It is likely that you will never have heard of José Delgado. An acclaimed professor of physiology at Yale University, in 1960 he implanted a harmless electrode into a bull’s brain and stood in a bullring with it, armed with nothing more than a remote control, aiming to prove that he could control its mind. Happily, he succeeded, and as bizarre as his experiment may seem, his findings paved the way for innovations in the treatment of epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.
It is characters like Delgado that are the focus of The Man Who Fought An Electric Bull, a day-by-day yearbook comprising the biographies of 366 people (plus a dog, a dishonest gorilla and a talking elephant) whose achievements, discoveries, claims to fame and marks on history have long been forgotten or else remain little-known, overlooked or under appreciated. Here you will find the true stories of the Mexican actor who posed nude as the model of the Oscar statuette, the founder of the world’s first school for the blind, a man who ran a presidential campaign from prison, a 16-year-old heroine of the American Revolution, an England cricket captain who won Olympic gold in boxing, a French magician sent to quash a rebellion in Africa, and many, many more.
Featuring people from all corners of the globe, all fields and disciplines, and all periods of history – Roman emperors and Japanese shoguns stand alongside civil rights advocates and suffragettes – no one listed here may be famous or familiar, but they all deserve to be.
Paul Anthony Jones was born in South Shields in 1983. Graduating with a Masters degree in English from the University of Newcastle in 2009, his first book The British Isles: A Trivia Gazetteer (2012) was inspired by a university study into the origins of English place names. This was quickly followed by two guides to English etymology, Haggard Hawks & Paltry Poltroons (2013) – named as one of best language titles of the year by The Guardian – and its sequel, Jedburgh Justice & Kentish Fire (2014). Paul also runs the popular tie-in Twitter account, @HaggardHawks, which ha...
More about Paul Jones