The Professor and the Parson: A Story of Desire, Deceit and Defrocking (Hardback)
  • The Professor and the Parson: A Story of Desire, Deceit and Defrocking (Hardback)
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The Professor and the Parson: A Story of Desire, Deceit and Defrocking (Hardback)

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Hardback 240 Pages / Published: 03/05/2019
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A Times Best Paperback of February 2020 'I embarrassed myself by uncontrollable guffaws ... This is a truly wonderful story' A. N. Wilson, Spectator 'A white-knuckle roller-coaster ride of fibs and frauds' Sunday Telegraph 'An utterly mad, and wholly delightful story of chicanery and fantasy' Simon Winchester 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. 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.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781788162111
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 204 x 138 x 27 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
A twisty, tricksy biography ... a thorough and thoroughly entertaining reconstruction of the life and lies of Robert Peters. Suspend your disbelief ... The Professor and the Parson would make a fine TV series along the lines of A Very English Scandal. Russell T Davies, if you're reading, this stuff is gold. -- Laura Freeman * The Times *
Meticulously researched and flawlessly written, the book treats its obscure, contemptible subject with the same professionalism that Mr. Sisman brought to Trevor-Roper and the Boswell-Johnson relationship. If Peters seems a parody of the lecherous clergyman and the ruthless academic, Mr. Sisman is a model of the incorruptible biographer. * Wall Street Journal *
[A] gripping roller-coaster ride of fibs and frauds ... To say of a book that, once you start reading it, you cannot stop, is always a cliche and often an exaggeration. Yet it really was my experience with this one. Various chores were put off and a meal skipped as I kept turning the pages. -- Noel Malcolm * Sunday Telegraph *
Sisman's deadpan tone heightens [Peters'] comic effects. Often while reading his book in a public place I embarrassed myself by uncontrollable guffaws ... This is a truly wonderful story. -- A. N. Wilson * Spectator *
A lively, well-written story of skulduggery -- Rosamund Urwin * Sunday Times *
Entertaining ... Sisman is a serious writer of nonfiction ... but he has a novelist's sense of the importance of showing, not telling. -- Alex Preston * Observer *
[A] delicious true story ... fascinating. -- Ysenda Maxton Graham * TLS *
The Professor and the Parson is a fantastic read and fully deserves to be among everyone's books of the year. It is full of wonderful stories and splendidly comic moments. It is also beautifully written. -- William Whyte * Literary Review *
Astonishing ... fascinating, eye-opening * Emerald Street *
A tortuous, intriguing and barely believable story, which sheds a fierce but comic spotlight on the ineptitude, gullibility and naivety of countless senior prelates and academics who were taken in by a consummate and unrepentant charlatan ... a dizzy and diverting read -- Rosemary Goring * Herald Scotland *
Witty, impressive and captivatingly readable ... incredibly well researched ... a real achievement. It's also great fun. I laughed out loud ... one day this tale will make a fantastic BBC adaptation or even film. Think A Very English Scandal, but with clerical collars. * History Today *
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 *
A delightful, delicious tale from the Hugh Trevor-Roper archive of Oxford skulduggery. Robert Parkin Peters is one of the oddest, most compulsive conmen ever, longing - and spectacularly failing - to achieve prominence in academia and the Church. * Harry Mount *
An entertaining ... chronicle of naughty clerics, bewildered dons and tabloid titillation * Sydney Morning Herald *
This gripping account of a recalcitrant 20th-century con man from National Book Critics Circle Award winner proves the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction * Publishers Weekly Starred Review *

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“At last Mr Peters has his moment of fame!”

When we were children my sister asked my mother if she had ever known anyone who was Rotten to the Core™. Perhaps to her surprise, Mum had. She told us about Mr Peters, serial seducer, bigamist and fraud, whom she had... More

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