The Extraordinary Life of Britain's Smallest Man
By Nick Page
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312291617, 272pp.)
Publication Date: August 2002
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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At the climax of the feast, a large pie is set down before the Queen, who is given a knife and invited to cut into the pastry. Before she can do so, however, the crust begins to crack and rise of its own accord. From out of the pie emerges a tiny man-perfectly proportioned and dressed in a suit of miniature armor. He climbs onto the table in front of the Queen, bows low, and asks to be taken into her service.
The little man's name is Jeffrey Hudson. He is seven years old and stands only eighteen inches tall. Lord Minimus is the first complete biography of Hudson. Drawn from original, contemporary sources, Nick Page weaves a tale that is not only a thrilling biography, but also a fascinating insight into the seventeenth century.
For a man of such diminutive stature, Hudson lived life on a grand scale. 'The smallest man in England' ventured forth from a humble rural background to set course on an episodic roller coaster that led him to the edges of the known world. From the lowest strata he rose to the courts of Kings and Queens. Van Dyck painted his portrait and he performed in one of Ben Jonson's famous masques. Sir Walter Scott wrote of Hudson's exploits in the English civil war. The pocket-sized companion of the Queen also killed a man in a duel, was captured by pirates, and spent years in slavery. Ultimately, he died alone and forgotten, abandoned by an indifferent society that had long ago moved on to the next object of fashion.
The story of Jeffrey Hudson is most notably a story of hope and dignity, of how one man refused to accept his physical limitations, even though it was to cost him everything.
Nick Page is a professional writer, broadcaster, and creative consultant. He is the author of The Tabloid Bible, The Tabloid Shakespeare, and Blue. He lives in England.