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The Professor and the Parson: A Story of Desire, Deceit, and Defrocking

The Professor and the Parson: A Story of Desire, Deceit, and Defrocking

by Adam Sisman

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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on February 4, 2020

Overview

How a liar, bigamist, and fraudulent priest took in some of the brightest minds of his generation


One day in November 1958, the celebrated historian Hugh Trevor-Roper received a curious letter. It was an appeal for help, written on behalf of a student at Magdalen College, with the unlikely claim that he was being persecuted by the Bishop of Oxford. Curiosity piqued, Trevor-Roper agreed to a meeting. It was to be his first encounter with Robert Parkin Peters: plagiarist, bigamist, fraudulent priest, and imposter extraordinaire.


The Professor and the Parson traces the strange career of one of Britain's most eccentric criminals. Motivated not by money but by a desire for prestige, Peters lied, stole, and cheated his way to academic positions and religious posts from Cambridge to New York, Singapore, and South Africa. Frequently deported, and even more frequently discovered, his trail of destruction included seven marriages (three of which were bigamous), an investigation by the FBI, and a disastrous appearance on Mastermind.


Based on Trevor-Roper's own detailed "file on Peters," The Professor and the Parson is a witty and charming account of eccentricity, extraordinary narcissism, and a life as wild and unlikely as any in fiction.


"I was captivated from start to finish by this utterly mad, and wholly delightful story of chicanery and fantasy, and which involves a man who relentlessly duped our most cherished institutions of godly pursuit and higher learning. Plus I learned how to defrock a priest, always good to have on hand in these troubling times." ––Simon Winchester, author of The Perfectionists

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640093287
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Publication date: 02/04/2020
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

ADAM SISMAN is the author of Boswell's Presumptuous Task , winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, and the biographer of John Le Carré, A. J. P. Taylor, and Hugh Trevor-Roper. Among his other works are two volumes of letters by Patrick Leigh Fermor. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an honorary fellow of the University of St Andrews.