Sobre o livro
It is universally acknowledged that a happy childhood is the best start in life. How could it be otherwise? But when we look at the many great men and women - pioneers, leaders, writers, scientists - another trend emerges: a large number of them have desperate, traumatic experiences as young children. Their childhoods were blighted by illness, neglect, isolation and a host of other miseries - yet they seem to have succeeded not only in spite of their backgrounds, but perhaps even because of them.
Rudyard Kipling attributed his imagination and talent for storytelling to his bullying foster parents, who would force him to repeat stories over and over, and try and catch him out. It is hard to imagine that Elizabeth I's statesmanship did not originate in a childhood in which she could trust no one, and in which her mother's fate vividly demonstrated the price of failure. As Matthew Parris brings each individual's story to life, it becomes clear that a bad childhood can have surprising, and unpredictable, effects.