Famous Phonies

Legends, Fakes, and Frauds Who Changed History

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About The Book

Amazing true stories about Shakespeare, Hiawatha, Homer, George Washington, and more.

If you like to think of Shakespeare only as a brilliant bard, or prefer only to know Pythagoras by his math skills, then you might want to put this book down. Seriously. Because this book is about to change your idea of history. But if you like a little controversy, or want to impress your parents and friends with some little-known tidbits of historical drama, then Famous Phonies: Legends, Fakes, and Frauds Who Changed History is for you. 

Over the centuries, plenty of scandals, swindles, and skeletons have passed under history’s radar and missed out on being included in your textbook. (We’re looking at you, George “I cannot tell a lie” Washington.) Some of the biggest names in history can be found between these pages—and the light isn’t flattering. These figures are lucky that prime-time TV and all-access internet didn’t exist in Ancient Greece, Renaissance Europe, medieval England, or Revolutionary America, or else they could have kissed their sterling reputations goodbye. Famous Phonies: Legends, Fakes, and Frauds Who Changed History explores the underbelly of history, making you question everything you thought you knew about history’s finest. Follow the fake lives of these twelve history-changers to uncover the fabrications of the famous and the should-be-famous!

So, if you can handle it, take a peek at inside. Some of the famous “phonies” covered in this book include:

  • George Washington
  • Pythagoras
  • Hiawatha

  • Gilgamesh
  • Confucius
  • Major William Martin
  • William Shakespeare

  • Pope Joan
  • Homer

  • Prester John

  • Huangdi
  • The Turk

About The Author

Brianna DuMont is author of the Changed History series, which makes history come alive by exposing its murky underbelly. The first book in the series, Famous Phonies: Legends, Fakes, and Frauds Who Changed History, includes gems about “I-must-not-tell-a-lie” George Washington and schoolless Shakespeare. When she’s not writing quirky books, Brianna travels the world in search of great museums and historical sites. When she’s at home, she is a full-time writer and researcher who is quickly becoming best friends with her local librarian. She and her family live in Chicago, Illinois.

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More books from this author: Brianna DuMont

More books in this series: Changed History Series