The English eccentric is under threat. In our increasingly homogenised society, these celebrated parts of our national identity are anomalies that may soon no longer fit. Or so it seems. On his entertaining and thought-provoking quest to discover the most eccentric English person alive today, Henry Hemming unearths a surprisingly large array of delightfully odd characters. He asks what it is to be an eccentric. Is it simply to thrive on creativity and non-conformity, and where does this incarnation of Englishness stem from? Hemming concludes that this tribe is, in fact, in rude health, as essential as ever to the English national identity, only they are no longer to be found where you'd expect them. Featuring interviews with Dame Vivienne Westwood, the Marquess of Bath, Pete Doherty, the modern-day reincarnation of King Arthur, the Leopard Man of Skye, Sebastian Horsley, Chris Eubank, Captain Beany and Brian Haw among others.
Henry Hemming is 27 years old. His first book, Misadventure in the Middle East: Travels as a Tramp, Artist and Spy, the product of a year-long journey through the Middle East, was published this year to critical acclaim.