Snob appeal may put this book on the map as a popular success. Sheer originality of method and fascination of theme will establish it without doubt among the ""literatt"". A book that challenges the conventional method of biography, in the absorbing account of the successive steps by which Mr. Symons built up his picture of ""Baron Corvo"", Frederick Rolfe, author of a number of literary oddities, and genius of no mean order. One shares the adventure of the search, running down this bit of evidence and that, unearthing the truth back of an ancient scandal, the color back of a half-forgotten gesture, the stark reality back of the incessant dunning for money and more money and more money, the madness back of the quarrels which put an and to one friendship after another. An extraordinary figure arises from the ashes of memory, and one feels the urge take hold of one's imagination, to seek more and yet more of the man himself -- above all to read in its entirety, the tragically few samples left of what might have been a monument to a thwarted genius. A book that is arousing controversy and excited comment in England, and that has stirred curiosity in advance over here.