy the Kid? Perplexing People takes you into these and other mysteries in a hunt for the truth.

"Describes various famous pretenders in history, including those individuals who claimed to be Joan of Arc, Anastasia, the French Dauphin who would have been King Louis XVII, and the outlaw Billy the Kid"--Provided by publisher.

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Overview

King of France? Duchess of Russia? Billy the Kid? Perplexing People takes you into these and other mysteries in a hunt for the truth.

"Describes various famous pretenders in history, including those individuals who claimed to be Joan of Arc, Anastasia, the French Dauphin who would have been King Louis XVII, and the outlaw Billy the Kid"--Provided by publisher.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Author Blackwood has written an interesting and different book about perplexing people. The stories in this book reveal the lives of people who have taken on someone else's identity. One example retells the story of a woman who claimed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, a daughter of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II. The entire family was killed in 1918 by the Bolsheviks. In 1920, a woman named Anna Anderson was pulled from a canal in Germany and refused to tell anything about herself. She was sent to an insane asylum where another patient claimed she looked like Anastasia's sister Tatiana. Anna said she was not Tatiana, but that she was Anastasia. She had survived the 1918 execution and had been smuggled into Romania. Until she died, Anna claimed she was Anastasia. In the early 1990s, DNA examination did not find a match that Anna was related to the Romanovs. Another story in the book is that of the outlaw Billy the Kid. Brushy Bill Roberts claimed to be the legendary Billy the Kid even though "the kid" died in 1881. Yet, Roberts knew so much about the kid's life that one man named William V. Morrison believed that hemight be genuine. In 1990, scientists compared pictures of Roberts with the only likeness of Billy the Kid they had, an old photograph. The facial structure was similar, but there still was not enough proof that Brushy Bill Roberts was Billy the Kid. So the mystery remains. There are five more stories of perplexing people in this slim volume. Included are color and black-and-white photographs, as well as back matter. Young readers will enjoy reading these mysterious tales of assumed identities. 2006, Benchmark Books/Marshall Cavendish, Ages 10 up.
—Della A. Yannuzzi
Children's Literature - Della A. Yannuzzi
The authors explain in the book's introduction that it is about pretenders, people who make claims about their identity. Chapter one is a profile of Jeanne d'Arc (a.k.a. Joan of Arc) who became known as "the Maid" because she was unmarried. In her teens, Joan began to hear voices saying that she would save France from the English. She won several battles before she was captured by the English and put on trial for witchcraft. She was burned at the stake. A few years later, a woman announced that she was the Maid. The brothers of Joan of Arc and friends verified this. Eventually, a few more women came forward and claimed they were also Joan of Arc. Who was telling the truth? How could the Maid of France have escaped being burned? The mystery has never been solved. Another example included in this collection is Louis-Charles, the son of King Louis XVI. After the King and his wife were executed, Louis-Charles and his sister Marie-Therese were put in prison. Louis died there, but many people did not believe that. A few years later, police found a boy wandering the streets. He claimed he was the dauphin, the son of King Louis XVI, and he stuck to this story until he died in 1812. Two years later, the wife of the tutor who had given lessons to the dauphin said she had helped smuggle the dauphin out of the prison and left another child in his place. Soon, others were pretending to be the dauphin. Scientists tried to find out the truth. In 1894, scientists examined the body of the boy who had died in prison. They decided that he was older than the King's son. So who did die in the English prison? Young readers will enjoy learning about these still unsolved historical mysteries. Black-and-whiteand color illustrations and photographs are included, as well as a glossary, a list of books for further reading, and a website address. "History's Mysteries" series. Reviewer: Della A. Yannuzzi
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Expecting just another set of flashy collections of tidbits about lingering mysteries of the past? These titles offer more substance than most. Each one begins with a volume-specific introduction and discusses seven controversial events or persons from the past. Most of the stories have been told before, although a few are relatively unknown. Deaths explores questions surrounding the demise of Tutankhamen, King Edward IV's young sons, Christopher Marlowe, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Meriwether Lewis, and others. Two-page supplements discuss doubts about the circumstances of the deaths of Sacagawea and of the discoverers of Tutankhamen's tomb. Some of the individuals described in People were connected to prominent personalities in history. They are known as "pretenders" as opposed to "imposters," terms explained in the introduction. (They truly believed they were Joan of Arc, the Grand Duchess Anastasia, and infamous Billy the Kid, etc., after these people were presumed to be dead.) Events examines great extinctions, especially of the dinosaurs, the lost colony of Roanoke, and others. Legends looks at Atlantis, Amazons, King Arthur, Robin Hood, and Pope Joan. Two lesser-known stories of the origin of El Dorado and of Welsh expeditions to North America complete this stimulating collection. Each volume has a significant glossary, a lengthy bibliography, and footnotes. These inviting titles have the look of leather-bound journals; a full-page illustration opening each chapter; reproductions, many in color; and a generously spaced format.-Ann G. Brouse, Steele Memorial Library, Elmira, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761443605
  • Publisher: Cavendish, Marshall Corporation
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Series: Benchmark Rockets: History's Mysteries Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Chapter 1 The Maid 5

Chapter 2 The Mask 9

Chapter 3 The Dauphin 14

Chapter 4 The Duchess 18

Chapter 5 The Outlaw 23

Glossary 28

Find Out More 30

Index 32

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